Monday, July 15, 2019

Authenticity or Inauthenticity?

Image result for john piippo authenticity
(Flowers, in my yard.)
I've met people who accuse others of being "inauthentic," seeing themselves as "authentic." When asked what they mean by "authentic" they don't know. Surely that approached the height of inauthenticity; viz., claiming to be authentic while being clueness what that means.

Here is some help for the clueless.

The Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, in writing about authentic existence, distinguished between the aesthetic life and the ethical life. The former is inauthenticity, the latter is authenticity.

The aesthetic life is life lived for "the moment." An inauthentic, aesthetic person...

  • is absorbed in satisfying their "natural" desires and impulses.
  • is only concerned with their own happiness.
  • believes happiness is to be found in externals.
  • lives for enjoyment, on the surface of life.
  • is an observer, a spectator, not a serious participant (like many in the church).
  • has no real inner life; therefore, has no real self to offer to others.
  • goes up and down with the choices and moods of other people. (How many "likes" do you have?)
  • never accept responsibility or blame when things go wrong.
  • are apathetic, indifferent, and unintegrated.
  • are unable to commit themselves to any one thing. (For Kierkegaard, this is huge.)
  • is concerned solely with ideas - intellectual systems  that leave the person unchanged. (Is an imaginary "philosopher.")  [Adapted from Charles Moore;s Introduction in Provocations: Spiritual Writings of Kierkegaard.]
Kierkegaard believed "the ethical involves both choice and resolution. It also involves struggle, because the realization of ethical values takes effort and time. Therefore an authentic, fully realized individual is one who is unified from within, whose actions are one, and who accepts responsibility for his commitments. Unlike someone who lives at the aesthetic level, the ethical individual is not swayed by his every emotion or by the opinions of others." (Ib.; emphasis mine.)


Leading the Presence-Driven Church

Encounters with the Holy Spirit (a book I co-edited with Janice Trigg)

I''m now giving attention to Transformation: How God Changes the Human Heart

Followed by... Technology and Spiritual Formation

Then, Linda and I will co-write our book on Relationships.