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Philosophy Are you living an authentic life?

Discussion in 'Social Sciences & Humanities' started by Indian Summer, Oct 14, 2012.

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  1. Indian Summer

    Indian Summer Administrator Owner

    This (the authentic life) was the topic of an article I started reading the other day.

    What do we mean when we talk about "an authentic life"? Is it something worth striving for?
     
  2. Blobbenstein

    Blobbenstein .......

    Location:
    UK.
    what do you mean by 'authentic life'?

    what would be an un-authentic life?
     
  3. Indian Summer

    Indian Summer Administrator Owner

    I'm not really sure, I'm asking you :)

    Some of the ideas from the article:

    Is "being the architect of one's own life" something that contributes to living an authentic life? (What does that mean?)

    Maybe it has something to do with being honest with oneself and others? (I get how someone can be dishonest with others, but how can we not be honest with ourselves? I would know when I'm lying, surely, I can't fool myself ....? Or can I?)

    Having credibility? Not being pretentious?
     
  4. Blobbenstein

    Blobbenstein .......

    Location:
    UK.
    my life is a complete mess, but I try to read a good book once in a while, walk a couple of miles a day, and like some of the food I eat.
     
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  5. Blobbenstein

    Blobbenstein .......

    Location:
    UK.
    or as I say, if anyone asks: I'm fandabidozi!
     
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  6. beancounter

    beancounter The Fire That Burns Within Forum Moderator

    I'm not a complete architect of my own life. I've made decision based on others opinions (e.g. I was on the way to being a cartoonist which my father discouraged). Nonetheless, I take responsibility for my choices, and instead of lamenting that my life didn't turn out exactly as I wanted, I make the best of the circumstances.
     
  7. mlp

    mlp Guest

    IMO, people lie to themselves more often and more convincingly than they do to anyone else. I observe it in others, so I can only assume I do it myself, as much as I try to look at myself, my motivations and my actions, with an unbiased eye.
     
  8. kibbleforlola

    kibbleforlola Lola Worshiper

    WTF is "authentic"? We shape society just as much as we are shaped by it. We all are products of our times and spaces. It's just the nature of the beast. Does this mean we aren't "true to ourselves"? Who knows.
     
  9. Indian Summer

    Indian Summer Administrator Owner

    I would think some "shape society" more than others though, or is shaped less by society than others. Does that make them more authentic?

    Maybe so. I think maybe sometimes I know I'm lying to myself, but they're such nice lies, so I just play along and pretend to believe them ...
     
  10. Freesia

    Freesia not my business.

    I dont see how we can be authentic when we have to do things which we dont want to do to survive and find ourselves without the freedom to make choices which would lead us to be doing the things we want. I wonder if an Authentic Life is a middle class, western concept.
     
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  11. KLS52

    KLS52 Only Kindness Matters

    I truly believe that "I" am authentic...which is probably not the same as living an authentic life. I think the life I live at home is definitely authentic...the life I live at work is not. I'm definitely "trapped" there in so much as I started working late in life and if I want to "retire" with any kind of pension/health benefits I need to remain there for another 7 years. To start over somewhere else would not be wise. Of course, that is my choice.

    I found this:

    1. Who Needs an authentic life?

    If you are satisfied with the status quo life that no longer challenges you or gives you inspiration and passion, then you don’t need an authentic life.

    2. What is an authentic life?

    This is another good question since we rarely teach children or adults how to live such a life. You are living an authentic life if you feel you are in control and you are determining your own direction. Your work is a natural outlet for your creativity, your interests and your abilities.

    3. Why is living an authentic life important?

    We are living longer than ever before. One hundred years ago we wouldn’t even be having this conversation since the average lifespan was barely mid-forties. There are more opportunities then ever before to recreate our lives and our work. When we work without purpose and without meaning, our lives grow empty and lifeless. Each day is just like the previous day and the cycle continues until we retire and die. We live for tomorrow; just 2 more years, or 6 more years, or 10 more years at our miserable jobs until we’ve saved enough money to finally stop. We’re not sure what we will do but we know it won’t be anything like what we are doing now. Then sadly, life gets in the way, and something happens to block our hopes and dreams of a more fulfilling life.

    I don't necessarily feel like these definitions are accurate. They open up some questions for me. First of all, I believe life has stages...not sure how many, but I've been through a few and they have all been authentic, as far as I'm concerned. Which leads to the question, who gets to decide if it's authentic? I don't want some article deciding if I feel fulfilled or not. Because then I must be lying to myself? I have to go work my awesome job now, so I'll be back later. :)
     
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  12. kibbleforlola

    kibbleforlola Lola Worshiper

    I would say those people are reacting against society; and are therefore just as much influenced by society as those that maintain the status quo – just in the opposite direction. Being a contrarian doesn't make you a special snowflake. :p
     
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  13. mlp

    mlp Guest

    I think that it would be practically impossible to really define what an "authentic life" is. There's so much subjectivity involved, and, as I said above, I think it is unlikely that anyone is completely honest with him/herself all of the time, possibly even the majority of the time.

    For some, it is intrinsic to their natures to be part of the community/flock/herd. For others, it's intrinsic to their natures to rebel against the community. And even those who think that their choices are independent of the community have inevitably been colored by it. Who is to judge which of these is more "authentic"?

    I think we can each try to live life with as much internal honesty as is possible to each of us individually. But I also think that, as soon as we start measuring our authenticity against the perceived authenticity of others, or as soon as we start patting ourselves on the back for our authenticity, we actually make the process inauthentic.
     
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  14. Josh James xVx

    Josh James xVx Ah Pook is here

    Location:
    Tennessee
    Yes, absolutely.

    "Lost a lifetime ago it seems; you gave up all your wildest dreams-
    but I refused to let mine go.
    I took an oath;
    you can find me here
    with an open heart and ears
    refusing to surrender.
    Can't believe they don't remember
    what it feels like to be young."
     
  15. Katrina

    Katrina Deity

    Location:
    Canada
    I think an authentic life means living by our principles and following our dreams. If our principles or dreams happen to conform to society's expectations, that doesn't make us any less authentic. It's when we try to shove ourselves into a role that doesn't feel right that we lose authenticity, whether that's trying to be a rebel, or trying to be an upstanding citizen, or trying to be indifferent. We shouldn't "try" to be anything. We should just be who we are.
     
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  16. Pickle Juice

    Pickle Juice Member

    To me living an authentic life means knowing my nature and following it. Each person's nature is different. Some people cannot self-define without input from outside, while some can. We mustn't think any one way of being is preferred over any other, we must simply try our best to understand ourselves as we are and know how to be true to who we really are, not for the purpose of keeping up an appearance, but for personal integrity and the sense of fulfillment to be gained by being your own unique self.
     
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  17. Ann Chovie

    Ann Chovie Ploughing my own furrow



    Interesting point ... Yes if we decide to reject the status quo then we need to carve out alternative ways if operating in society which allow us to lead what we consider more authentic lives. After creating this challenge for ourselves we then need to develop the strength and confidence to stand apart and reject the norm. Our refusal to be shaped by society "shapes " us just as acutely as it shapes those who confirm
     
  18. Indian Summer

    Indian Summer Administrator Owner

    Maybe I don't get what you mean, but in any case I disagree - they are not influenced just as much. They are influenced to the extent that they find the status quo intolerable and are spurred into action to change society, but the influence stops there. They could be trying to change society to be kinder to animals, or more tolerant of people who are somehow deviating from the norm, or they could be trying to make prayer mandatory in schools, or make teaching of Intelligent Design as a scientific theory part of the curriculum etc. The status quo doesn't influence them in what way they want to change it. On the other hand, the status quo people eat status quo for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day of the year, and are therefore continually influenced, and are influenced to accept a particular set of beliefs and norms.
     
  19. Blobbenstein

    Blobbenstein .......

    Location:
    UK.
    someone whose main aim was to be counter culture, and try to be different to society, would be influenced quite a bit by the status quo, but like IS said, not everyone who wants to live differently, is like that.
     
  20. das_nut

    das_nut World Class Member

    You can reject the status quo and quite easily drift away from it by surrounding yourself with non-status quo friends and interests.
     
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