By Cathy Eck
Authentic or Bullshit
My dad sends me some really stupid emails — I tell him that all the time. But he was a nuclear engineer; so he thinks that he’s making conversation when he forwards an email. Besides it gives me things to write about.
He recently sent me a copy of a discussion between two people who were trying to decide who was more authentic, George W. Bush or Barack Obama. That’s pretty much like trying to decide whether a dog or a cat is more insect like. It’s a useless discussion with no potential resolution or benefit. But it brings up an interesting point: How do we know if someone is authentic?
The truth is that the biggest liars have become quite accomplished at looking authentic. Clear communication, lack of emotion, and happiness are qualities of the True Self, but they’re also qualities of highly perfected personas.
On the other hand, while we’re purifying our mind, we often get highly emotional when someone says something false, causing us to look like the flawed one. Eventually, we reach a place where we know that anything false is powerless so we don’t need our emotions to explode like atom bombs. But it’s always that awkward phase in between that gets us in trouble.
It seems that this has been a common problem throughout time. Even Plato discussed it in his discourses on the legendary lost continent of Atlantis. He said that those in power had too much “mortal admixture.” The masses couldn’t tell who was truthful from those who had selfish intentions. This caused the destruction of the continent. We’re in the very same place today.
Knowing a True Self
In truth, we can only know if we’re authentic. That’s the best use of our time and energy. When we know our mind, we know when someone else’s thoughts enter. We feel our emotions more easily. We can catch and deflect the projections that those poker-faced personalities send our way. I’ve discovered that as I clean out my mind, it’s easier to discern if another is being authentic or just blowing some sweet-smelling smoke. Of course, they don’t like being exposed, but we’ll save that for another post.
I used to wonder if we all signed some sort of pact a few thousand years ago that said, “I won’t expose your false self if you don’t expose mine.” Then I realized that a pact isn’t necessary. When we hold lots of beliefs in our mind, we don’t catch the lies of others until it’s far too late because we can’t distinguish our thoughts from their thoughts. That’s why the first exercise I give to people I mentor is to start watching their own mind 24/7.
People, who benefit from the illusion, support social skills where we focus on and care what others think instead of what we think. That way we become gullible targets for those wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Our false selves have been highly trained to look at what people do. We see a person hug a baby, and we think they’re nice. Someone gives a vet a job, and they’re good. But Charles Manson could hug a baby; he could also give a vet a job. People who do things for show aren’t stupid; they know what to do to get the biggest bang for their buck. They know how to work the collective mind.
Our false selves need validation. The two people having the discussion, in my dad’s forwarded email, each thought that their favorite politician was authentic because they sounded like them. False selves are insecure; they seek constant support. That’s why our false self love to gossip or judge others. A common enemy feels like power and mutual support. The false self has to constantly support its position of rightness, or it will realize that it’s wrong.
What’s the lesson?
We must remember the reason that we have emotions. They’re not to determine good and evil or right and wrong people. They’re to decide if the particular belief or thought, which is our point of focus right now, is true or false. Our emotions are actually highly impersonal — they are simply very good lie detectors.
If someone says, “All dogs of Republicans should have blue hair and Democratic dogs should have pink hair,” we notice how their statement feels. If it feels bad, it simply means don’t believe them. It doesn’t mean color-coded dogs are bad or wrong for the believer; it means they aren’t right for us. Our True Self is giving the thumbs down to their statement. That’s all.
Somewhere along the way, most of us fell for the trap that we aren’t being nice if we expose someone’s belief as a belief. We’re bad if we don’t support their false self. In truth, we’re truly good (with no hidden opposite) only when we don’t support false selves. Being nice to false selves keeps the illusion running. Our false self should embarrass us, not get us approval. We were designed by our cosmic designer to discriminate; we were given emotions to keep our minds pure.
When we realize that beliefs have NO power of their own, we easily ignore them. We don’t fear beliefs of others, nor do we condone them. Whether the person is authentic or not doesn’t matter that much. We stop judging false selves when we see them as powerless; we just ignore them or correct them. Life gets much easier.
The key to living an authentic life is to drop our own false self. Then we can live in the world, among the most crazy false selves, and not fall into their trap. We can even play in their world for a bit, and then exit when we’ve had enough. In short, we no longer need to worry about whether someone else is authentic, because we’ve got our own authentic best friends with us all the time — our True Self and our emotional lie detector.