Authenticity

Are you a seeker? What does that even mean?

Spiritual seekers suspect there’s a deeper sense of reality than they currently live, and they want to know and feel it. This primal call to action is relentless and irresistible. The seeker’s call can arise anytime, prompted by any endeavor that provokes self-examination or inquiry. There are myriad coaches, teachers, and gurus that offer answers to the seeker’s most profound questions.

Who am I? Why am I here?

These two questions are at the root of human inquiry over the millennia. The first exploration is that of identity. We intuit that there is a more authentic version of ourselves. Joseph Campbell called this the “original myth.” It’s also been named the “original face.” This deepest story and identity can more simply be called authenticity, and the first half of the seeking journey is the search for it.

The second exploration is that of purpose. Again, we feel there’s more meaningful action to be taken than our everyday activities. We seek an authentic vocation, a calling as compelling as our seeking itself.

When we find authenticity, we find our power.

 

Awakening

Many times, upon arriving at true “original myth” authenticity, seekers intuit their journey isn’t finished. No matter how powerful they feel as a fully defined individual, there is a lurking sense that something is still amiss. The seeker feels actualized, but not free. When turbulence arises in the arc of life, even the most authentic egos still get tumbled.

So what’s the ultimate answer?

The answer is the second stage of the journey: awakening. Beyond the wisdom traditions of authenticity live those of awakening consciousness. This consciousness realizes that the individual, even rendered perfectly, is an illusion. What seems to be a distinct person is really part of a greater whole, like a drop of water in the ocean. This “part” is unique, but not separate. The illusion of its separateness brings pain.

That pain is erased by awakening to a felt experience of the wholeness that illuminates our selves and stories, like movies on a screen.

Once awakening occurs, the itch of seeking is replaced by a permanent sense of peace and presence. Awakening is beyond the intellect, always here and now. It cannot be forced, but once it’s achieved, it’s clear that it’s our truest state. And then we are called to live in that state, in the world, in our lives, reflecting its truth and possibility to all those still striving for it.