On Authenticity

A friend informs me that I am in utter rebellion against superficiality. It is interesting that she puts it that way; I would have only said I did not like superficiality. But it appears I am in utter rebellion against it.

Reeducation said I was unfeeling but, I now discern, only meant I was not suffering. Reeducation taught suffering as a virtue and the repression of feeling as “maturity.” It said I was an “intellectual snob” but in reality it, not I, was the snob. And I have been conflicted since. Reeducation wanted us to renounce thought in favor of feeling, as one could not have both and heart was better than head, but my latest understanding is it actually wanted us to renounce both in favor of suffering and resignation.

That meant one had to renounce oneself – renounce authenticity – and I am still trying to claim genuineness back. I have always been sincere “to a fault” but it has also always seemed to me that the solution is to become yet more, not less genuine, even if less naïve. Dealing with what is not genuine and having to pretend it is, is one of the hardest things in life for me.

I told Reeducation that given all I had at my disposal it was easy to make each day good, but Reeducation said that was “denial.” There was a family past for which I must atone. But I was right. After trying on Reeducation it is hard to remember that I was right in the first place. But I was, and I am insisting upon it.

And it is the weekend, so we will sing. This is Vicente Amigo in a passionate song.

Axé.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “On Authenticity

  1. Well it seems to me that psychological strength and genuineness go hand in hand — you simply can’t have the latter if you don’t have the former. Some people settle for a relative level of bondage without realising it. Part of the reason why the men’s rights movement is screaming is that the men in it have come to sense that they had bought into an ideological system of bondage — and misery loves company, so they cannot stand that many women have used feminist awareness to make themselves comparatively free. I have a troll on my site who screams and screams and screams. It’s bondage. But the bondage is internalised and what can you do?

    One of the things bondage does it to paralyse us so that others can easily flick a switch to trigger the punishment centres of our minds. The only way to reclaim control over one’s own mind is to never allow the total effects of this feeling of punishment to paralyse you. I mean this is quite a literal sense. If you are feeling paralysed, you need to DO something (not just think something). In particular, if you are feeling paralysed, you need to do something aggressive. And the aggressivity you express should be much more than mere reaction. You need to claim something out there in the world for yourself. It can be anything. The point is to ACT (and not just to think or feel about it). It is by acting that you undo the paralysing effect that can make you a victim of oppression and of masochistic impulses.

  2. “Some people settle for a relative level of bondage without realising it.”

    This is why genuineness is considered a weakness. But it amazes me that I was accused of denial.

    “One of the things bondage does it to paralyse us so that others can easily flick a switch to trigger the punishment centres of our minds. The only way to reclaim control over one’s own mind is to never allow the total effects of this feeling of punishment to paralyse you.”

    That was the Reeducation training: stop and feel it! Action was “running away.” But you are right.

  3. P.S. I hope your troll isn’t anyone I know!

  4. This is why genuineness is considered a weakness. But it amazes me that I was accused of denial.

    It shouldn’t be considered weakness, but I think it relates directly to the notion of thanatos that Freud built into his system. You know, the older you get the more resigned you get, as rigamortis starts to find its way into your system to prepare you for the great journey of ceasing to exist.

    But somehow, in this equation, at least as I read it, thanatos is made equivalent to maturity, unless I am mistaken. But I need to reread Freud. Maybe this is off track. (The Freudian professor tells me I am always off track, but I think this is just a way of keeping me off-scent.)

  5. No the troll belongs to Hattie. It is her embryo. The poor thing. Flung into a gutter.

  6. “Flung into a gutter”-Ha!

    This music is perfect for dancing in my kitchen, thank you!

  7. Off scent rather than off track, I am sure you are right!

    Rigor mortis, thanatos instinct, maturity – I’m sure you’re right. Genuineness as youthfulness, lack of wisdom. It sounds very very familiar, that is to say, it explains the behavior of many authorities!

  8. Pingback: It must be possible « Uncertainty

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