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In Search of Authentic Being

Café-Salon Philosophique #61

June 3, 2000

No. of Participants: 8

Topic for Discussion: "In Search of Authentic Being."

Samuel welcomed one and all to the Café gathering. The topic chosen for the evening's discussion was, "In Search of Authentic Being. "

Samuel asked participants to "think about what authenticity means to them."

Damien says authenticity is, "knowing." "Knowing a person, knowing your self." "Having a typical style, friends, or behavior." Jack wondered, "What is the purpose of being authentic anyway?" "There are as many definitions as there are words for authenticity." "You'll get a different answer every time because everyone thinks differently." "Are people born with authenticity, or is it learned?" asked Samuel.

"Little kids are more genuine and authentic than adults," said Jack. "They know how to be playful, use their imaginations, and not have a care in the world.""And, kids tend to lose this genuineness after age 7 when they become more exposed to the outside world through such organizations as school and church," added Samuel.

We learn to place values on the accumulation of material goods, to stay "busy" with "extracurricular" activities, compete for money, power, and "high positions" in life. As the mass majority, we go along with whatever marketing, advertising, or the mass media feeds us.

We accept mediocrity as "the norm" in all phases of living. It seems as though "fine quality craftsmanship" is not important anymore, either in our work, nor in what we purchase.

Values have shifted from taking pride and care in all that we do to one of "quantity rather than quality." The advancement of the Internet and technology has made this possible. When the demand for specific products becomes great, good intentions to deliver quality products sometimes gives way to the almighty dollar.

Companies that at one time might have focused on a few products, now all of a sudden are "adding new lines or products" for "profit." The "original" product line becomes lost in the mainstream. Pressure is added by greedy investors, marketeers, and advertisers to produce more. Media hype adds to this mass hysteria.

Talking about this "media hype" reminded Sherif of a TV ad which he has seen numerous times on TV for Coke which features an Einstein character trying to figure out how to work the pop machine. A little girl comes along and says, "duh" and pushes the button. It really bothered him how Coke twisted the "genius" of Einstein to make him look like a real "dummy."

Marketeers are mentally "deranged." They will try to sell you anything even if it "poisons you or could possibly kill you." added Samuel.

It is hard to tune out advertisement when you are constantly bombarded visually and auditorily by newspapers, books, TV, radio, stores, the internet, outdoor signs, etc. Everywhere you go, symbols and slogans flash before your eyes. Trying to tune this out can be difficult.

Sherif wondered, "How can we change this world of consumerism and materialism?"

"Through the power of choice." "We all have the power of choice of what to buy or not buy," says Samuel. The problem is, most people are influenced by what other people think and do. No body wants "someone else to get ahead of them, or they do not want to be left behind." Where is this craziness taking us? Why do we allow this "franchising craziness" to continue?

Next question, "If there is the possibility to cheat without getting caught, do you think a person would cheat?"

Everyone agreed that people probably would. And in the world of today, we know that this is an every day occurrence, from the kid who takes the candy to the corrupt government official.

The group then "bounced" to discussing how outside sources want to do the thinking for you!

Environmentalists will try and tell you "the Earth is being drained of all of her natural resources." For example, they will tell you that there is not enough water. Duh, how much of our Earth is covered by water? Why with our "brilliant" scientists and modern technology, have we not invented cost effective ways for tapping into other sources of water such as the ocean?

Religions are a form of escape from thinking for your self. Many religious forms want you to escape through being in "nonmoving" meditation or by practicing "out of the body" experiences.

Some religions will suppress your natural being by preaching "fire and brimstone," "hell and damnation" so as to make you feel guilty for even being lively. One learns to fear God, the self and to be suspicious of others. Some common religious flowery phrases are, "God is love," "Be here now," "Enjoy the moment,""Embrace the new world, etc."

Sherif asked, "How can we change this mass hypnosis and inherent conditioning in one's culture?" "One has to change their way of thinking," says Samuel. "Swim against the current." "Think and do the opposite of what every one else is doing." "Be your self," says Damien.

"Evolution on this planet is occurring at the pace of the turtle." "Not many are soaring high like the eagle." "This has to do with one's level of consciousness," said Samuel.

Too many of us are still asleep. We don't know how, or are unwilling to learn how to expand our intelligence. We remain satisfied with using only a "miniscule" part of our brain. We choose to stay ignorant about our "selves," and the human body, rather than discover new things.

"Can we maintain our authenticity as humans in this fast-pace world of technology?" Not if we continue "to fight" over, have the need to "conquer" and "compete" for everything. We are not maintaining an interest in authenticity or originality.

One possibility for regaining authenticity, would be to shift our way of thinking. Establish new ways of thinking and being. Become "new value producers." Engage and activate one's own original ideas and creativity to change limited thinking and create new, meaningful values.

The rise of consumerism and materialism, has destroyed important, core values such as parenting, families and community.

Again, the greed for "big and better," "more," "the good life," has destroyed important values. Money, money, money is the important thing, not human relations. The stock options, mutual funds, vacationing, second homes become "priorities."

"Busy-ness" in all activities is more important than our relationships with other family members, neighbors, friends, co-workers.

So, where are we heading, this human race? What are we doing? What are we accomplishing? What are the possibilities?

Do you know what you do as a person can have a rippling effect on others? Have you ever watched throwing a rock into the water and how it sends out the rippling waves? Our actions as a person can have an effect on those around us. If we stay healthy, dare to be ourselves, and work towards becoming a better human, then in turn, those around you just might do the same. Wouldn't that be nice? Then we could all laugh out of existence "the craziness of this world" from the "land of the fools."

Our next Café meeting will be held June 17, 2000 at the Boulder Bookstore located at 1107 Pearl St. in Boulder, CO. Start time is 6:30 p.m.

Please come with an interesting and new topic. Invite your friends! Hope to see you there!

Reported by Alessandra:

"Samuel brings awareness to the soul of people and gives the artists who work under his direction the need, dedication, and love for the world of silence and the beautiful art of movement."

 

- Marcel Marceau, BIP 1961

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About LCDS

LCDS is an independent school for self-discovery through the human Arts.  The school offers seminars and workshops teaching the concepts of Theater, Mime, and Movement.