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Authenticity: some lessons

authenticité

It is your mask that allows you to express your authenticity.

What Batman and Superman teach us

Who are you really? That piece of tie that hangs around your neck or that person who transcends when they play sports.

When we think of superheroes like Batman, we often think that their true nature is found when they take off their suit or drop their mask. Are you sure? Isn’t Bruce Wayne just the polished cover of Batman? Is Bruce Wayne the Batman or is it the other way around?

Authenticity and conformity

We put on a mask of conformity to blend in. Often, it is anonymity or any other form of mask that reveals who we really are. Are Internet haters (or trolls) really the wise and compliant people they appear to be most of the time in real life? Or is it the other way around, these people with their harmless and gentle appearances hide their true nature behind the conformity imposed on them by society?

Once freed from the constraint, they show themselves in their true light. The same goes for those who behave properly in their country because of the harshness of the law. Once they get rid of these coercive laws by going to live in another country, they start behaving immorally because the law in that other country is less restrictive.

The alter ego helps us express our authenticity

Who are you really? Are you always the same no matter what the situation? Do you have occasions where you can step forward masked and finally act as you are?

The question of whether man’s nature is good is a difficult one to answer. Most of our actions are actually the result of fear of consequences to our reputation or freedom rather than true goodness. An actor wears the costume of the character he plays. This clothing often allows him to express ideas or emotions that he normally represses. The alter ego you may create for yourself (through clothing or any other mask you wear) is in fact often an amplified version of your true nature, like a microscope discovering the characteristics of a cell.

Being authentic is not always what you think it is. When you want to please or when you are coerced, you are usually not authentic.

Using our dark sides

Is there a way that you can access your amplified nature?

Do you have circumstances where you have to play a role, speak in front of an audience, wear a sports shirt etc.?

These special moments can help you understand what your true nature is and how to use it. Only by seeking authenticity will you develop your power. You cannot live a life outside the norm if you force yourself to the norm. By wearing this mask, you will become aware of your strength and also of your demons. The idea is not to repress your dark side but rather to harness it and make it a raw power that you control. Your demons are like electricity: depending on how you use them, they can light you up or kill you.
How to find your alter ego?

You should look for an area where you have a natural inclination or a particular talent. If you are aggressive, why not take up martial arts? They will teach you to tame that strength and make it much more effective. Wearing a kimono can play the same role as a costume in theater.

Try to meet that dark side. Are you a narcissist? Make theater your ego.

There are different ways to find authenticity

There are a thousand and one ways to find your superhero costume that will reveal your true nature. You can learn another language. Speaking a foreign language can often have the same effect as wearing an actor’s costume. You’re playing someone else, you can say things you wouldn’t say in your native language. The most common superhero costume is often people’s profession. Why do so many people devote themselves full-time to their profession? Often the answer is because it is the only place in their lives where they feel like they are themselves. People can turn out to be real dictators at work because they have been given an opportunity to be so by being appointed manager for example.

Opportunities to express one’s identity

There are hundreds of opportunities that people take to express a new and intimate part of themselves. In choosing religion, some people take on moralistic or dominant postures because of the authority of the dogmas they follow. In addition, many seek power through the opportunity to express themselves in a different light. Power and authenticity are close words in that they are interdependent.
Ultimate authenticity is free from the mask

Social constraints often force us to wear a mask to truly express our true nature. As such, knowing how to express who we are without wearing any kind of attire would be the ultimate stage of authenticity even if it seems illusory. Whatever we do, there is always a superficial layer that separates us from ourselves and the rest of the world. An ascetic wears asceticism to express who he really is, even if this identity is purified. One always wears a mask, even if it is that of simplicity or authenticity. The human brain is like that, it needs to create an ego that acts as a shield in order to let the self express itself.

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