A Manifesto of Authenticity

So being stuck at Denver International on a long, long layover brings thoughts and a blog.

Enter Jay Kay and the acid-jazz ensemble Jamiraquai:

_____

Ok, if you need help (and you probably will), let me lay down the lyrics…

Oh yeah, what we’re living in (let me tell ya)
It’s a wonder man can eat at all
When things are big that should be small
Who can tell what magic spells we’ll be doing for us
And I’m giving all my love to this world
Only to be told
I can’t see
I can’t breathe
No more will we be
And nothing’s going to change the way we live
Cos’ we can always take but never give
And now that things are changing for the worse,
See, its a crazy world we’re living in
And I just can’t see that half of us immersed in sin
Is all we have to give these –

Futures made of virtual insanity now
Always seem to, be govern’d by this love we have
For useless, twisting, our new technology
Oh, now there is no sound – for we all live underground

And I’m thinking what a mess we’re in
Hard to know where to begin
If I could slip the sickly ties that earthly man has made
And now every mother, can choose the colour
Of her child
That’s not nature’s way
Well that’s what they said yesterday
There’s nothing left to do but pray
I think it’s time I found a new religion
Waoh – it’s so insane
To synthesize another strain
There’s something in these
Futures that we have to be told.

Futures made of virtual insanity – now
Always seem to, be govern’d by this love we have
For useless, twisting, our new technology
Oh, now there is no sound – for we all live underground

Now there is no sound
If we all live underground
And now it’s virtual insanity
Forget your virtual reality
Oh, there’s nothing so bad.
I know yeah

Of this virtual insanity, we’re livin in.
Has got to change, yeah
Things, will never be the same.
And I can’t go on
While we’re livin’ in oh, oh virtual insanity
Oh, this world, has got to change
Cos I just, I just can’t keep going on, it was virtual.
Virtual insanity that we’re livin’ in, that we’re livin’ in
That virtual insanity is what it is

Futures made of virtual insanity – now
Always seem to, be govern’d by this love we have
For useless, twisting, our new technology
Oh, now there is no sound – for we all live underground

So, we may or may not be living underground in the near future, but we are indeed living in a virtual insanity.  It seems to remain increasingly difficult to hang on to self, purpose, and Truth in this age of social media moving like a hurricane over the waters of culture.  Maybe others aren’t struggling and its just me.  I suppose there are countless directions to travel from this ground.  We could discuss Eco’s hyperreality, or Veblen’s conspicuous consumption, but I think I’ll share words of my mentor Kierkegaard.  Words that Joakim Garff, in Kierkegaard’s biography, “have subsequently assumed a permanent position in pretty nearly every introduction to existentialism as a sort of manifesto of authenticity.  And from a biographical point of view this entry is of great interest because it resembles the great breakthrough texts one finds in Augustine or Luther, for example.  Finally (one almost sighs), the young, eccentric man has attained clarity about his task and his destiny.”

Søren Kierkegaard

What I really need is to be clear about what I am to do, not about what I must know, except insofar as knowledge must precede every action.  It is a question of understanding my destiny, of seeing what the Diety really wants me to do.  It is a question of finding a truth that is truth for me, of finding the idea for which I am willing to live and die.  And what would it profit me if I discovered a so-called objective truth; if I worked my way through they systems of the philosophers and was able to parade them forth on demand; if I was able to demonstrate the inconsistencies within each individual circle…. — what would it profit me if I were able to expound the significance of Christianity, able to explain many individual parts, if it held no deeper significance for me and for my life? ….What would it profit me if the the truth stood before me, cold and naked, not caring whether I acknowledged it or not, calling forth an anguished shudder rather than confident submission?  I will certainly not deny that I still believe in the validity of an imperative of knowledge that has an influence upon men, but nonetheless must become a living part of me, and this  is what I now understand to be the heart of the matter.  It is for this my soul thirsts, as the deserts of Africa thirst for water.
-SK

Can you imagine having this much clarity at 20 years old?  I almost can’t imagine ever having this kind of lucidity regarding life, at any age.  It calls us to not only believe in something, but live in a peculiar way…living changed.  If we don’t put it into practice than what’s the point of believing in it?

I really do believe this is only getting harder as we go along.  So many things are becoming ambiguous.  Are we capable of saying a statement like “It is a question of finding a truth that is truth for me, of finding the idea for which I am willing to live and die.”  I’m not so sure anymore.  Oh, there are a few who would, and bless them, for they are noble people, but even what the word nobility means is being ‘leveled’ and obscured.  Sometimes it feels like everything is confused now and noisy.

Besides having an amazing top hat, Jay Kay said it pretty well:  “…its a crazy world we’re living in And I just can’t see that half of us immersed in sin Is all we have to give…”

So…in the end, I want to believe that finally (one almost sighs), the young, eccentric man has attained clarity about his task and his destiny.
More to Give.
More to Be.
To Love, because… I must.

Advertisements

One thought on “A Manifesto of Authenticity

  1. Compelled to answer Kierkegaard with Kierkegaard:

    “Father in Heaven! You have loved us first, help us never to forget that You are love so that this sure conviction might triumph in our hearts over the seduction of the world, over the inquietude of the soul, over the anxiety of the future, over the fright of the past, over the distress of the moment. But grant also that this conviction might discipline our soul so that our heart might remain faithful and sincere in the love which we bear to all those whom You have commanded us to love as we love ourselves…”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s