Quaker Universalist Conversations


By Rachel Stacy

Robin Mohr wrote last Wednesday about authenticity. Her simple, authentic prayer guided me into a place of wonder and so today’s word is authenticity. (See http://robinmsf.blogspot.com/)

I use the word “authentic” to describe how I want to live my life, but what does that mean? An authentic band poster or an authentic coin is something that is original; it came from where it says it came; it’s not a copy. Does that describe how I am trying to live?

The first definition I found when searching described authenticity as the “truthfulness of origins, attributions, commitments, sincerity, devotion, and intentions.” However, the next definition fit more into the definition for which I was looking and described authenticity with regards to philosophy: “In philosophy, the conscious self is seen as coming to terms with being in a material world and with encountering external forces, pressures and influences which are very different from, and other than, itself.

Authenticity is the degree to which one is true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character, despite these pressures.” Who are you despite the external forces, pressures and influences of the world? Who am I? Who are we? Are we who we think we are? How we act? What we believe?

The following poem arose in reflection to these questions:


Be all that you can be.

Do it.

Just Do it.

Slogans that tell us to be, to do,

To buy?

 To sell?

 To kill?

Nike was first a winged angel,

And the peaceful warrior stands on the front lines.

 Be all that you can be.

Just Do it.

Live into the edge,

Live into your being

Live into the Spirit

Inquire inside.

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