Monday, March 5, 2012


True Authenticity.

"A freedom which is interested only in denying freedom must be denied. And it is not true that the recognition of the freedom of others limits my own freedom: to be free is not to have the power to do anything you like; it is to be able to surpass the given toward an open future; the existence of others as a freedom defines my situation and is even the condition of my own freedom. I am oppressed if I am thrown into prison, but not if I am kept from throwing my neighbor into prison." 
— Simone de Beauvoir (The Ethics Of Ambiguity)

A true existentialist knows the difference between inauthentic and authentic. And a true existentialist does not condemn another. To live an inauthentic life is to allow your life to be guided by external factors such as the material world, the people within it, and ultimately fear of "what might happen" if you continue to persevere as influenced by the opinions of others. I choose to write as my own choice. Others can draw and develop their own opinions. It can be left where it stands as I do not need permission or validation to continue to pursue my goal.

"Give in to your true nature."

A creative perseveres as a choice. Honestly, any person does. How you live is a choice. The inauthentic life is one driven by a desire to obtain that which is unnecessary and to manipulate others as a result of that instead of pursuing a goal, this includes the condemnation of another. An authentic life is that of an creative spirit, one who is unconcerned with the values or dreams of others but concerned with following their true path according to their spirit. Not for fame or power or control. But to pursue their dream rather than conforming to the external values of those set by society or those who wish to stomp out that spirit. It is sheer arrogance to try to control another person or put out their fire because it does not match your own. That spirit does not want to. One can not be made to be jealous of what they do not want. An authentic is one who lives by the needs of their own inner being instead of what another person dictates.

I've discussed this lack of true spirit previously in two separate entries. One - "the inauthentic life" and Two "Sleep 29" On both occasions I had been wrestling with one thought and one thought alone: Can I continue to create as I choose while being hindered by external factors? I can. Because I can deny my true nature and resist the desire to create or give into it. My true spirit urges me to create and so I do. I do not worry for the opinions of others, especially those who carry the words of outright hypocrisy.

The Cold War was based on a type of narrow-minded attitude. A race to outgun the other side because they might destroy us first. There is plenty to go around if people pursue it without attacking others. People must continue. Strive for original thought without the narrow-minded hypocritical arrogance to believe that something else can't exist as well. To better demonstrate, think in terms of science and medicine. What if there is a creation, slightly different but the same as another created? One can not flaw that either exists. Because they do. Suppose that one cures AIDS while another can cure Cancer. Both were intended for different purposes, and yet they make significant and important outcomes. Does that make one contribution to society any less unique? Hardly, yet the truth in all lies in what is perceived. 

"It's not what you see, it is how you see it."

The existentialist philosophy encourages people to think for themselves. And not only think but to live for themselves. Letting no one or anything stand in the way of what they are doing. No one has the right to make anyone feel inferior without their own choosing. True authenticity is not to follow the dogma of another or get caught up in the pursuit of material. People will always have their opinions and that is truly valid as those opinions shape how they think and feel about the world. The purpose of living is to freely explore what is around you as by whatever means you choose. This is why a person in jail feels the pain of denial. The longing for true freedom. I've been in a cage before and stood within the grasp of freedom. The desire, the call to experience is all you can taste and you never lose hope. Your spirit urges that you must take every opportunity to explore and experience life. So you do.

Why? Exploration is what it means to be alive to an existentialist. Often in writing I straddle the fine line of creating and living. Exploration and experience are mandatory in any aspect of creation. In writing there are few things I have created without my own experience to draw from. This logic extends to the pieces involving the darker elements, (serial killers, murders, etc) as they are harder to press into. I love, have love, been loved, had love and will continue to love yet I've never killed nor do I plan to. There is a fine line in creation that I've discussed in my darker inventions. Nearly three or more odd years ago I'd dreamed of artwork made of bodily fluids, (blood, saliva, etc) yet never saw it's creation in the modern era until this year. To see such a display was interesting. Does it mean my dream was any less valid because another person created it and I did not? That is for you to decide. I know my own opinions and values.

Yet I will say... Homage and being someone's inspiration is not the same as outright complete artistic theft.  It exists and a creative must choose to move past it. There are people in this world that feel differently and they will take your work if you let them. I've learned this from my own experience dabbling in design work, written work and art work. It's happened more in design work than I care to indulge you with. But ah, the artist code, is like that of a pirate... and life is an inspiration. Especially in pop culture where everything is up for grabs. But to inspire another person well it's an interesting thing, and you can't really be upset if you don't care. What I know... if it wasn't a good idea, no one would want to use in the first place. I read a story about Gary Larson, who draws the Far Side making a parody of Jane Goodall. Her estate was always up in arms over the matter but I as far as I know Jane found the pieces to be amusing. Its amazing but she later wrote the preface to one of Larson's collections. So sometimes not everything is what it seems. If you want to see a mountain, a mountain shall exist.

But on the flip side of that coin... Seeing others lose artwork, like their photos, paintings and how it is cannibalized by someone doing no work at all is terrible. Cropping or removing a tag, signature on someone's work doesn't make it yours. Homage to the REAL thing by creating your own ORIGINAL thing IS art. Stealing not imitation is a rather shitty way of doing things but that's how it is. I will say you must choose what you share in this world cause it isn't exclusive.

Fame or not... Everything in this world including you as a person is target for others to prey on, yet it does not mean you give up living. Truly is all creativity is on borrowed time? Inspiration in the eye of the beholder? The same things can be said about life and how you live yours. Knowing the awful things are out there, should not stop anyone from living their dream passionately and authentically and sharing that dream with others. Whether that life is spent saving lives, writing magazine articles, designing technology indoors, putting out fires, reading books for a living, making art or etc. Any and all of that is your choice. How you see things is up to you.

"In pursuing the lie of illusion... it impossible to experience the truth ... As a result everything of value was lost." - Huburt Selby Jr.

An authentic life is one lived by your own terms and that of no one else. It is holding your own values as developed by your experience. It is setting a goal and following through with it. Whether that pursuit makes you money, fame or grants you power makes no difference. [Yet those things are lovely.] It is in making the decision for yourself whether it is the wrong one or not to do something that is freedom. Not allowing anything or person to influence your life in a way that denies what you passionately love to do. There is no mountain unless you see one. The moment it seems impossible to continue is the same moment it is most possible to keep going. 


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