Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

The Cult of Authenticity: Multiple Personality Edition

June 17th, 2017 by Zen

Ponder this:

“Consider the musical ‘Grease’, where Sandy sheds her goody-goody persona to become a leather-clad, pelvis-thrusting bad girl. Surely all this smokiness and gyration is Sandy. But just as surely, this is a performance designed to gain the approval of her peers, not the ‘real’ Sandy.”

The case of Sandy is highlighted in a review paper by Nina Strohminger and colleagues at Yale University on the concept of the ‘true self’, not just in relation to people with DID but to anyone at all.

Or, suggests Strohminger, consider the case of a man who’s very religious and has homosexual impulses. “His religion prohibits him from acting on [them]… so every day he’s fighting them,” she explains. “Who is the real person? Is it the person who is resisting the homosexual impulses, or the person who has them?”

The answer, she’s found, is that it depends who you ask. “When you ask liberals, they say, ‘Oh, it’s the person with homosexual impulses.’ But ask conservative people and they say, ‘It’s the part of him that wants to resist these impulses.’ It all boils down to what you value. If you think it’s okay to be gay, you’re not going to see anything wrong with those deeper impulses.”

This is a great article in the BBC on Disassocative Identity Disorder or in other words, Multiple Personalities.  

I liked it, because it brings to great clarity, the question of being authentic, when you have multiple things to be authentic to. While this is obvious for these people, it is also true for us. All of us have a choice to be true to the Natural Man inside of us, or to the Reborn self. A question of authenticity ( for those of us without major mental disorders) is really just a matter of priorities.

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June 17th, 2017 22:28:09

June 18, 2017

BWV 31 – “Der Himmel lacht! die Erde jubilieret”
6. Arie
Adam muß in uns verwesen,
Soll der neue Mensch genesen,
Der nach Gott geschaffen ist.
Du mußt geistlich auferstehen
Und aus Sündengräbern gehen,
Wenn du Christi Gliedmaß bist.

English translation:
6. Aria
Adam must decay in us,
so the new person can be born,
who is created in God’s image.
You must be resurrected spiritually
and go forth from the tombs of sin,
if you are one of Christ’s members.

Bach Cantata Translations

Listen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0BehdNfiRE

June 18, 2017

I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, the notion that we are at war with ourselves is a very old Christian notion with a lot of evidence to back it. On the other hand, I see a danger in trying to distance ourselves from our sins by creating a straw-man version of ourselves on which to pin those sins, which can then be burned in effigy with no real loss to ourselves.

June 18, 2017

Oh, tosh.

June 18, 2017

A strawman approach would be detrimental, I agree, but that certainly isn’t what I intended. I think the question should be, which aspects of myself is it important I am authentic to? When push comes to shove, which things are optional and which are mandatory? Which parts of myself do I let die, and which parts do I nourish?

This life is primarily a day of choosing. The Cult of Authenticity suggests there is no choice – only their choice, and you must be authentic to that.

In contrast, I would like to emphasize we have a choices to make, and if we put God first, other things will either fall out of our lives, or fall into their proper place in our lives. But they will fall correctly.

John Mansfield
June 19, 2017

“Grease” is a peculiar case to use to illustrate authenticity. Mark Steyn had it right when he wrote, “You’re aware that there’s really no ‘Danny’ or ‘Sandy’, but it’s fun to watch John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John pretending to be them.” The only actor in the movie portraying a character was Stockard Channing.

June 20, 2017

I’ve been thinking this for a long time, though. There’s so much praise for “authenticity.” But authentic to what? The side of me that has faith is just as real as the side that sometimes doubts. If we’re only allowed to call “authentic” that which we ALWAYS FEEL, then none of us would have any authentic character at all! To me, it seems clear that I need to hold on to whichever part of me desires to become like Christ–and call that “the real me”, no matter how small or weak that part is at any given time.

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