Wednesday, May 18, 2016

What Does An Authenticist Look Like?

America is in great need of principle-centered authenticists
In today's post, I describe the character and characteristics of an authentic man or woman freed from the shackles of postmodernism and pre-structuralism.

Freedom Focused did not invent authenticism, nor are we the first to develop authentic men or women.

Authenticists have always existed.  Their presence and power has been more populous and potent in various places at various junctures of human history than at others.

When they have thrived and governed, peace and prosperity have flourished.  Where they have atrophied and diminished, bondage, poverty, and war have compounded.  In principle, it really is that simple, and in practice, it is precisely that difficult.  While many examples of authenticism and its fruits can be mined from the pages of history, in the aggregate of history it has been the exception rather than the rule.

One of the things I love about poetry is its capacity to teach true principles and laud noble practices exhibited by men and women of sterling and noble character.  Authentic poets throughout history have recognized the pedagogical value of verse and used it to inculcate worthy ideas into the minds of their readers.  In more recent times, postmodern poets have sought to eradicate authentic ideals from their poems, preferring instead to wallow away into black holes of academic pontification that are as practically useless and spiritually vapid as they are intellectually complex.

William Wordsworth
1770-1850
British Poet Laureate
One of the greatest, and most authentic, poets in the history of the English Language—William Wordsworth—once said:

"Every great poet is a teacher; I wish either to be considered as a teacher or as nothing."  


This is one of the reasons I see myself first as a pedagogue, and only afterwards as a poet, historian, and philosopher.  In the end, the value of poetry is largely superficial and fleeting if it does not teach readers something useful to the advancement of their existence.

Wordsworth himself taught the world about authenticism—and what an "authenticist" is—in the early nineteenth century (1806) when he blithely described the character of "The Happy Warrior."

Who is the happy Warrior?  Who is he
That every man in arms should wish to be?...


Authenticists are the Happy Warriors of the twenty-first century.  The purpose of this post is to delineate in lucid, contemporary prose the characteristics of an authentic man or woman—as Freedom Focused defines them.  Following this explication, I will reprint Wordsworth's timeless poem, whereby you can obtain further insight into the kind of self-action leaders that Freedom Focused is developing and then sending out into the world to represent the Golden Mean in a concerted effort to conquer the forces of postmodernism and pre-structuralism.

So... what exactly is an authenticist?

First and foremost, an authenticist is honest, real, and true.  But s/he is more than that.  An authenticist understands the reality of absolute truth which exists independent of and beyond his or her own existence.  Most importantly, s/he comprehends the Existential Duty s/he has to align his/her behavior with Universal Laws for the long-term well being of him or herself as well as ALL other human and animate beings, and the planet itself, which s/he inevitably influences.

Authenticists are fundamentally principle-centered and proactive.  They are goal oriented, hard working, driven visionaries, yet simultaneously easy-going, pleasant-to-be-around, well-balanced realists.

The authentic man or woman comprehends the Existential Equality of all human beings.  As such, s/he will be found treating a server or bus boy with the same kindness and respect s/he would extend to a celebrity or high-ranking officer or dignitary.  S/he is consistent in the treatment of others in all of his or her social interactions.  In the words of Kipling, authenticists can "walk with crowds and keep their virtue" and "walk with kings—nor lose the common touch."

Authenticists avoid gossip and social cliques like the plague.  Any life advantage that takes unfair advantage of anyone else is a disadvantage to an authenticist.

Authenticists embrace an Abundance Mentality (Covey).  In their eyes, the successes and victories of others do not diminish oneself.  To the contrary, they add to one's own existential portfolio—especially if s/he played a role in another's success.  A mature authenticist is never jealous of another—and always grateful for one's own countless and ceaseless blessings.

Like a sharpened rapier,
an authenticist cuts to the
quick of problems & deception
The authentic man or woman learns from the past, plans and prepares for the future, but lives only in the present.  S/he does not let past grievances unduly penetrate the pathways of the present, nor does s/he allow them to foil the fast flowing freeways of the future.

S/he is quite human, and therefore experiences all of the natural, negative emotions native to mankind; nevertheless, s/he disallows those emotions to rule his or her spirit.  S/he is truly sovereign over her responses to everything that occurs beyond his or her immediate control.

Authenticists are optimistic realists.  They are both profoundly pragmatic and vigorously visionary.  They persistently shoot for the moon while consistently recognizing they may or may not ever actually get there in this life.  Cognizant of the multitude of variables outside of one's own control, an authenticist's primary purpose is not to reach the moon at any cost, but to die knowing that s/he did everything s/he could to reach the moon and beyond despite whatever circumstances s/he happened to be placed in this world.  While an authenticist doesn't always die having accomplished all of one's goals, s/he always dies without regrets—having left "everything s/he had on the track."

Authenticists find existential crabs to be pesky, annoying, craven creatures.  They seek to escape their clutches and weaken their grasp as quickly and completely as possible.  They understand that Existential Growth is worth more than any material good, tangible service, or amount of money.  Like Socrates, they desire light, knowledge, growth, and wisdom as ardently as they crave air, water, food, and sex.

Authenticists know what the and their target is.
Just as importantly, they possess the skill
to get the arrow to the bullseye.
The authentic man or woman is a thinker, a planner, a doer, and a builder.  S/he is continually a part of the solution to problems in his or her personal life or beyond.

A fundamentally conscience-driven being, s/he is more concerned with knowing and doing what is right than s/he is in being right or in winning an argument.  Regardless how s/he may feel toward other human beings, s/he is continuously interested in the welfare of ALL human beings.  As such, s/he treats ALL others with justice and equity, taking into account the other person's potential for Existential Growth.

Authenticists are quick to recognize and acknowledge shortcomings, sins, and weaknesses in themselves, but are slow to point them out in others.  They are by no means blind to the shortfalls of their fellows, but consciously choose to spend most of their time and energy dedicated to the art of appreciative inquiry.  As such, they are "hearty in their approbation and lavish in their praise" [2] of others whenever and wherever such commendation is merited.

Authenticists seek to build others up.  Knowing full well that "no man is an island", a victory for someone else is seen by an authenticist as a victory for self—something to be celebrated with as much enthusiasm as any self victory.  Authenticists recognize that in the end, their own worth is a reflection of the worth of those they helped, taught, lifted, encouraged, and served.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
1807-1882
Comprehending the words of Longfellow, an authentic woman or man understands the value of every function in human life, and thereby avoids jealousy of another's position, station, achievements, or wealth.

Nothing useless is, or low;
Each thing in its place is best;
And what seems but idle show
Strengthens and supports the rest. [3]


An authenticist lives an active and vigorous LIFE inspired by Longfellow's Psalm on the Subject [4].

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
   Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
   And things are not what they seem.
 Life is real!  Life is earnest!
   And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
   Was not spoken of the soul. 
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
   Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
   Find us farther than to-day. ... 
In the world's broad field of battle,
   In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
   Be a hero in the strife! 
Trust no future, howe'er pleasant!
   Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,—act in the living Present!
   Hear within, and God o'erhead! 
Lives of great men all remind us
   We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
   Footprints on the sands of time;— 
Footprints, that perhaps another,
   Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
   Seeing, shall take heart again. 
Let us, then, be up and doing,
   With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
   Learn to labour and to wait. [4a]

William Shakespeare
1564-1616
Author of Hamlet
In addition to Longfellow's Psalm of Life, authenticists view as scripture the words of Polonius to his son, Laertes, disregarding the irony in Polonius' character to take his insightful counsel at face value: 
See thou character.—Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any unproportion'd thought his act.
Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;
But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
of each new-hatched, unfledged comrade. Beware
Of entrance to a quarrel; but being in,
Bear't that the opposed may beware of thee.
Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice:
Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment.
Costly thy habit as they purse can buy,
But not expressed in fancy; rich, not gaudy:
For the apparel oft proclaims the man.
Neither a borrower nor a lender be,
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man. [5]


Alice Cary
1820-1871
Authentic men and women are noble in the truest sense of the word.  They recognizing the great truths and aspire towards the noble ideals captured so eloquently Alice Cary's poetic pen:

True worth is in being, not seeming,—
   In doing, each day that goes by,
Some little good—not in dreaming
   Of great things to do by and by.
For whatever men say in their blindness,
   And spite of the fancies of youth,
There's nothing so kingly as kindness,
   And nothing so royal as truth. ... 
We cannot make bargains for blisses,
   Nor catch them like fishes in nets;
And sometimes the thing our life misses,
   Helps more than the thing which it gets.
For good lieth not in pursuing,
   Nor gaining of great nor of small,
But just in the doing, and doing
   As we would be done by, is all.   
Through envy, through malice, through hating,
   Against the world, early and late,
No jot of our courage abating—
   Our part is to work and to wait.
And slight is the sting of his trouble
   Whose winnings are less than his worth;
For he who is honest is noble,
   Whatever his fortunes or birth. [6]

An authenticist knows who she is.  She is eager to make the
most of her life and serve others in the process.
Authentic men and women are willing to sacrifice what they want now on the altar of what they want most in the long run.  They recognize that sacrifice itself is merely a temporary acquiescence of the mind, body, and soul to principle in exchange for "a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" [7] in the future.

Authenticists have always existed—even though they are generally in the minority in a given populace.  In today's world so dominated by pre-structuralist and postmodern ideologies and acolytes, they are increasingly an endangered species.  When you meet one, it really makes an impression because s/he is such an anomaly among his or her fellow citizens.

While postmodern and pre-structuralist forces dominate our present world, we at Freedom Focused do not believe this will always be the case.  Indeed, we hold out hope for, and remain confident that, in a generation or two, the world may boast a population of authenticists that will cause historians to peer back at our present age as being one of the most pathetic and troubled in American and World history.  As such, citizens of all races, religions, cultures, et cetera born hereafter will give thanks that they inhabited the planet after the bitter years of rancor, debauchery, deception, and defeat that presaged international calamities and predated forthcoming years of peace and prosperity made possible by the rise of authenticists in the Occident and beyond.

In next week's post, I will paint a literary picture of the cultural, racial, political, commercial, and religious landscape that can potentially rise in the midst of a nation and world committed to authentic principles and practices.  Spoiler alert: the picture is a salient contrast to the images we presently see all around us; it provides what the Spanish call an Hermosa Vista (beautiful view).

Wordsworth Lake District Home in Cumbria, England.
In the meantime—as promised—I present to you the poetic portion of this post's authentic literary duet, compliments of that august English bard, William Wordsworth.


Character of the Happy Warrior

By: William Wordsworth

Who is the happy Warrior? Who is he
That every man in arms should wish to be?
—It is the generous Spirit, who, when brought
Among the tasks of real life, hath wrought
Upon the plan that pleased his boyish thought:
Whose high endeavours are an inward light
That makes the path before him always bright:
Who, with a natural instinct to discern
What knowledge can perform, is diligent to
          learn;
Abides by this resolve, and stops not there,
But makes his moral being his prime care;
Who, doomed to go in company with Pain,
And Fear, and Bloodshed, miserable train!
Turns his necessity to glorious gain;
In face of these doth exercise a power
Which is our human nature's highest dower;
Controls them and subdues, transmutes, be-
          reaves
Of their bad influence, and their good receives:
By objects, which might force the soul to abate
Her feeling, rendered more compassionate;
Is placable—because occasions rise
So often that demand such sacrifice;
More skilful in self-knowledge, even more pure,
As tempted more; more able to endure,
As more exposed to suffering and distress;
Thence, also, more alive to tenderness.
—'Tis he whose law is reason; who depends
Upon that law as on the best of friends;
Whence, in a state where men are tempted still
To evil for a guard against worse ill,
And what in quality or act is best
Doth seldom on a right foundation rest,
He labours good on good to fix, and owes
To virtue every triumph that he knows:
—Who, if he rise to station of command,
Rises by open means; and there will stand
On honorable terms, or else retire,
And in himself possess his own desire;
Who comprehends his trust, and to the same
Keeps faithful with a singleness of aim;
And therefore does not stoop, nor lie in wait
For wealth, or honours, or for worldly state;
Whom they must follow; on whose head must
            fall,
Like showers of manna, if they come at all:
Whose powers shed round him in the common
            strife,
Or mild concerns of ordinary life,
A constant influence, a peculiar grace;
But who, if he be called upon to face
Some awful moment to which Heaven has
            joined
Great issues, good or bad for human kind,
Is happy as a Lover; and attired
With sudden brightness, like a Man inspired;
And, through the heat of conflict, keeps the law
In calmness made, and sees what he foresaw;
Or if an unexpected call succeed,
Come when it will, is equal to the need:
—He who, though thus endued as with a
          sense
And faculty for storm and turbulence,
Is yet a Soul whose master-bias leans
To homefelt pleasures and to gentle scenes;
Sweet images! which, whereso'er he be,
Are at his heart; and such fidelity
It is his darling passion to approve;
More brave for this, that he hath much to
          love:—
'Tis, finally, the Man, who, lifted high,
Conspicuous object in a Nation's eye
Or left unthought-of in obscurity,—
Who, with a toward or untoward lot,
Prosperous or adverse, to his wish or not—
Plays, in the many games of life, that one
Where what he most doth value must be
           won:
Whom neither shape of danger can dismay,
Nor thought of tender happiness betray;
Who, not content that former worth stand
          fast,
Looks forward, persevering to the last,
From well to better, daily self-surpast:
Who, whether praise of him must walk the
          earth
For ever, and to noble deeds give birth,
Or he must fall, to sleep without his fame,
And leave a dead unprofitable name—
Finds comfort in himself and in his cause;
And, while the mortal mist is gathering, draws
His breath in confidence of Heaven's applause:
This is the happy Warrior; this is He
That every Man in arms should wish to be. [1]

Published in 1806        

Notes:  

[1] Wordsworth, W.  1893.  The Poetical Works of William WordsworthVolume 4.  Edited by Edward Dowden.  The Aldine Edition of the English Poets.  p. 228-230.  Google Books edition. URL: https://books.google.com/booksid=AhPwN14f5v0C&pg=PA228&dq=happy+warrior+by+wordsworth&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjttP2Ekt_MAhVH2MKHWNdAaoQ6AEIMzAE#v=onepage&q=happy%20warrior%20by%20wordsworth&f=false  


If you liked this article and would like to read other, similar articles, click on links below to read similar, recent posts on corresponding topics.

An American Bible and the Dangers of Presentism

Truths, Facts, and Predictions: A Freedom Focused Vision of the Future

Postmodernists vs. Authenticists: An Existential Comparison

TRUMP v. CLINTON: Americans are Getting the Leadership They Deserve

The Paradox of War and How to Prepare for Coming Conflicts

The VISION and MISSION of Freedom Focused

To learn more about pre-structuralism, click HERE

To learn more about postmodernism, click HERE 

To learn more about the AGE of AUTHENTICISM destined to replace both, Click HERE


Notes:

1. A reference to a comment in a speech delivered by Winston Churchill and broadcasted by the BBC on May 19, 1940 during the Battle of France (9 days after Nazi forces invaded France's eastern border).

2. Quote from Charles Schwab as reprinted in Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People.  

3. Second stanza in Longfellow's poem, The Builders.

4. Click HERE to read Longfellow's poem, A Psalm of Life.  

4a. Longfellow, H. W. (1912). From A Psalm of Life in The Poetical Works of Longfellow. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Page 3.

5. From Hamlet, Act 1, Scene III.

6. Reprinted from Ames, M.C., Ed. (1874). The Last Poems of Alice and Phoebe Cary. New York, NY: Hurd and Houghton. Pages 72-73.

7. 2 Corinthians 4:17 (The New Testament)




God Bless the United States of America—a blessed land of promise—now, and always.

Click HERE to buy a copy of Dr. Jordan Jensen's new book, Self-Action Leadership: The Key to Personal, Professional, & Global Freedom.

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NoteFreedom Focused is a non-partisan, for-profit, educational corporation. As such, we do not endorse or embrace political figures. We do, however, comment from time-to-time on historical or political events that provide pedagogical backdrops to illuminating principles contained in the SAL Theory & Model.


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