Today I mentioned one theory I am developing/testing mentally in my mind. I talked about Finding “The Authentic Self”. The authentic self lends itself to the idea of a person who tries to be honest, credible and sincere towards oneself and others all the time. I haven’t yet had enough insights or information to formulate an entire story of what it means to find and become an Authentic Self. Some clues : to have the courage to become transparent, the courage to not conform, the courage to be wrong, the courage to try something others think is a mark of insanity.
I cannot be an Authentic Self if I lie that I doubt myself, that I hold myself back a lot of times. I once told my class, “Say something brilliant, you’re smart. Say two brilliant things/discoveries, you’re a genius. Say three, you’re a revolutionary. Say four, you’re radical. Say five, you’re an extremist. Say six, you’re psychotic. Say seven, you’re insane.”
I said what I did then based on the premise that humans at large are very conservative when it comes to change. They are struggling and shifting in their own traditions and discomfort yet they will do little or nothing to utilize the premise of their human capacity to be the change they want to see.
They will eventually reach a level, as a whole, where they really feel they have to change or face annihilation/destruction to the things they hold dearer than their own comfort. So they look for an answer, to a guru, to a master, to an inventorm, to a healer, a teacher, a leader, etc.
So whoever happens to be developing a theory of their own all along will finally get a chance to share it. The people embrace it. Change begins to happen. So, as The Joker says, you either die a hero or you be a hero long enough to die a villain.
So apparently, there must be ‘balance’. The world is not ready for people to be Authentic. The divorce between Science, Art and Spirit, first wrought upon the world by the Western world, has not been settled. To be scientific, to be intellectual, to be rational, one must not say, “Allahhuakhbar!or talk about Heaven and Hell. One must write in an ‘academic voice’ or be dismissed as “New Age” nonsense.
However, I think the works of people like the founder of Logotherapy; Viktor E. Frank,works of Maria Montessori (Absorbent Mind), Jiddu Krishnamurthi on Education and more recently, Daniel Goleman (Destructive Emotion) Howard Gardner (Existential intelligence),Daniel H. Pink (Story, Empathy)and a host of others are collectively creating a bridge to narrow the distance what it means to be INTELLECTUAL and HUMAN at the same time.
I have always felt that there must be a reason why I have been repelled from pursuing an academic route, in spite of the fact that as a child, the idea of reading/researching/writing 8-12 hours a day (or more) for a humble living, appealed to me more than anything else. For many years, my all-protective Ego told me it was because I’m not really as smart/lucky/disciplined as I think, and that is the sole reason why I am not graduating magna/summa cum laude on a prestigious scholarship. But I think I know now, why. I needed the freedom to be a story-teller. Despite the fact that my first ‘aspiration’ was to be a story teller (I must’ve been about 4 or 5 years old then) like many others, the idea of being a vesself for stories sounded ridiculous and pathetic in this material/post-modern era I’ve grown up in.
And yet, here I am, once again, in my third decade of life, revisiting the idea of playing the role of story-teller. The way I see it, there is so much information out there and a great need to be able to self-direct oneself to build the necessary scaffolding to leverage on the information/data. But academics being who they are and peer reviews being what they are, confinesacademic research and writing to a voice that is alien to non-post-grad students of their specific disciplines. The ONLY reason I can understand academic jargon on those occassions (live or recorded) academics share their work with people outside the academic circle is because one part of my ‘learning brain’ has been reserved early on to not tune out to academic language. That part of the brain was the part that wanted to have an academic route.
I now appreciate that writing ‘voice’ is distilled from an eclectic mix of dynamics that enters one life, most signficantly, the ‘voice’ of the input we receive, be it through spoken words or printed works. I can only imagine that a romance writer herself reads plenty of romance and experiences plenty of romance in real life. I can imagine a horror story writer is thrilled by folklore, mythology and superstitions. In the context of academics and researchers’ life, they cannot help but output in the same voice. Trouble now is, the people who should act on their knowledge cannot ‘hear’ them.
And in that I find comfort in the idea that I can be both ‘bookish’ and ‘story-teller’. I can be both ‘academic’ and ‘marketer’, I can be both ‘teacher’ and ‘actor’. I can have both ‘a disciplined mind’ and ‘comedic timing’.