What does it mean to live an authentic life and why is it so important for our spiritual growth? It’s very difficult to live authentically and it takes so much moral fortitude that few of us really know what it means to live such a life and fewer still have the courage to live it. But the rewards are many and great, though mostly unseen by others.
Did you know that authenticity is one of the requirements in Yoga? Not many people know that in the Ashtanga Yoga of Patanjali, authenticity is one of the five restraints or yamas listed in the second pada.
Usually satya is translated as truthfulness. But satya literally means “to exist in truth.” Many Sanskrit experts translate this as “authenticity.” From a practical standpoint when navigating the world’s challenges, satya is – expressing the truth that dwells within you courageously.
Expressing and living in the truth is far more difficult than we could guess. The main reason for this is that we must acknowledge that living from the truth will cause others great angst.
When we learn to listen to the small still voice of truth within us, guiding us in everything we say and do our moral compass will never waiver. Others will perceive this as an unbending or rigid demeanor and they will be threatened by our independence and unwillingness to compromise.
Learning to live unapologetically truthful means we must develop an intrepid attitude towards people and the world as they attempt to force us into their model of social appropriateness. But the truth is that spirit is unconcerned about what the masses think is appropriate. It does not care if we are rich or poor. It does not care if we dress according to the latest fashion trend or drive a particular brand of car.
The Divine that dwells within us will only speak to us about our highest good and any belief that it tells us otherwise is erroneous. The choice we have as awakening spiritual aspirants is whether or not we will listen to the voice indwelling and then follow its directives – This is living authentically.
Living an authentic life doesn’t mean we are living “our truth.” That usually means that we want to stand out in a crowd and make a spectacle of ourselves. This is little more than ego balm, a desperate attempt to be seen by the world when instead we should attempt to see the reality behind the world.
There is no such thing as “our truth.” We cannot own the truth. The truth is that which is so universally. The truth is that the same spirit indwells all living creatures guides us in all ways homeward making us once again “Pillars in the Temple of God.” (Rev: 3:12)
To live authentically is to live a brave and spiritually inspired life.
Thank you for this powerful and clear explanation. Your writings are helpful in keeping me on the path to liberation.