There are two modes of living. Each is important and the first depends on the second and the second depends on the first. They are intertwined and inseparable from life as a totality, yet each represents a distinct kind of living experience. In this respect, both are meaningful, but the first distinguishes itself by being ultimately or absolutely meaningful while the second is at most ordinarily useful. A person may live only in the second way and not achieve his human potentiality for the first. Such a person has not lived. The first is a sign of genuine life, thus we can call it authentic; by way of contrast, the second we will call non-authentic.

Authenticity is a term we use to describe the rich and effortless meaningful experiences, experiences of Being. Experiences of Being are the natural and self-justifying kind of living experiences of delight which fulfill the I who lives. Experiences of Being are a direct involvement with reality of God in the world around us. The involvement is a special kind of involvement for it reaches through itself and touches the physical and spiritual worlds. The I who involves himself in this way is not an ordinary everyday I, but he is an I who is open to the existence of God's world. He receives and accepts the world and its situations as God's world. In the experience he is not concerned about the abstract, but rather with the concrete reality as he possesses it; he gives to it and it gives to him. As he gives to it, he is giving to God. As it gives to him, God is giving to him. He is sensitive to the world and knows its goodness, for its goodness is God's goodness.

Authenticity is always personal, arising from the depths of human interaction. Thus when we speak of authenticity, we speak of the authenticity of the I using the first person pronoun as the name.

The fundamental character of authenticity is its individual genuineness and trueness. It is in authenticity that I realizes and manifests his own identity. From an outsider's point of view, we look toward I and say he chooses himself by acting authentically, that is, from all the potential actions, I actuates what he is through the action.

In experiences of identity, I feels he becomes I as I really is. His expression is an expression of the deepest most essential aspect of himself. I reaches his maximum potential during that moment. I apprehends that he has had a peak experience; his reflective consciousness realizes that there has been a complete unity with respect to the way it interacts with I's apprehending unreflective consciousness. Everything which has characterized the interpretations and judgments of the interactions previously is perceived by the apprehending consciousness as being now characteristic of the experience of identity. I finds himself and I steps out to claim the action as his. I experiences a direct involvement with reality. I experiences a direct involvement with God.

The experience of direct involvement with reality and direct involvement with God can be likened to the relationship between the self and life-space. The self includes not only the physical body of I, but the entire organization of his feelings and percepts. It includes all his physical, emotional, mental and spiritual dimensions. The self understands I's identity in terms of the life-space in which I moves about. Life-space encompasses more than the physical and social environment described by the objective observer; it includes all knowledge, memories, attitudes, feelings and emotions of the individual. The life-space is the spiritual and psychic living region. Identity as the experience of direct involvement with reality means that I's present actions and feelings in actual reality correspond perfectly to I's life-space.

Being authentic means that the I is, in such a way, that I is in accord with his own human and essential spiritual nature. He is true to himself. He is true to God. The I transcends the condition and habit from his actions and the actions become an individual self expression, an expression from his soul; it is not the action which is authentic, but the I acting with freedom who is authentic.

From I's outer point of view, I lives in a neutral or even uncaring world; this world is the outer reality, the reality I must face. Ultimately I is alone in this reality. The ways and people of the world try to push him around; he is influenced to do and think things in a way which is alien to him. I feels his own integrity questioned. Should he stand there and let the world do with him as it wants? Should the world make him another peg in society's complex structure?

Or will he become distinctive by stepping out and claiming himself as an unique I, true and authentic, not having to face reality, but being reality. When I is reality, I is authentic. The reality that I is when I is authentic is the reality of God.

What does it mean for an authentic I to claim himself? Every authentic I claims himself by turning the staleness of the present into a living freshness, a freshness that is associated with the closeness of God. He transcends what he is, transcends his previous understanding, transcends his previous judgments, striving above his status to be come reborn as the non-judgmental man he truly is. He claims himself by claiming his Godly self.

I is authentic by full-heartedness and affirmation. This internal affirmation comes as an expression of I's character and personality which is over and above mere rational acceptance and acknowledgement. The affirmation comes from I's inwardness which is in effect stating:

This action is me, one for which I stand. This action is an expression of my soul.

Every authentic I is free. To be free means to do what one intends to do acting spontaneously. I does not submit himself to the environmental influences around him. I, as an individual, chooses his action by sincere full-hearted acting. I wills his acts and I does not feel restrained under some external authority. Rather, I affirms his will and feels inner strength. I feels this inner strength as his freedom.

Spontaneity refers to a quality of action. An act is spontaneous when I acts effortlessly in a non-action -- when I does without doing and then affirms and reaffirms and reclaims the act. The initial affirmation occurs in a jump. First it was absent, then all of a sudden it is there. Later, the affirmation can grow in depth by reaffirming the act again. When I acts with his whole heart, sincerely, but not a forced sincerity, when I puts himself into the action, when I reveals for what he himself stands through the action, when I partakes in the livid concreteness with his whole self, when I acts with his entire being, the act is spontaneous.

I's spontaneous actions are an expression which radiate from the center of his personal existence, his inner self, character, and inwardness. I lives freely by: actively relating to the world, living productively, and reaching his potential. I fully participates in his act and both the act and the I become dynamic and creative. The act becomes an expression of the character of the I and thus fulfills the I.

In order to be free and authentic, I must be sensitive to life. Sensitivity means that somehow each additional circumstance and situation in which I is, in some way changes him. A sensitive person has an expanding intensive consciousness of his environment. He can distinguish each change and in some way the difference matters to him. This expanding consciousness is in effect an expanding consciousness of God in the world. For the authentic I, the consciousness of God in the world that I had yesterday is not sufficient for today.

This quality of self change with each additional nuance of experience means that I continually apprehends his world. When I's consciousness reflects upon his past experiences, it seeks a comprehension of the world and his reflective conscious acts of understanding continually progress. I is open to existence and always is becoming. For the authentic I, this constant state of becoming parallels the name of God which can be translated as {\it I will be as I become}.

Openness to existence means keeping freshness in everyday living. To live one must be a fresh flower nodding its head in the wind. Openness might be compared with the approach which people use in creative problem-solving situations. If I acts only on past learning and conventional ways of doing things, some problems will never get solved. If I does not have the past experience of solving problems, I will be severely handicapped by complete lack of method and routine although his attempted solutions might very well be novel efforts. The creative I has infused his past experience into a general understanding in which new ways of approach and organization can easily develop. I has balanced his past learning with the newness of the present unique situation. Similarly the creative I, by being open to his existence, keeps a fresh attitude toward life and I becomes sensitive to all essential parts of life. Thus I's understanding continually expands; his life-space enlarges, and his individual world becomes deeply fulfilling.

Openness does not mean living in a new, different or novel way; frequently the best way to act or live is in a way which the I has previously acted. In such a case I's openness becomes repetition; I acts as he has acted before; however, the acting or doing is not merely mechanical doing-again, but it is a doing which is just as alive and dynamic as the first doing. In repetition I affirms the doing that had been done before. In repetition I keeps if not expands his full-heartedness, affirmation and appreciative passion towards that with which he became involved.

The authentic I's action is whole, complete and one. When the action is truly harmonious, it is entirely complete, that is, when the action is finished I can look back and say:

Everything which happened and everything that I did could not have happened better; the absence or addition of any minute detail would have destroyed its perfectness.

In general, nothing can be added or subtracted without radically changing the oneness of the action, which is really a oneness with God.

The authentic I is the I who wears no mask, the I who lives deeper than his surface. He is I who is I in truth and sincerity. He is: I who is shielded by no armor, I who can feel and express feeling, I who does not try to force other people to be different than who they are, I who does not try to force other people to act differently than how they act. The authentic I is an I who is receptive to give himself and to receive others. To receive others means to be able to affirm and accept the other's expressions and actions as expressions of who they are. It is such a complete receptiveness that even when the other acts in a way or expresses a feeling that I did not expect or would have initially preferred to be different, I transcends. I receives it, I touches it, and I loves it.

The authentic I is an I who appears naked and open before God and thus an I who can communicate with Thou, whether Thou be God, people, the world or life itself.

For the authentic I, oneness, freedom, spontaneity, involvement, and intimacy are inextricably tied together. The unity in the purposive direction is the unity with God. The movement along the purposive direction is experienced as freedom. The successful travel and fulfillment of the purpose is the experience of authenticity. The form of the action is its spontaneity. The guiding force of the action is in I's involvement with it. The action is intimate. It is an expression of I in the realm of Truth.

The I who is non-authentic, is at best, non-authentic in the face of necessity. Eating, sleeping, and working are all necessary for the physical and psychical health of the individual. These actions can be done authentically and non-authentically. The I who goes about eating, sleeping or working in order to keep at the minimal level of aliveness is not authentic. The I who goes to work merely in order to earn money so that he has a roof over his head, food in his refrigerator, and a little for some pleasure is barely living. He misses the essence of Godly life. Seemingly this kind of I is concerned for his welfare, but in actuality his own welfare has been forgotten. His doing does not make him any more of a person; his doing at best keeps the status quo. He is not reborn or re-alivened through his action. He is just barely living.

The lattice structure of the world, the traditions, customs, culture, and conventions of society give everything a certain order. This is the framework of living which provides a basic necessity of life. But today, because our age is so complex sociologically, politically, and technologically, people become so involved in the lattice intricacies -- the everyday routine of living and role playing -- that spirituality is hidden from them.

One plane of non-authenticity is superficialness. The superficial is an outright denial of the I's individualness. I makes himself be what he essentially is not. Superficialness is the first characteristic of bad faith. If authenticity is characterized by being and becoming oneself and non-authenticity by not truly Being, then superficialness is characterized by being what one is not. It is a cover which surrounds and conceals the I preventing any direct complete contact with the reality of God in the other.

Another plane of non-authenticity is the commonplace, the trivial. Here living has been leveled down to such an extent that all purpose has been lost. The existence of the commonplace is boring. It is like the gossip or talkativeness at a party or at the lunch table in which nothing is really said. It is speech which speaks because time is on hand and there is nothing else to do. The trivial passes the time away and the I keeps from being bored by occupying himself with the trivial. Frequently the I who lives most of his life in the commonplace will have a world-view similar to the aesthete in the first volume of Kierkegaard's Either Or. In the rotation method, unless the aesthete frequently changes one commonplaceness for another, his life becomes boring. This is liking sitting in front of the TV and constantly switching channels.

One example of a commonplace situation where a necessary act is done but it is done inauthentically is one where I might place a key in a lock and turn the key which then opens the door. When the door is opened, I's concern and dealing with the lock are concluded. In fact, getting inside the locked door may be so important that I forgets and leaves the key in the lock. The key and lock were only important in that they led to some other action; they had no meaning for I in itself.

Contrasted to this, if we look at a child who has just been given a key for a lock, we might notice the child repeatedly opening and closing the lock just for the sake of seeing the lock open when the key is turned. There is no other action towards which his curiosity and fascination with the lock leads. The is similar to the curious teenager or adult who is fascinated by taking things apart such as telephones, computers, disk drives, etc.

A locksmith who is fixing a lock may be authentic in his fixing of the lock. In authenticity, he is completely involved with the lock. He is completely attentive to it. His actions of fixing it is an expression of himself. However, the locksmith may also be inauthentic in his fixing of the lock. He is working in order to earn wages. He uses his talent just to fix the lock; otherwise he has no interest in it. This is the average kind of action one finds in everyday life.

The basic quality of existence in God's world is genuiness. I may look at the moon. The moon is more than moon. The moon takes on a quality of beauty. The beauty is an attractiveness that draws I to it and keeps I drawn in it. Once the moon is looked at in this authentic way, I does not want to take his eyes off the moon. I feels for the moon. And I feels the moon feels for him. There is an intimacy that the outside observer cannot understand. The moon has become a Thou for the I.

I may wash a car. I is taking action upon a thing. I is doing to it. If I is authentic in this action, then I is not a separate I dwelling in a particular place in space, but I is intrinsically linked with the action washing and the object acted upon, the car. Similarly, the washing is associated with the I as the I washing rather than you, he she, or the machine washing, and washing the car rather than washing the floor, the clothes or the sidewalk. The car is not something parked out by the sidewalk sitting alone on the street, but is is parked on the street in close proximity to the I and touches the I as the I touches it in the action washing.

The experience of the authentic I in washing the car is not felt as the linkage of two entities, one of which is acting upon the other. For the I washing the car is not the same I who might drive the car or who bought the car. The I washing the car is intimately associated with washing the car and nothing else. The action washing the car becomes part of the I; the washing the car and the I become identified with each other in such a way that the I equals washing the car. We can ask:

Who is the I?

We hear the answer:

I is the one washing the car.

The I is the action and the action is the I.

A situation as the one represented above would commonly be described as the I is full-heartedly washing the car. I throws himself into the act and becomes part of it. I does what he wants to do as I wants to do it. The I is harmonious in the action. There is no conflict, no anxiety, and no work. When the action is completed, I feels good for having acted. I affirms himself and the action as having belonged together.

No amount of planning ahead could have enabled I to act with such a harmonious integration in the act. I had to be himself and act spontaneously every instant as I washes the car. The washing the car is an exercise of I's freedom. I may have had all kinds of influences which could tend to make him wash the car, but in authenticity, I is the last and only cause of his action. By authenticity, I is free and independent.

I full-heartedly washes the car; he directs himself completely to washing the car. I participates directly in washing the car. The action to him is more than the act of washing the car. I involves himself in washing the car; the action has great meaning for him. I cares about the car and cleans it. He uses the soap and water with diligence, carefully removing every trace of dirt from the car. As I washes the car, he does not think of anything, the past, the present, or the future. I washes the car in the livid concreteness of the present. I passionately washes the car; he feels washing the car, thus, he is washing the car.

Time as the clock reckons it has no place in I's action. I may take as long a five hours to wash the car, yet I may feel it as only five minutes. Through directing his consciousness so completely on washing the car, I is conscious only of washing the car. The duration which I perceives is an inverse measure of the emotional intensity and attentiveness of his consciousness. I intensely concentrates on washing the car; he endures one event -- washing the car -- and that being so with such great involvement, he feels he endures only a moment.

I is sensitive to the car. He apprehends every means and nuance of appearance. I is open to everything the car gives to him. He very keenly perceives the bare presence of the car. Without this sharpness and sensitivity the presence of the car would be hidden. I would see the car as a car, but just as any car which belongs to I. However, when I is open enough to receive the car, when I is sensitive to the car, the car takes on a unique character. I calls the car she:

Her engine purrs as smooth as you will every hear.
I looks at the washed car and sees every bit of its metal skin perfectly shine and reflect the light falling upon it. I starts the car, rather he starts her up and from those initial grumblings of the engine, I can tell if all the spark plugs are firing and whether the carburetor or timing is adjusted properly. The engine grinds and starts and the slightest noise I recognizes as the worn valves or weak springs etc. I drives her and knows how the car will sound and perform over any kind of road. I knows the inner nature of the car and what he can expect from it. I knows and understand the car.

The meaning of understanding and knowing implies uniting and relating in a reasonable and sensible way that which is sensed and perceived. The understanding may have been conditioned through previous cogitation and rationalization, but the present understanding is immediately apparent as the recognition of a color.

Understanding means to understand things in a particular order or a particular context. The order in which the world is understood is not inherently given in the world. For the outer world is as it is and works exactly as God has made it to be. It is I as he tries to understand it, to comprehend what already is, who sets up his ordered system, his coordinate system in which he can classify and categorize and judge. I creates his own context. I creates his own order. The order which I perceives the world as having is really the order which I himself created as being. The order is a direct reflection of how I understands himself, what he is, what his world is, and how God acts in the world. The extent to which he does understand the order he creates and the extent to which this order has a correspondence to the way the world works, he will act effectively in his environment. Ineffective behavior shows lack of such understanding.

Understanding is not a relative process: either I understands a given order or he does not understand. When I does not understand a given order, he cannot look at the given world and order it in the way in which someone else has. Understanding or knowing is not objective; that which can be abstracted from understanding is, but then because the abstraction is an abstraction, unless I himself can existentially relate to the world as the abstraction describes, I will not truly understand the abstraction. The abstraction is a reference to understanding; it is a means of communicating and is not something which is immediately felt.

I tries to understand the world. His understanding culminates in an ordered set of judgments upon the things and ways of the world. Those things which are in harmony with his understanding of himself he values. The values are an abstract representation of his understanding of his structure as a person. In the abstract these values are that for which I stands. I affirms them as he continually re-grasps and re-judges them again to be of value. I finds he loves anything in the world which exemplifies these values.

In each situation that I is in, I can make a judgment whether that situation is for him or against him, that is whether it is consistent with his values or not consistent with his values. In judgment, I cannot be authentic. Judgment puts I in the past. There is no transcendence in judgment. Judgement is judgement of good and evil. Only authenticity puts I in the present with an acceptance and affirmation of the situation.

When I understands the world and accepts and affirms it, he can love the world as the world is. This kind of loving has been described in mystic feelings. Peak moments of love are very similar to two kinds of mystic feelings: oneness or identification with reality by feeling or being everything which the consciousness perceives and the other being a peak distinctive affirmation of reality. In the first I so completely affirms, accepts, and assimilates himself into his environment that he feels himself inseparable from it. I becomes the not-self which I is. I loses himself in the world. The second mystic feeling is opposite the first. Instead of I apprehending reality through assimilation, I distinguishes himself from the world. The chair in which I lost himself in the first feeling of love remains a chair. I realizes it as a chair with its own unique beauty and foundation in the all-encompassing groundlessness of life. In both cases the feelings are of love.

In I's relationship with the car, I can understand the car; I can reach out to touch the car, the relationship borders on intimacy, but it can never truly be fully intimate. The car will never show understanding of I; the car will never return any of I's feeling in an observable way. The relationship can go only so far. The car can never sustain I in I's aloneness. It is close relationships with others, others who can be an I too, that fully completes Life.

The authenticity that I finds with another I is similar to I's authentic relation to things; the difference is that there can be two active participants in the relation. The relationship is a primary one and is characterized by a shared intimacy.

From I's inauthentic point of view, life in the midst of the world is a cold structure. For example in the business world, the structure is capability, successfulness in making money and objectiveness in judging situations of profit. These criteria impregnate society. People do not want to express feeling because feeling is sensitivity, weakness. So they begin to tolerate hurt, in fact, they can become indifferent to it. They harden their hearts and soon begin not even to feel hurt. This is society's criteria for strength. Only coldness, hardness, insensibility and insensitivity are in the midst of the world.

I knows his authenticity. He knows his heart is warm and gentle. He knows his heart is full of love. And he knows that this love can be tended and cared for by other people, other authentic Is. For this to happen there must be closeness and this closeness is intimacy. In the midst of the world, there is no intimacy, but in transcendence of the midst of the world, I can leap in and participate in the intimate human experience.

Intimacy is a relation of love. Love can be between two particular people; however, it is not exclusive involving only two people at any one time, but inclusive in being part of the totality of the personality and character of the I who loves.

In love between two people, two people give, share and identify with each other whether in a relation of friendship or romantic love. They trust each other perfectly and completely. Neither would do anything to hurt the other. And if one appears to do something that had the possibility to be regarded as negative to the other, the other would not even think of making such an judgment. The two people recognize each other as human people -- imperfect -- yet dignified in beautifulness and wonderfulness. They realize each other as a separate unique distinct I and they understand through active acceptance of each other's shortcomings, they affirm each other for what they are and forgive each other for what they are not. Whatever the two do together, they enhance the activity just by being present and taking part with each other. They live unto each other in a world of feeling and intimacy. They share and communicate, care and be concerned for, listen and forgive, affect and thus be affected, trust and are trusted. In this sense they are one with each other; they are harmonious.

But this oneness in intimacy is not oneness. Intimacy contains privacy for each I individually. Two people do not share everything. Intimacy involves identification, but not such a complete identification that the two become one person; the two remain two. Just as the I, who washes the car, and touches the car, can never become the car, so the I in intimacy remains integral to himself. With intimacy, each I is not alone.

The I in intimacy is sensitive. He is open for whatever the intimacy brings and can recognize its meaning. He can respond and answer his intimate friend's needs because he is sensitive to them. The relationship is dynamic and each I rides the waves of the world up and down in the intimate interaction.

The closest and most developed form of intimacy is the intimacy of two lovers. Here the intimacy encompasses life commitment. Both people affirm each other so completely that they can live with each other in the world. This affirmation is the affirmation of the kind of person the beloved is. I loves knowing that the person he loves lives a meaningful life. I loves with admiration and respect she who has playfulness, purity, innocence, and intellect. I takes pride in her personal character, and character we know, exemplifies individual life values. The relationship is dynamic and each I rides the waves of the world up and down in the intimate embrace.

I's affection is his total affirmation and acceptance and trust in his beloved. His affirmation is unconditional. I loves his beloved for what she is as well as for what she is not. The unconditional affirmation includes unconditional forgiving. I can fully accept and affirm she who is lacking. Though there may be differences at times, these differences are overcome through the trust and playfulness in the relationship. When the lovers are able to maintain their authenticity, they experience an indescribable delight, an indescribable transcendence. For each lifts the other higher and higher, closer and closer they come to God.