My knowledge and my ignorance are also part of representing myself authentically. Authentically representing your ignorance is saying, “Well, I really don’t know”. Being willing to say “I don’t know” without feeling that it’s undermining your reputation, your status, or your ego, is definitely part of this.
So we are trying to be truthful. Truth is alignment between what is stated or presented and what is real. We are trying to align with what’s real. We are trying to act on the basis of what’s real. What’s real of course includes the factual material reality, but also the social reality and the consciousness reality. Who we are is part of what’s real – and we are trying to operate in congruence with reality. So the more we all show up as who we are and speak and act as who we are, the more we are able to collectively generate collective alignment with what is actually going on.
In order to take into account what needs to be taken into account to generate broad long-term benefits, we need to understand what’s needed for all the people and groups involved. What do they need? What do we need? We all need to be able to put that forward. And also we need to know what the situation requires: What dynamics do we need to be mindful of as we go about trying to generate broad benefits? We need to know what’s real – what’s actually here in this situation we are facing and what’s available to us as resources.
To the extent we represent ourselves fully to each other, we find out there are many things people have to offer – the gifts they bring, the capacities they have, shareable possessions, etc. We can think, “Oh, they have a tool that I need that I didn’t even know was anywhere in my network. I was going to buy one.” Well, you can use one free just by borrowing Sam’s when he’s not using it. Being open about ourselves in our lives usually reveals many resources we were not aware of.
This pattern is especially about us being real in present time: Here’s how I am now. I may have been different five minutes ago, five months ago, five years ago, but this is how I am now. To the extent people persist in being authentic as conditions change, information is constantly available from the group that helps them all be real.
You may suddenly see something you didn’t notice before, but you withhold it because you don’t want to upset the apple cart. But then you realize that it may be very important to upset the apple cart because the cart is going the wrong direction. Or we are supposed to have pears in the cart instead of apples.
The story of the Emperor’s New Clothes is a great example. The Emperor is naked because he’s been led to believe that the clothes these charlatans are selling him are magical and that anybody who has ill will won’t be able to see the clothes. Everybody’s trying to act like they’re all good people so they pretend they actually see the clothes even though they don’t. Then this kid who sees that there are no clothes – because he’s a kid looking through honest kid’s eyes – says, “Why is the emperor all naked?” He is being authentic. The other people are not. The whole kingdom realizes they are being foolish.