Most Important Desire

Last week, as I wrote the post “Protopia Futures,” I wanted to look up the origin of the word pronoia. This led me to Rob Brezsny’s website, which led me to sign up for his newsletter.

Rob Brezsny is an astrologer and a poet. I used to read his column in the local alt-weekly in the 1990s. I always enjoyed his horoscopes for their joyful spark and enthusiastic embrace of the human experience, but once I moved away from that alt-weekly, I rarely went out of my way to read his work.

This week’s newsletter included the following:

“Jubilant Pronoia Therapy

“Experiments and exercises in becoming a sublimely kind, wildly intelligent, gracefully imaginative Master of lucid affection

“1. Write the following on a piece of red paper and keep it under your pillow.

“I, [put your name here], do solemnly swear on this day, [put date here], that I will devote myself for a period of seven days to learning my most important desire. No other thought will be more uppermost in my mind. No other concern will divert me from tracking down every clue that might assist me in my drive to ascertain the one experience in this world that deserves my brilliant passion above all others.”

“My most important desire…”. Since I seem to be on a search for some spiritual salve to soothe my midlife work blues, it crossed my mind to spend seven days reflecting/meditating on my most important desire.

Then I moved onto the next email, the next webpage, the next work project and forgot about it.

Today in my RSS feed is the following article: “What the new science of authenticity says about discovering your true self.”

Science of authenticity, eh? I didn’t know there was a science of authenticity!

Which led me to a research article titled “State Authenticity.”

“In what situations do people experience state (in)authenticity? Experiences of state authenticity—as judged by independent raters—co-occur with fun, success, returning to familiar people or places, spending time with close others (i.e., hanging out), helping others, and being creative. Conversely, experiences of state inauthenticity—also as judged by raters—co-occur with responding to a difficult situation, being evaluated, being socially incompetent, feeling isolated, conforming to or failing social expectancies, and feeling unwell.”

Hmmm. I like all those authentic states and dislike those inauthentic states. Perhaps I DO want to lead a more authentic life. What if my most important desire is to become more aligned with the authentic me?

As I started down the rabbit-hole of learning about state vs. trait authenticity it occurred to me to pause a moment and reflect on what I was reading. Perhaps even apply some of what I was reading to my own life. I decided to lean into Brezsny’s therapeutic contract instead of forgetting about it.

For seven days (including this post) I’m posting about authenticity, realness, and important desires.

(100 Days of Blogging: Post 059 of 100)

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