The Search for Authenticity and Satori

My book, “see my book
and this blog, address the search for personal authenticity amidst a sea of “scripts” that seek to deflect and influence us. Trying to fend off these influences and find one’s own true self is our goal. The modern formats of the search for authenticity are often in the form of books like mine.

Yet, I have recently begun to think back on the decades when Zen Buddhism was discovered by the Human Potential Movement in the 60’s and 70’s. Zen sought Enlightenment also and that moment of enlightened self-discovery was called “satori”. Achieving satori was on a high mountain but worth the climb. Satori and finding one’s authentic self, I believe, are one in the same thing. One is an Eastern articulation and the other, Western.

The process toward satori in Zen is expressed in very Eastern and mystical terms. For example, a teacher or mentor in this process might ask “the seeker” odd or puzzling riddles and when answered “incorrectly” would administer a strong cuff upon the student’s body….followed by more riddles. Whereas, in our more Western search for Enlightenment or Satori, we are prone to a more didactic guide-book approach.

Different paths, but a similar goal. I would urge any readers of this blog or my book to also access the rubrics and teachings of Zen and the search for Satori: parallel and augmenting avenues to Authenticity. Eastern or Western, the route may be different but the goal is the same: To find the true self amidst the detritus of life, achieve Enlightenment, and prosper.



2 thoughts on “The Search for Authenticity and Satori

  1. This is very deep and very interesting. I am always intrigued by the buddhist belief: “If someone came up to you and said he was the Buddha, what should you do?” The answer is “Kill him.” The premise e i think is that if anyone was so self important to say they were the Buddha they shouldn’t live because the real Buddha would never say he was the Buddha.. or something along those lines. How do you think this relates to the search for Authentic Self..or does it?


    1. I can’t say I’ve heard that anecdote…but I do believe that the Buddhist search for “enlightenment” is much the same as my “search for authenticity”. Satori was very popular in the 60’s and 70’s when the “guru’s” and their flocks were seeking meaning beyond the haze of pot. I haven’t heard the word in many years. But regardless of the word choice, the search for personal fulfillment and truth is always a quest. Thanks for your continued intelligent comments on my posts.


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