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One Authentic Self

The three of us work in a nondescript suburban department store. Manager, stock-boy, and human resource guy. I’m the HR dude.

The manager considers himself quite smart and keen of insight, although, being headless, his judgments are based on assumptions, rumors, and misfiring neurons, rather than on objective facts. After all, he has no brain. This despite his insistence that, as manager with his own tiny office and steel desk, he is the epitome of objectivity and logic. He declares with certitude that the stock-boy is perverted, vile, disgusting, unredeemable, a pedophile, a liar and a thief. This he broadcasts over the company loudspeakers on a regular basis. The truth, however, is that he is lying. He is making up nefarious slander. The kid’s a bit wild, but far from a sociopath. Where did this manager get all his moralistic judgmentalism? Perhaps in church, or from his parents, I don’t know. Whatever the source, he’s quite hard on the lad.

The stock-boy is the object of the manager’s accusations. Each day at work, he hears his alleged sins broadcast to everyone in the store over the loudspeakers. Unlike the manager, he has a face and a head, but he doesn’t always use the latter. He pursues intimacy, longs for connectedness, wants to recapture a long-lost warmth, taking others by the hand and dancing with abandonment. Songs and streamers, hors d'oeuvres and fine wines, laughter … much laughter. Hot cars and motorcycles roaring, rock music blaring. Now, the quiet moon, the soft touch, the gentle sex, the exploding orgasms and warm arms. Tomorrow, at work, the manager will know somehow, will exaggerate, and will relentlessly condemn. The manager sees him as recalcitrant and incorrigible. He’s not, although he needs to learn balance and moderation.

I embody humankind’s collective unconscious. I am Reality. I am Psyche. My job is not just to bring these two fellows together – to tell the first to back off and the second to use a bit more discretion. It’s not simply a task of mediation – sitting down with both and trying to hash out a compromise. My job is to quite literally fuse the three of us into one person.

It’s like stirring milk and sugar into a cup of tea – one must stir until all is one, homogenized, amalgamated. Air is a blend of oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, argon, and neon, yet it is air. It is one thing. Similarly, my job is to so unite the manager, stock-boy and myself so that there is no longer a distinction. From we three, I am tasked with forming one. E pluribus unum. This involves all three of us being willing to give up part of ourselves and embrace the others openly and compassionately.

I’m not bragging, just stating a fact, when I say I’m not the problem. Authenticity is my middle name. The manager has to get off his high horse, get out of his little office, let loose, and cut a rug once in a while. He needs to learn how to celebrate and have fun.

The stock-boy must rein in his joy riding, drive more safely, date fewer girls, surf less than daily, and spend some time working. He mustn’t give up all his fun and work 24/7; he needs to learn moderation.

The problem, as you may imagine, is that neither wants to give up who they are. Dying to self is neither rational nor fun. The store manager wrongly thinks his identity is MANAGER. The kid wrongly thinks his core identity is PLAYER. It’s the same old story. I see so many people who see themselves as what they do or achieve or accumulate, rather than who they authentically are.

Still, I remain optimistic.

All three of us will eventually merge.

Supervisor. Adventurer. Shadow.

Now One Authentic Self.

I hope.

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