Discuss the meaning of the quote:  Authenticity is achieved in self-transcendence, and consistent self-transcendence is reached only by conversion.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The quote stresses the fundamental need to accept a traditionalist notion of the spiritual good.  The idea of "authenticity" refers to a basic notion of purity, something that is above entrance into the realm of sin and the domain of transgression.  This allows the individual to enter a realm whereby the "self" is transcended into another spiritual plain.  At the same time, the quote implies that the most ardent form of transcendence of self can only come from an embrace of an established and organized religion.  The suggestion here is that if an individual seeks to make authenticity a way of life in the form of transcendence, religious conversion has to be adopted and a sense of alignment with one's own sense of self with the institution of religion is essential.  The "internalization of the belief system" becomes vitally important in achieving this notion of self- realization and ensuring that the "authenticity" embraced is a consistent one that will continue to follow the path of transcendence and not one of disregard or dismissiveness.  The quote operates on one level as an espousing of individual spirituality and then on the other level as embracing an organized religion.

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