The tenth component of spiritual health is authenticity and the cardinal sin # 10 is phoniness and pretentiousness The spiritual practice to mitigate phoniness and pretentiousness is regularly doing a life review and continually being attuned to God’s will.
If you ask most people, “What makes you tick?” not only can’t they tell you, but they don’t even have a way of thinking about it, let alone answering the question. Socrates taught that an unexamined life is not worth living. How many people do you know live examined lives?
An excellent spiritual practice is two fold. First performing a regular life review which could be done daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, semiannually, and annually. It also is a good idea to have another person to report the results of your review to such as a trusted friend, a counselor, a pastor, one’s life partner, a sponsor. Secondly, it is helpful to attune ourselves to what we, deep down in our hearts, believe is God’s will for us. By “God” we are referring to the Higher Power, or transcendent ground of existence.
In order to live an authentic life, we must be alert to and on guard against the fake and the phoney pretentiousness of the ego. Our materialistic culture tempts us continually with objects and experiences that we are promised will enhance our egos so that we can experience happiness. We come to realize that these promises of the ego, the idols the ego encourages us to worship, are false promises. What truly makes us peaceful and blissful is the experience of the authentic, the genuine, the sincere, the honest, what some call, “the real deal.”
A person said when she moved to California that when people would greet her with “Hi, how are doin”? She would reply with “Keepin it real.” Keepin it real is a spiritual practice of being mindful by examining our functioning and then attuning ourselves to what we believe is God’s will for us. As St. Paul wrote in his letter to the Corinthians, “If God is with you, who can be against you?” Indeed you and God are a dynamic duo.