Finding your Authentic Self, Your Best Self

After reading and enjoying Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art, I wanted to read some of his fiction to get a sense of the ends behind the means. I had read his writings on fighting insidious Resistance, but what did the end product of it look like? Pressfield wrote about creating art on an almost spiritual level, what type of work was produced there?

The Legend of Bagger Vance is nothing short of spiritual itself. The book appears to have more depth than I’m ready to understand at the moment. Like the game of golf it covers, my first time with it can be enjoyable but it has further layers to explore. One thing that stuck out, was the idea of finding our authentic self, our true self, our best self.

What if, in the vastness of the cosmos, in the realms and depths and nooks we can’t see or understand, there is an energy that presents our futures before they happen?

Let me try to be precise, for this is exceptionally important. Jones [a golfer] waggled now and set himself over the ball. I saw his swing before he swung it. Much like seeing Hagen’s putt before it rolled. But it was not a single swing, as if predetermined; rather it was a number of swings, I would guess a hundred, two hundred, all vibrating simultaneously in Jones’ field, as if in alternative futures. Possible futures. They were all recognizably Jones’ swing. But some were duffs, tops, skulls, and so on. Bad swings.

Our actions have any possible numbers of outcomes, all of them buzzing around us in the moment we are in.

I could see Jones’ will search among those swings, like you or I would hunt through a file drawer for a patient’s chart. Jones seemed to settle. To still himself. The auroras surrounding him consolidated. The bad swings fell away, evaporating like a dream; colors intensified around the swings he had intentioned, until there were only half a dozen very closely arrayed swings remaining.

It’s a work of fiction for sure, but Pressfield writes in a historically rich tone that it seems like it could have happened.  The idea of alternative selves also falls within the idea of different characters, that we choose the character to be.

Whenever I read consecutive works by the same author I start thinking through their filter. If nothing else, let one of your future selves check out either of the books.


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