Facebook Seminar

Authenticity means creating our own comprehensive life-meanings.
When we re-center and re-integrate our lives
around our freely-chosen purposes,
we become more focused, unified, & decisive.
We resist enculturation and attain greater autonomy.
This approach to re-structuring human life
was developed by several existential philosophers and psychologists,
especially the ones discussed in this Facebook Seminar:
Camus, Sartre, Heidegger, Kierkegaard, & Maslow.

    A short presentation of Authentic Existence appears here:
Becoming More Authentic: The Positive Side of Existentialism.

    Authenticity is more a structure than a content.
We individually must choose our basic life-goals.
But perhaps sharing with other persons
who are attempting to become more Authentic
will help us to make
the growth choices rather than the safe choices.

    This Facebook Seminar will discuss Authenticity
as it applies to our own lives.
Over a period of six weeks,
we will read and discuss the following 19 chapters.
(Chapter titles highlighted in blue below
can be clicked to begin reading that chapter.)


Week 1:
Chapter 1: From Conformity to Autonomy

Week 2:
Chapter 1: Centering and Integrating


Week 3:
Chapter 3: Creating An Authentic Project
Chapter 4: My Authentic Project-of-Being
Chapter 5: Helping Children Grow Toward Authenticity
Chapter 6: Authenticity Counseling
Chapter 7: Love Counseling
Chapter 8: Promoting Family Planning

Week 4:
Chapter 9: Liberation from Sex-Roles
Chapter 10: The Contemplative Life
Chapter 11: Companions for the Dying
Chapter 12: Working for the Right-to-Die
Chapter 13: Other Projects
Chapter 14: Authenticity and Occupation


Week 5:
Chapter 15: Albert Camus:
                       Rebelling Against the Absurd
Chapter 16: Jean-Paul Sartre:
                       Inventing Our Own Meanings in a Meaningless World

Week 6:
Chapter 17: Martin Heidegger:
                       Confronting Existential Guilt and Death
Chapter 18: Søren Kierkegaard:
                        Willing One Thing
Chapter 19: Abraham Maslow:
                       Becoming Self-Actualizing


    You will need a regular Internet connection,
where you can receive and send e-mail at least once a week.
This could be either your own computer
or a computer you use at a public library, for instance.
You choose the time and place for your electronic participation.
We will not attempt to have everyone on-line at once.

    Join our Facebook Group called
Becoming More Authentic: The Positive Side of Existentialism:
There is no charge for joining this Facebook book-club
Who else might be interested in reading and discussing this book:
Becoming More Authentic: The Positive Side of Existentialism?
Please invite them.

    You set your own style of participation:
Either you can receive all postings and comments
immediately at your chosen e-mail address
or you can visit our Group on Facebook
to interact in writing with the other seminar members.

    If you want to follow the discussion every week,
select your Notification as "All Posts".
Then whenever anyone writes a comment,
it will be posted on our Facebook Display
and sent by e-mail to each member who chooses this option.

    If you would like to set aside a certain time each week
for reading and interacting with others in our seminar,
you can either select a lower level of Notifications or Off,
which will mean you must decide
exactly when to visit our seminar on Facebook
to respond to the chapters being discussed that week.
See our schedule of chapters above.

    Which would work best for the way you like to use Facebook?
A Facebook Group has the additional advantage
of being able to see the faces of the other participants.

   Class discussion will require about 30 minutes per week.
The exact time devoted to this form of becoming more Authentic
will depend on how much we have to say in response to each chapter
and how many people join this Facebook Seminar.
We might have the most to say
when we write about our own quests for greater Authenticity.

    You will need access to a copy of Becoming More Authentic.
Most participants will buy their own copies.
The printed book costs $15 in either of two bindings.
Becoming More Authentic is also available in PDF for $5.
(Extra costs apply if postage and/or electronic payment is necessary.)
Others will borrow copies from libraries.

    If your favorite library does not have a copy,
you can recommend that they get one,
either by normal purchasing
or by means of a gift from the publisher to libraries.

    Reading might require less than one hour per week.
And you might decide to do more background reading
in other books on Authenticity:

    This Facebook Seminar is for serious persons willing and able to devote
meaningful time each week to reading and discussion.

     This six-weeks electronic seminar will be repeated
as new people discover this opportunity, obtain the book,
and request to join our Facebook Group on Authenticity.


    The printed book for this on-line course is Becoming More Authentic.
The complete table of contents will appear if you click this line:
From this table of contents you can open several pages of the book.

     This book is available in two different bindings:
comb binding or stapled binding.
This book is also available in PDF.
Write for details and to test your e-mail program
to see if you can receive a book in Portable Document Format (PDF).


Of course, it is always possible for anyone to read the book
without participating in the Facebook discussion.
Readers who live in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota
might have an occasional opportunity
to join a face-to-face discussion of Authenticity.

Our on-line discussion allows people living anywhere on the globe
to participate from their own keyboards and computer screens.
They might later join a face-to-face discussion of Authenticity.
Or it might happen the other way around:
People who have already taken part in a face-to-face gathering
might decide to join our Facebook discussions.

People who meet on-line in our discussions of Authenticity
might be able to create other face-to-face seminars
at other locations on the Earth.

And the book Becoming More Authentic: The Positive Side of Existentialism
could also be used in college courses on personal growth or existentialism.
It might also be relevant for students deciding what course of study to pursue.
"What is the meaning of my life?"
is a relevant question at many turning points during a human life.

What other ideas occur to you?

The world-wide discussion group will be modified to suit those who wish to join.
Send your questions, comments, and suggestions to me:
James Park, e-mail:

Created October 30, 2009; Revised 10-31-2009; 11-12-2009; 11-21-2009;
6-13-2012; 12-10-2013; 12-11-2013; 3-7-2015; 3-12-2015;11-29-2016;

Here is the direct link to the Facebook Group called
Becoming More Authentic:
The Positive Side of Existentialism:

See other versions of this course description.

See the complete table of contents for
Becoming More Authentic: The Positive Side of Existentialism.

Go to the opening page for this website:
An Existential Philosopher's Museum

The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the page author.
The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by the University of Minnesota.