Authentic = Well Contrived

Some definitions….

Contrived: Ingeniously or artfully devised or planned.

Contrive: To devise, invent, design (a material structure, literary composition, institution, etc.).

The following is from the Oxford English Dictionary, showing examples of ill-contrived and well-contrived (bold highlight has been added):

1632 LITHGOW Trav. IV. (1682) 135 A loathsom contrived place. 1664 BUTLER Hud. II. III. 400 In Mansion prudently contriv’d. 1713 OCKLEY Acct. Barbary 2 The Houses are large, but very ill contriv’d. 1760-72 tr. Juan & Ulloa’s Voy. (ed. 3) II. VII. xii. 130 Most of the houses are of stone, well contrived.

My contention is that what is well contrived is known as authentic. The well contrived stone house noted in the quotation above might be known as an authentic creation and the architect as an authentic artist.

A statement by Nisargadatta is well contrived. It’s a house of stone. It’s perceived as authentic.

However, contrived is contrived. Why else would sages tell you to not waste your time reading, to not look for Truth in words? Books and strings of words are contrived.

No Sage or Master ever said Truth is found in art, in doing art, in reading a book, or in contriving anything. No Sage or Master ever said Truth was contained in their own teachings, words, or practices. Why? Because they are contrived. Beautifully contrived in some cases, but contrived.

No Sage or Master ever said to “be authentic,” or to “be your true self.” Why? Because there is no you.

So that’s why I say that even things perceived as authentic are nothing more than well contrived.

2 thoughts on “Authentic = Well Contrived

  1. Gerard

    Hey Jerry,

    Well contrived. I remember some time back when I was reading an article (I believe it was from one of Dennis Waites books)… yes it was! He spoke of what we call the wooden table as being (really) none other than “Tably Wood” That became one of the main contemplations for me: Looking at all the phenomena and seeing that they are merely labeled or well contrived with so many well contrived conceptions. Back some time it was a enjoyable mental exercise to point out to friends that their kitchen, etc, is only merely labeled as such and to really find this thing that they so strongly believe is there called kitchen, etc; it only caused them to call me a well contrived moron, or something like that. Its best now these days to just (Know) that there is a reality behind all the labels, smile and leave it at that! I guess that would be a well contrived idea for such situations – very simple.


  2. Jerry Post author

    The kitchen thing is funny. Don’t tell people that the space with 6 appliances, countertops, cupboards, a sink, etc., isn’t a kitchen. You really can’t go into someone’s home and point out to them that that particular room is not a kitchen, that kitchen is only a name give to a space containing certain things in it.

    I could write all day about this, unfortunately I have to eat. Now, if only I can find my kitchen. After listening to you, it’s all only space.


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