From Being to Becoming
Living an Authentic and Meaningful Life
A Modern-Day Scholar and Educator combines ancient and contemporary wisdom in this elegant blueprint for creating meaning from the chaos of everyday life.
From Being to Becoming: Living an Authentic and Meaningful Life, is predicated on sharing both the insights Dr. Trifone has learned from decades of personal experience, as well as from numerous books he has read that guided him in living an authentic and meaningful life. Therefore this book is for anyone who will benefit by exploring perennial questions about how to walk a path that leads to a full and authentic life. Through narratives and participatory exercises, the book explores the relationships among two transformative concepts. The first involves awakening from a state of static Being to one of dynamic Becoming whereby the journeyer discovers and lives out the soul’s purpose. The second is living authentically or “walking the talk”— walking the path of what we perceive as our soul’s purpose. Therefore, instead of referring to ourselves as “human beings,” we can start seeing the potential in each of us to evolve into human becomings. To quote a wise Zen dictum, “The journey is the destination.” It is in successfully navigating those journeys that our hearts, minds, and souls come to experience fulfillment. This book is about living an authentic life as perceived through the eyes of one journeyman. The journey he shares is the culmination of many lessons learned along the meandering path he has walked over the past sixty-seven years. It represents his personal philosophy, developed over decades of reading, teaching, and navigating the unexpected vicissitudes of life.
From Being to Becoming is divided into chapters called “sojourns.” A sojourn is a stopping point along a journey. At each sojourn, the reader is provided with insights from a variety of wisdom sources regarding how one realizes their life purpose. Each sojourn focuses on ways to realign mind, body, and spirit. Therefore to approach this realignment, we first have to understand that the individual “self” needs to be reconceived as a holistic “Self” that interconnects with all that exists. As a holistic Self, one soon realizes that there are no accidents. All that exists are what Psychologist Carl Jung referred to as “synchronicities,” or “meaningful coincidences.” Significant and sometimes tragic events occur in our lives; they are meant to serve as lessons to be learned. While our fates are not predetermined, the choices we make each moment do affect the potential ones we will have in the future. Although we have free will, there is a destiny emblazoned on our souls from birth that we are meant to discover and walk toward.
Negative events plague us all. They are where living authentically finds its definition. Being happy in good times is easy. But those who find lessons to be learned in down times are the ones who emerge afterward with a new resolve, confidence, and certitude that everything works out for the best in the end if we believe it can. Mythologist Joseph Campbell referred to the “hero’s journey” as the challenge we all face in life. Here we face the choice: whether to accept the challenge or acquiesce and submit to defeat. You are either the hero or the goat. Accepting the challenge comes with the risk of failure. But bowing to adversity yields certain failure. Living authentically means understanding that life is not to be feared; it is to be embraced and lived to the fullest. Those of a positive and courageous spirit accept the challenge, believing that they will emerge as heroes, and that new conviction, strength, and wisdom will redefine them. The hero’s journey forges authenticity and meaningfulness in our lives. This work is an outgrowth of navigating Dr. Trifone’s personal hero’s journey with the hope that others may benefit from the lessons learned. In the end, this book challenges the reader to find meaning in the universe and to live a more-authentic and meaningful life.
From Being to Becoming: Living an Authentic & Meaningful Life, explores perennial questions about life and each one’s certain place and exceptional role here. Dr. Trifone’s thesis, which is shored up by voluminous research and appropriate text exercises, offers answers to ageless questions via scientific, philosophical, psychological, spiritual and theological perspectives. Living an authentic existence in both the pursuit of truth and acceptance of it, seeing ourselves as part of a greater truth in harmony with the Creator and with whom we serve as co-creators is underscored here in a highly academic yet communicative, congenial and affable approach.
The scholarship of this text is much needed in a challenged culture where ego has yielded to narcissism due to decades of myriad, made-for-the-market, pop psychology, self-improvement pulp books that appeared timely when they flooded bookstores but proved far from timeless.
-James Lomuscio, New York Times journalist, and Author of Writing with Your Head and Heart
Dr. Trifone gives us a no-nonsense everyman’s guide to rich and meaningful living. Read, enjoy, and follow its suggestions. Such advice is rare.
-Allan Leslie Combs, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Consciousness Studies at California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS); Founder and President of the International Association of Consciousness Studies, author of The Radiance of Being
This book is a pilgrimage into a pathway of becoming where Jim Trifone invites us to become sojourners who enter into our deeper selves amidst the challenges of daily life. He opens up the doors to both inner and outer landscapes of discovery. These are doors of insight to navigate our way forward. He understands that life requires food for the soul and the body-nourishment for the pilgrimage. The book arises from an immense journey of discovery. Indeed, this is a heroic journey of a teacher turned pilgrim. As we join him on the pilgrimage, we shed our static selves and enter into a new state of becoming.
-Mary Evelyn Tucker Ph.D., Co-founder and Co-Director of the Forum on Religion and Ecology, Senior Lecturer and Research Scholar, Yale University