'To thine own self be true' wrote Shakespeare.  For generations surveys find this the most frequent advice given to new students.  While yoga retreats and self-help advice encourage us to 'become our authentic selves'.  Yet many argue the idea is fundamentally flawed.  Recent studies have uncovered contrary evidence that we feel our most authentic self when we align with others rather than holding to our own ideas.  While many neuroscientists and philosophers challenge the very existence of single true self.

Should we conclude the authentic self is an empty fantasy and the mistaken product of an individualistic culture?  Should we aim to escape from the self, as Buddhists and more collectivist cultures have proposed?  Or is this a dangerous notion, put forward by China amongst others, that perpetuates dominant authority and undermines the individual and personal growth?

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