Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Real and False Selves- Thomas Merton Quotes


At the heart of writer and mystic Thomas Merton's spirituality is his distinction between our real and false selves. Our false selves are the identities we cultivate in order to function in society with pride and self posession; our real selves are a deep, religious mystery known only to God. The World cultivates the false self, ignores the real one, and therin lies the great irony of human existence: the more we make of ourselves, the less we actually exist.

excerpted from "The Pocket Thomas Merton" - New Seeds Pocket Classics.

1 comment:

S. Starr said...

The deep secrecy of my own being is often hidden from me by my own estimate of what I am. My idea of what I am is falsified by my own admiration for what I do. And my illusions about myself are bred by contagion from the illusions of other men. We all seek to imitate each other's imagined greatness. If I do not know who I am, it is because I think I am the sort of person everyone around me wants to be. Perhaps I have never asked myself whether I really wanted to become what everyone else seems to want to become. Perhaps if I only realized that I do not admire what everyone else seems to admire, I would really begin to live afterall. I would be liberated fromthe painful duty of saying what I really do not think and acting in a way that betrays God's truth and the integrity of my own soul. (NM 125-26)

Excerpted from "The Pocket Thomas Merton" - New Seeds Pocket Classics.