Wednesday, February 22, 2012

my own being is often hidden

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 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 one another’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 everybody else seems to want to become. 
Perhaps if I only realized that I do not admire what everyone seems to admire, 
I would really begin to live after all. 
I would be liberated from the painful duty of saying what I really do not think 
and of acting in a way that betrays God’s truth and the integrity of my own soul.

~ Thomas Merton
 from No Man is an Island