I am an atheist, but I found Mary Karr’s Facebook post today strangely profound:
This book about memoir is morphing into a tome on how we bullshit ourselves about who we really are. Most ofthe trouble In my life hit when I did something I thought I was supposed to want to do. But if I’d been listening to my deepest desires, I would’ve noticed I was only making choices to feed some vain glorious, insatiable ego.
Thomas Merton’s book, Seeds of Contemplation, is v. smart about it. “Every one of us is shadowed by an illusory person, a false self. I wind my experiences around myself and cover myself in glory to make myself perceptible…as if I were an invisible body thatcould only become visible when something visible covered its surface….But there is no substance under the things with which I am clothed. I am hollow, and my structures of pleasures and ambitions have no foundation. I am my own mistake…..The secret of my identitiy is hidden in the love and mercy of God.”
I wonder about this the same way I do the “higher power” stuff in 12-step programs; can you still find truth and meaning in the message without buying into the part about God?