...an excerpt from Seeds by Thomas Merton
At the heart of 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-possession; our real selves are a deep religious mystery, known entirely only to God. The world cultivates the false self, ignores the real one, and therein lies the great irony of human existence: the more we make of ourselves, the less we actually exist.
"The more we make of ourselves, the less we actually exist." Kinda rubs up against manifest destiny and the American way wouldn't you say?