Myths Of The Ego

“Fame and success are the myth of the ego taken root like an acorn in the soil of the world. The myth assumes gigantic proportions. On this point Merton tells us of an occasion in his own life:

“A few years ago a man who was compiling a book on Success wrote and asked me to contribute a statement on how I got to be a success. I replied indignantly that I was not able to consider myself a success in any terms that had a meaning to me. I swore I had spent my life strenuously avoiding success. If it happened that I had once written a best-seller this was a pure accident, due to inattention and naiveté, and I would take very good care never to do the same thing again. If I had a message sage to my contemporaries, I said, it was surely this: be anything you like, be madmen, drunks, and bastards of every shape and form, but at all costs avoid one thing: success. I heard no more from him, and I am not aware that my reply was published with the other testimonials.””

~ Thomas Merton quoted in James Finley’s Merton’s Palace of Nowhere

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