At the heart of [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-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.

Robert Inchausti, Seeds by Thomas Merton, Robert Inchausti, editor