Sunday, September 30, 2007

Be True to the Truth at Your Core

Alice C. Linsley

Christopher Bryant, the British spiritual director wrote: “If we are right in taking the Jungian concept of Self, in its dual character as both the total personality and the personality centre, as the key to an understanding of the way God acts upon us and makes himself know to us, then it will follow inevitably that being estranged from God will mean being unaware of and out of touch with the heights and depths of our personality; it will mean being estranged from our centre and unable to love our own truth.” (The River Within)

Writers must never let go of spiritual truths that we may have learned as children. We must hold on to what is true and valuable. Spiritual truths reside at our core and mustn't be ignored. Self-estrangement is death for writers because it leads to nihilism and a jaded view of life. Hemingway describes it so well in this excerpt from The Snows of Kilimanjaro:

How could a woman know that you meant nothing that you said; that you spoke only from habit and to be comfortable. After he no longer meant what he said, his lies were more successful with women than when he had told them the truth.

It was not that he lied as that there was no truth to tell. He had had his life and it was over and then he went on living it again with different people and more money, with the best of the same places, and some new ones…But in yourself you said that you would write about these people; about the very rich…but he would never do it, because each day of not writing, of comfort, of being that which he despised, sullied his ability and softened his will to work so that, finally, he did no work at all.

He had destroyed his talent himself. Why should he blame this woman because she kept him well? He had destroyed his talent by not using it, by betrayals of himself and what he believed in… What was his talent anyway? It was a talent all right but instead of using it, he traded on it…he had sold vitality, in one form or anther, all his life and when your affections are not too involved you give much better value for the money.”

Related reading: Pen Pecked Dreamers


Les said...

"being estranged from God will mean being unaware of and out of touch with the heights and depths of our personality"

without wanting to be too simplistic, what a great statement in comprehending the postmodern mindset then we view in the reductionism of the media.

Alice C. Linsley said...

Yes, Les. We see evidence of this estrangement all around us.