Thursday, June 28, 2007

Why the modern search for self ends in despair

A neat piece at Christianity Today.
In a recent issue of The New Yorker, you can find a cartoon with a couple sitting on a couch. One says to the other, "I don't want to be defined by who I am."

The line is so human and so modern. The human part is what makes it funny: Often, when we discover who we are, we want to deny it. But it's the modern part that most interests me: that relentless search for self, the yearning to know who I am.

As with so much of modernity, this is a highly individualistic quest, and as such, it is a pointless quest. Not because the search for meaning is pointless, but because the context of modernity—the individual—is a myth.

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