The Self We Are to Know

The self men commonly regard as their self, and that they presume to know, is in fact not knowable. Admittedly they are never quite sure what it will do, where it will go, what will happen to it. Its thoughts and feelings are often a mystery. Its health or ill-health is accepted but not understood; it may be here today and tomorrow it knows not where; its outlook may have shifted, its judgments altered, its prospects reversed; its whole world can be transformed for better or worse in a moment of time.

This mortal self, which men have been taught to think of as theirs, is therefore unpredictable in either thought or history. About its past or present they may think they know a little; about its future they will prophesy and plan, but without certainty. About mortal man only the inconclusive is conclusive. In Proverbs we read, "Man's goings are of the Lord; how can a man then understand his own way?"

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July 3, 1943
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