Merton on the wrong way to isolate yourself

False recollection occurs when we try by our own efforts to block out all material things, to isolate ourselves from people and nature by main force, hoping that there will be nothing left in our soul but God. When we attempt this, we usually divide our being against itself, call one half (the one we like) God, and call the other our “nature” or our “self.” What madness, what a waste of effort, to try to rest in one half of our being, calling it “God,” and lock the other out of doors! Our being resists this division, and engages in what we think is a war between light and darkness. But this struggle is only the battle of an illusion against an illusion. Such battles are too often waged in monasteries, where God calls men not to embrace illusion but to abandon it, that they may discover what is real.

-Thomas Merton, No Man is an Island, Ch.12 Sec.14