Tempting ourselves

I’m cleaning out more old notes from reading a couple years back.

I’m not sure of the context for this one, but I find I can certainly relate to the idea of setting up the foundations for our own temptation through our everyday talking and curiosity. Absolutely. Notice that this does not require any help from the devil.

It is precisely to strengthen the individual person against the one great temptation to surrender, to abdicate is personality, to fall and disappear in the void. “Man”, says Heidegger, “wants to surrender to the world. He tempts himself. He flees from himself and desires to fall into the world. In his everyday talking and curiosity he prepares for himself a permanent temptation to fallenness.” There is in this of course an inescapable element of existentialist jargon, but in substance it recalls the eschatological message of the New Testament.

-Thomas Merton, Mystics and Zen Masters, p.275