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Something for Sunday Morning

Existential anxiety is quelled by detachment, and therefore, to use Thomas Merton's words, detachment is “the number one rule of religion.” Detachment is the state of mind that does not care for the self–that master of every sinful act, appetite, and thought; that master without which no sin exists. The detached person can receive the most brutal insults with equanimity because he has no pride–pride being the existence of self-love. The detached person can fast well because he has no excessive appetite–the appetite for food being merely the desire to feed the bodily self. The detached person can exist in simple surroundings because he does not care if others hold him in contempt–love for reputation being merely a trait of self-love.