Walker Percy Wednesday 107

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The point of the test, of course, is that self-consciousness implies that there is a self.

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And there was Debbie’s new lingo, her everlasting talk about dialoguing, creativity, community, intersubjectivity, centeredness (her favorite word, centeredness). And her new word, empowerment.

What would happen, I wonder, if I asked them what they thought about God and sin?
I thought they did better, looked better, felt better as Father Kev and Sister Thérèse in the old days, as priest and nun, than as siddha Kev in his new soft Maharishi voice and a NOW Wicca Debbie in her stretch pants. If you set out to be a priest and a nun, then be a priest and a nun, instead of a fake Hindu or a big-assed lady Olds dealer who is into Wicca—this from me, who had not had two thoughts about God for years, let alone sin. Sin?
That meeting was before I went to prison. Prison works wonders for vanity in general and for the secret sardonic derisiveness of doctors in particular. All doctors should spend two years in prison. They’d treat their patients better, as fellow flawed humans. In a word, prison restored my humanity if not my faith. I still don’t know what to make of God, don’t give Him, Her, It a second thought, but I make a good deal of people, give them considerable thought. Not because I’m more virtuous, but because I’m more curious. I listen to them carefully, amazed at the trouble they get into and how few quit. People are braver than one might expect.

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Don’t forget Frank Macon, old hunting pal, once a complex old-style sardonic black man, as compact of friendship and ironies as Prince Hamlet, as faithful and abusive as a Russian peasant. Now as distant and ironed out as a bank teller: Have a nice day.

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