John Updike Paris review interview tagged posts

Against Wholeness

I’m about to let my membership in the Church of Human Wholeness lapse. It’s not that I can’t afford the tithe anymore (there isn’t any). Nor that the people there aren’t nice (everyone I know striving for wholeness tries unceasingly to be as kind as they can be).

It’s just that the effort is based on a model and goal that are not only unattainable in this fractured existence we encounter, but, in my mind, not particularly desirable. Too many treasures abide in the roiling waters just below the surface of our everyday social selves—nuggets of contemplation, tensions leading to inspiration, interpersonal imbroglios leading to insight.

So I’ve had enough of wholeness. I’m giving it up. And I couldn’t be happier.

Let’s face it: human beings are a mess. A glorious, endearing, mystifying, contradictory, staggeringly complex, often-edifying-but-also-aggravating mess, but a mess nevertheless...

Read More