— Fulton J. Sheen
Source: Peace of Soul (1949), Ch. 1, pp. 7–8
Context: The modern man is no longer a unity, but a confused bundle of complexes and nerves. He is so dissociated, so alienated from himself that he sees himself less as a personality than as a battlefield where a civil war rages between a thousand and one conflicting loyalties. There is no single overall purpose in his life. His soul is comparable to a menagerie in which a number of beasts, each seeking its own prey, turn one upon the other. Or he may be likened to a radio, that is tuned in to several stations; instead of getting any one clearly, it receives only an annoying static.If the frustrated soul is educated, it has a smattering of uncorrected bits of information with no unifying philosophy. Then the frustrated soul may say to itself: "I sometimes think there are two of me a living soul and a Ph. D." Such a man projects his own mental confusion to the outside world and concludes that, since he knows no truth, nobody can know it. His own skepticism (which he universalizes into a philosophy of life) throws him back more and more upon those powers lurking in the dark, dank caverns of his unconsciousness. He changes his philosophy as he changes his clothes. On Monday, he lays down the tracks of materialism; on Tuesday, he reads a best seller, pulls up the old tracks, and lays the new tracks of an idealist; on Wednesday, his new roadway is Communistic; on Thursday, the new rails of Liberalism are laid; on Friday, he-hears a broadcast and decides to travel on Freudian tracks: on Saturday, he takes a long drink to forget his railroading and, on Sunday, ponders why people are so foolish as to go to Church. Each day he has a new idol, each week a new mood. His authority is public opinion: when that shifts, his frustrated soul shifts with it.