I’ve started reading New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton. Very insightful and exciting book. Something I read today reminded me of the movie Hollow Man (which has a 0 degree of separation from Kevin Bacon). Merton says this:

And I wind experiences around myself and cover myself with pleasures and glory like bandages in order to make myself perceptible to myself and to the world, as if I were an invisible body that could only become visible when something visible covered its surface.

Essentially, Merton suggests that we find ourselves when we take off our masks and allow God to sanctify us and recreate us to who he intended for us to be. And no amount of trying or striving on our part can make us who we are. Therefore , the true contemplative is the one who has found God, because God found them.