October 12, 2020


The Avett Brothers Are Figuring Out Their True Selves (TYLER HUCKABEE, OCTOBER 5, 2020, Relevant)

This is something else Avett thinks about a lot: his own shortcomings. As much as he believes in a unified nation, he also believes that he himself can feel very divided. He's aware of his failings but, in a roundabout way, is grateful for them. He believes they bring him closer to God. 

"C.S. Lewis said that the people that are presumably living under the Golden Rule and being all moralistic -- they're likely further from God than the ones that are doing crummy things," he says. He says the people who are aware of their own crumminess are "in a place where a Higher Power is actually starting to wrap its hands around you." 

Avett calls his own flaws "Failings in the Department of Golden Rule Navigation." In the grand scheme, it's not such a bad thing to fail. At least, it's better than pretending you're not failing at all. Those who refuse to own up to their own shortcomings have lost sight of something human. Those who are aware of how far they've fallen short are in a better place to hear God tell them, as Avett puts it: "'Poor, fragile, little thing I've got you. I'm part of you. You're going to be called.'" 

Avett enjoys citing the sources of his thoughts, as if humbly dispelling any notion that he came up with all this on his own. "This is all Richard Rohr and Thomas Merton," he says at one point. "And Jesus. And C.S. Lewis." 

He's talking about a "true self" and a "false self." The ego, which Avett calls a "shell" and can easily take control, is something we have to actively resist. And then there's the true self -- the one that probably makes mistakes, and has off nights and might not feel as lovable as we'd like. It's who we are.

"It seems like insecurity is bred," he says. "And it's harbored. [People] won't bring along their insecurities and help foster security and confidence and spiritual health or mental health, emotional health. And what happens is they become defensive in so many elements. And I always feel bad because I've been there," he says. "I've been there."

There's a brief break and then he continues. 

"I've gone on stage many times and still occasionally do, going 'I'm not worth this. I'm a fraud. I'm not good enough.' But those are not the real me," he says. "The real me goes up there and says 'I'm just another one of the children of God that is up here aspiring to live up to that role.' I believe that's everyone's right. I'm saying we're all God's children and we don't have to earn it. I thought I had to earn this right to do this. But, no, I already had it. I have to continuously get my mind in check and my heart in the light. And then, I can't be stopped."

The Carpenter is especially good.

Posted by at October 12, 2020 5:01 PM