In 1892 William James wrote that "A man has as many social selves as there are individuals who recognize him."" It was a statement that was true over a century ago and still holds true today. Man has, as James calls it, a "false self- whereas one must learn to divorce that being and transform to one capable of love, empathy, and a clarity that provides them with the ability to shed luminousness over darkness. Concurrently, we see in our everyday lives examples of this underlying concept "a la plots to movies, novels, or stories in our own lives. This premise is actually repetitive in telling stories of those who are able to find their true "social self."" And, this conversion is oftentimes one of a religious nature of a deeply symbolic order consistent with what you believe to be true. One such religious conversion is told in Constantine Tsatsos' Dialogues in a Monastery where a man, after battling his false self and evil, becomes a monk, and years later reveals his life-changing story to an old friend.
A conversion results when God or religion becomes the center of habitual energy. According to William James there are four main steps in a religious conversion. The first is some experience, or phenomenon that for lack of a better term, shatters one's world. In Dialogues in a Monastery the main character, Synesios tells his good friend Ipklisis why he decided to become a monk; he continues with a love story. After years of being away from home, he returns to visit an old friend of his mother's whose daughter has grown into a beautiful young woman who catches his eye. They fall so deeply in love, but Synesios' good fortune is no more when his love, Nouty, tells him she must leave him to return to her husband, who earlier we learn was affected by fighting in the War. Later, after a period of self-denial, Synesios learns of Nouty's suicide, completely shattering his world.