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Old November 18th, 2010, 23:00   #1 (permalink)
olmate (Offline)
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Default Dialogues With Silence

I picked up a copy of Dialogues With Silence the other day at the airport. It is a compilation of extracts from Thomas Merton's journal along with some of his drawings. It is a fascinating insight into one mans journey centered on contemplation.

He lived a significant part of his life as a Trappist Monk. But as usual, labels often can be very deceiving.

I found the simplicity of his insights very inspiring (remembering the original meaning of this word is "breathe Spirit into ones Soul). One favourite extract is... "What I wear is pants. What I do is live. How I pray is breathe".

How NOW is that?

Olmate
 
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Old November 24th, 2010, 10:23   #2 (permalink)
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Yes, very NOW indeed. Thanks for sharing

Morton also said:

‘we gradually find our place, the spot where we belong . . . there is a kind of mysterious awakening to the fact that where we actually are is where we belong. Suddenly we see, this is IT.’

Love,
Ramai
 
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Old November 24th, 2010, 11:33   #3 (permalink)
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Hi Ramai,

Thanks for that insight. The practice of his "contemplative life" as recorded in his books seems to provide many, many valuable insights.

It reminded me of a reference cited by my Teacher a few weeks ago on a discussion on spirituality and passion. The reference related to the work of Emil Brunner - a Swiss theologian in the post World War 2 period. Emil delivered series of lectures on Faith, Hope and Love. The contexts were:

Faith - linked to the past;
Hope - linked to the future; and
Love - the present.

Thinking about this life journey within these contexts under the light of a contemplative spiritual life, these words take on an amazing panoramic meaning (well for this crazy person anyway).

By the way, I had the chance to read the Ethics of the Fathers lead you provided in a post a while ago. I really appreciate the the reference. I couldn't help but search for your comment again in that post after reading the Ethics of the Fathers...

You are clearly a wellspring of wisdom yourself.

Nothing but the best...

Olmate

Last edited by olmate : November 24th, 2010 at 23:24.
 
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Old November 28th, 2010, 18:28   #4 (permalink)
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I have not read this particular work, but you have definitely aroused my curiosity. Is there anyplace I can pick it online?
 
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Old November 29th, 2010, 06:04   #5 (permalink)
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Hi Olmate
The practice of his "contemplative life" as recorded in his books seems to provide many, many valuable insights.
Merton’s books should come with a warning sign: STOP! Don’t read this book or your life might be changed.

You are clearly a wellspring of wisdom yourself.
Nice box, but it’s not mine

Wisdom
– Thomas Merton
I studied and it taught me nothing.
I learned it and soon forgot everything else:
Having forgotten, I was burdened with knowledge –
The insupportable knowledge of nothing.
How sweet my life would be if I were wise!
Wisdom is well known when it is no longer seen or thought of.
Only then is understanding bearable.

Love,
Ramai
 
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Old November 29th, 2010, 12:29   #6 (permalink)
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Hi Veggietovegan,

Most of the Merton works are available through the usual booksellers. There are many but as Ramai implores - enter with caution.

If you are interested in Emil Brunner's lectures, I was quoting from my notes. I haven't checked to see what is available on-line. I am happy to share my notes if that helps.

Ramai,
What can be said?... except perhaps... "...when the light comes at last into the mind given to contemplation... I need do nothing."

Sincere thanks once again...

Olmate
 
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