Dialogues With Silence

Discussion in 'Mind, Body & Spirit' started by olmate, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. olmate

    olmate Member

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    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
     
  2. Ramai

    Ramai Member

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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
     
  3. olmate

    olmate Member

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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: Nov 24, 2010
  4. veggietovegan

    veggietovegan Member

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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?
     
  5. Ramai

    Ramai Member

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    Hi Olmate
    Merton’s books should come with a warning sign: STOP! Don’t read this book or your life might be changed. :)

    Nice box, but it’s not mine :eek:

    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
     
  6. olmate

    olmate Member

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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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