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Dialogues With Silence

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

  1. olmate

    olmate Member

    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?

  2. Ramai

    Ramai Member

    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.’

  3. olmate

    olmate Member

    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...

    Last edited: Nov 24, 2010
  4. veggietovegan

    veggietovegan Member

    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

    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:

    – 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.

  6. olmate

    olmate Member

    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.

    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...


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