Friday, July 30, 2010

Merton on words, nothingness, silence and being

In the silence of Quaker meetings I sometimes approach the kinds of revelations Thomas Merton, Trappist monk, poet and social activist, shares here.

Words stand between silence and silence: between the silence of things and the silence of our own being.

From moment to moment I remember with astonishment that I am at the same time empty and full.

There is a silent self within us whose presence is disturbing precisely because it is so silent: it can’t be spoken.

Life is not accomplishing some special work but attaining to a degree of consciousness and inner freedom which is beyond all works and attainments. That is my real goal. It implies "becoming unknown and as nothing."

I looked upon what was nothing. I touched what was without substance,
and within what was not, I am.

Taken from “You Don’t Have to be Buddhist to Know Nothing” ed. Joan Konner.

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