Sunday, June 13, 2010

that wordless gentleness ...

Photo by Thomas Merton

"Thomas Merton aimed for the image that was true to its subject and that had the mysterious ability to communicate fresh insights into it.  His photographs began to reveal, in a way that nothing else did, certain aspects of his interior vision and his qualities as a man.  His photographs were chosen not according to traditional canons of aesthetic beauty.  He cared nothing for "the decisive moment" or "the characteristic moment".  He selected only the frames that expressed his contemplative vision.  In the "tremendous action" of contemplation, Merton held that it was not so much what you did that counted, but what you allowed to be done to yourself.  He worked for photographic images which, when viewed without haste or pressure, might accomplish the slow work of communicating "a hidden wholeness", and perhaps reveal some hint of that wordless gentleness that flows out from "the unseen roots of all created being." - John Howard Griffin, The Hidden Wholeness, p. 4

2 comments:

  1. science is a reductive truth
    maybe opposite of contemplation

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  2. dunno, Dr. Burpenstein.
    They say that the scientists are on their way up a mountain, and when they get to the top, the mystics are already there, asking, "what took you so long?"

    Sub atomic particle theory certainly sounds a lot like mysticism to me. I mean, the idea that energy and matter are interchangeable, and the notion that the location of an electron at any one time cannot be pinned down, but only given a probability to be in any one place -- all this goes radically against reason and what things appear to be.

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