Saturday, February 23, 2019

Merton's 3rd level of Silence

Still deeper down, Merton was aware of a third level,

"Swimming in the rich darkness
which is no longer thick like water
but pure, like air.

and you do not know where it is coming from.

Moonlight is in this prayer,
waiting for the Redeemer ...

Everything is charged with intelligence,
though all is night.

There is no speculation here.
There is vigilance ...
Everything is spirit.

Here God is adored,
His coming is recognized,
He is received as soon as He is expected
and because He is expected He is receieved,
but He has passed by sooner than He arrived,
He was gone before He came.
He returned forever.
He never yet passed by
and already He had disappeared for all eternity.

He is and He is not.

Everything and Nothing.

Not light not dark,
not high not low,
not this side not that side.

Forever and forever.

In the wind of His passing the angels cry,
"The Holy One is gone."

Therefore I lie dead in the air of their wings ...

It is a strange awakening to find the sky inside you
and beneath you
and above you
and all around you
so that your spirit is one with the sky,
and all is positive night."


From an essay by Jim Forest, "Thomas Merton: One Foot in the Wilderness, One Foot in the World."

Merton's quoted words from Sign of Jonas, 338-39

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