Friday, July 26, 2019

the death penalty


“What society preaches as ‘the good life’ is in fact a systematically organized way of death, not only because it is saturated with what psychologists call an unconscious death wish, but because it actually rests on death. It is built on the death of the nonconformist, the alien, the odd ball, the enemy, the criminal. It is based on war, on imprisonment, on punitive methods which include not only mental and physical torture but, above all, the death penalty.”
– Thomas Merton’s introduction to The Plague by Albert Camus

See also Jim Forest's essay, "Thomas Merton's Affinity with Albert Camus".

http://jimandnancyforest.com/2016/09/thomas-mertons-affinity-with-albert-camus/

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

wounds: not a tomb but a womb


From 1994-1999 (roughly ages 60-65) he "withdrew" to a Zen monastery was ordained as a Buddhist priest.

But upon his "return" discovered his trusted financial manager had stolen all his money. He was financially forced to write, compose, and eventually tour.

The open wound of misplaced trust became a portal to one of the most productive times in life. This is often the way with wounds: not a tomb but a womb.

He died at age 82 and never retired.

May it be so.

IF IT BE YOUR WILL (L. Cohen)

If it be your will
That I speak no more
And my voice be still
As it was before
I will speak no more
I shall abide until
I am spoken for
If it be your will

If it be your will
That a voice be true
From this broken hill
I will sing to you
From this broken hill
All your praises they shall ring
If it be your will
To let me sing

From this broken hill
All your praises they shall ring
If it be your will
To let me sing

God



Photo by Thomas Merton
“There is one more thing: I may be interested in Oriental religions, etc., but there can be no obscuring the essential difference-this personal communion with Christ at the center and heart of all reality. As a source of grace and life. “God is love” may be clarified if one says that “God is void” and if, in the void, one finds absolute indetermination and hence absolute freedom. (With freedom, the void becomes fullness and 0 = Infinity.) All that is “interesting”, but none of it touches on the mystery of personality in God, and His personal love for me. Again, I am void too, and I have freedom, or am a kind of freedom, meaningless unless oriented to Him.” 

- Thomas Merton (June 26, 1965) from A Year with Thomas Merton: Daily Meditations from His Journals

Jesus and Buddha as Brothers

  Map of Matter in the Universe Full sky map from ESA Plank mission showing matter between the earth and the edge of the observable universe...