15 February 2006

we modern westerners are so busy with ourselves, so preoccupied with the questions of whether we do just to our own selves, that the experience of the 'transcendent' becomes practically impossible. in the way of thinking which involves talking, discussing, analyzing, and criticizing, in which one opinion asks  the other for attention, in which belief is replaced more and more by an endless list of conceptions, opinions, visions, and ideas which whirl around as paper boats on the sea- in this way of thinking there is scarcely room for the spirit who speaks whenever we are silent and who comes in wherever we have emptied ourselves. instead of making ourselves susceptible to the experience of the transcendent God, we, bust about many things, begin to seek after the small, flighty sensation brought about by artificial stimulation of the senses.

thomas merton: a contemplative critic

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