Monday, September 21, 2009

from Thomas Merton

from Thomas Merton's The New Man, 1961.
"The mark of true life in man is therefore not turbulence but control, not effervescence but lucidity and direction, not passion but the sobriety that sublimates all passion and elevates it to the clear inebriation of mysticism. The control we mean here is not arbitrary and tyrannical control by an interior principle which can be called, variously, a "super-ego" or a pharisaical conscience: it is the harmonious coordination of man's powers in striving for the realization of his deepest spiritual potentialities. It is not so much a control of one part of man by another, but the peaceful integration of all man's powers into one perfect actuality which is his true self, that is to say his spiritual self."   pg12.

 Wordsworth spoke of "emotion recollected in tranquillity", Eliot of "the still point." And Frost wrote of the "momentary stay against confusion."

(c) photograph by John Robert Lee. In Canticles (2007).

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