Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Year With Thomas Merton - June 9

Something More than Reefers

If we are ever going to have peace again, we will have to hate war for some better reason than that we fear to lose our houses, or our refrigerators, or our cars, or our legs, or our lives. If we are ever to get peace, we have got to desire something more than reefers and anesthetics—but that is all we seem to want: anything to avoid pain.

It is terrifying that the world doesn’t wake up to this irony: that at a time when all our desire is nothing but to have pleasant sensations and avoid painful sensations, there should be almost more pain and suffering and brutality and horror, and more helplessness to do anything about it, than there ever was before!

June 25, 1940, I.233

Basic: the struggle for lucidity, out of which compassion can at last arise. Then you are free. That is, you are lost: there is no self to save. You simply love. Free of desire for oneself, desiring only lucidity for oneself and others.

June 20, 1966, VI.323-24

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