Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Year With Thomas Merton - September 22

Karl Barth's Dream

Karl Barth had a dream about Mozart. (Mozart a Catholic and Barth is piqued by the fact that Mozart did not like Protestantism, for he said it was "all in the head" and that they didn't know the meaning of Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi.) Well, Barth dreamt he had to "examine" Mozart in Dogma. He wanted to make it as favorable as possible, and in his questions he alluded pointedly to Mozart's "Masses." But Mozart did not answer a word.

I am tempted to write Barth a letter about his moving dream, which of course concerns his own salvation.

He says that for years he has played Mozart every morning before going to work on dogma himself. (Just think! Dogma is his daily work!!)

The Mozart in himself is perhaps in some way the better, hidden, sophianic fact that grasps the "center" of cosmic music and is saved by love (yes, Eros!). The other, the theologian, is seemingly more occupied with love, but it is a stern, actually more cerebral, agape ... a love that is not in us, only in God.

I remember my own dream about "Protestants." (They are perhaps my aggressive side.)

Barth seeks perhaps to be saved by the Mozart in him.

September 22, 1960, IV.49-50

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