Monday, October 17, 2011
A Year With Thomas Merton - October 17
Plato's Music, Gandhi's Truth
After the night office. The superb moral and positive beauty of Plato's Phaedo. One does not have to agree with Plato, but one must hear him. Not to listen to such a voice is unpardonable, it like (sic) listening to conscience or to nature. I repent, and I love this great poem, this "music." It is purifying music of which I have great need.
And Gandhi--how I need to understand and practice non-violence in every way. It is because my life is not firmly based on the truth that I am morally in confusion and captivity--under the half truths and prejudices that rule others and rule me through them.
"A person who realizes a particular evil of his time and finds that it overwhelms him dives deep in his own breast for inspiration and, when he gets it, he presents it to others" (Gandhi).
Moved and delighted by the line of the Book of Wisdom about ships (14:1-7), especially the one "...so that even if a man lacks skill he may put to sea." Profound implications, especially for me at this moment. The necessity of risk and its place in the context of Providence and wisdom. A desire for gain plans the vessel (not necessarily reproved here); wisdom builds it; Providence guides it; and the navigator needs not long experience but trust and good sense.
October 10, 12, and 13, 1960, IV.57