Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Year With Thomas Merton - October 20

Going Beyond My Boundaries

A wonderful letter from Pasternak to Kurt Wolff, in German, was forwarded to me from Pantheon. Most of it concerned with his reaction to my letters and to my "perfect" understanding of all that was most important to him in his work. "The aptness of his understanding and the clarity of his insights is beyond belief." And he picked out especially my reaction to his Hamlet poem and the business about the Red Sea and the Blessed Virgin, and about God-manhood.

That I have been able to give the consolation of understanding and appreciating what he most wanted to say is also to me a great consolation.

Later in the letter, a most important point, and one which came back to me this morning after my Mass:

"One cannot remain immobile where the political and aesthetic customs and potentialities are so conspicuous and compelling: one must take another step."

I agree with this perfectly, and I see that this is the very heart of my own personal vocation.

I must--in my writing, in my prayer, in my life--take this further step and go beyond my limitations and the limitations of thought, art and religion of our time. And this requires effort and suffering. I simply cannot sit down and accept my limitations--that is impossible. But I must take care most of all not to be content with merely fanciful transcendence--going beyond my limitations in thought and imagination only. It must be a real transcendence.

No comments:

Post a Comment