Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Quiet Self

Without solitude of some sort there is and can be no maturity. Unless one becomes empty and alone, he cannot give himself in love because he does not possess the deep self which is the only gift worthy of love. And this deep self, we immediately add, cannot be possessed. My deep self is not “something” which I acquire, or to which I “attain” after a long struggle. It is not mine, and cannot become mine. It is no “thing”—no object. It is “I.”

The shallow “I” of individualism can be possessed, developed, cultivated, pandered to, satisfied: it is the center of all our strivings for gain and for satisfaction, whether material or spiritual. But the deep “I” of the spirit, of solitude and love, cannot be “had,” possessed, developed, and perfected. It can only be, and act according to deep inner laws which are not of man’s contriving, but which come from God. They are the Laws of the Spirit, who, like the wind, blows where He wills (John 3:8). This inner “I,” who is always alone, is always universal: for in this inmost “I” my own solitude meets the solitude of every other man and the solitude of God.
---Thomas Merton, Choosing to Love the World

5 Grateful Heart's Words:

sri said...

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Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Too much focus on the I (self) negates our dependence on God who must be the center of our being. Thanks for the post. God bless you always.

Tina said...

Wonderful food for thought. Sounds like a great book.

Salute said...

Awesome post. And solitude helps us to learn and understand self.

Webbielady said...

Such deep contemplations.... i don't think i really feel solitude or something like that...if i stay a minute or two quietly, i just fall asleep. Im a sleeper.