Love For All, Hate For None – 15 quotes from Thomas Merton’s Writings – The Other Side of the Mountain: The Journals of Thomas Merton 1967-1968 edited by Patrick Hart

by Mark Votava

51yldrcNI8L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_1. Meditative discipline

“I see the importance of real seriousness about meditative discipline…  Have really reached the point in my life where one thing only is important: call it ‘liberation’ or whatever you like.”

2. Liberate myself from the common delusions

“The best thing I can give to others is to liberate myself from the common delusions and be, for myself and for them, free.  Then grace can work in and through me for everyone.”

3. Possibilities are allowed to surface

“The contemplative life must provide an area, a space of liberty, of silence, in which possibilities are allowed to surface and new choices – beyond routine choice – become manifest.  It should create a new experience of time,… not a blank to be filled or an untouched space to be conquered and violated, but a space which can enjoy its own potentialities and hopes – and its own presence to itself.  One’s own time.  But not dominated by one’s own ego and its demands.  Hence open to others – compassionate time, rooted in the sense of common illusion and in criticism of it.”

4. Dealing charitably and humbly with one another

“…if we deal charitably and humbly with one another, the Spirit will take care of the rest…”

5. Self-destructive theology of hate

“This sick distortion of Christianity is deep in all the thinking of the warmakers.  A perverse, death-loving, self-destructive theology of hate.”

6. Abandon one’s attachment to a particular ego

“To be ‘homeless’ is to abandon one’s attachment to a particular ego – and yet to care for one’s own life (in the highest sense) in the service of others.  A deep and beautiful idea.”

7. Let change come quietly and invisibly on the inside

“There is a need of effort, deepening, change and transformation.  Not that I must undertake a special project of self-transformation or that I must ‘work on myself.’ In that regard, it would be better to forget it.  Just go for walks, live in peace, let change come quietly and invisibly on the inside.”

8. Love for all, hate for none

“Love for all, hatred of none is the fruit and manifestation of love for God – peace and satisfaction…”

9. Violence leads to more violence

“Will there never be any peace on earth in our lifetime?  Will they never do anything but kill, and then kill some more?  Apparently they are caught in that impasse: the system is completely violent and involved in violence, and there is no way out but violence: and that leads only to more violence…”

10. The whole of society

“The whole of society is absurd, and we contribute to it without knowing it.”

11. Freedom is pure illusion

“…this is a totalitarian society in which freedom is pure illusion.”

12. A new path is opening up

“Once again – I have a feeling that a new path is opening up.”

13. Prepare new dreams

“Prepare new dreams.  Be liberated from old ones…”

14. Attend to the symptoms both of life and death

“…the living man should attend to the symptoms both of life and death in himself…”

15. Compassion is proportionate to detachment

“Compassion is proportionate to detachment; otherwise we use others for our own ends under the pretext of ‘love.’  Actually, we are dominated by illusion.  Love that perpetuates the illusion does no good to others or to ourselves.”

Which quote most resonates with you?

Here are some other posts I have done on Thomas Merton and his writings.