Monday, 8 October 2012

Mondays with Merton - the start of something new

I've decided to try to write more regularly... and start  "Mondays with Merton", where I'll take an exceprt from Thomas Merton's book "No Man Is An Island", write about it, share my thoughts, and ask for feedback as well. I'd love this to be a bit of a discussion, so feel free to respond with your thoughts as well. Today, let's start with some words about freedom.

 The first three sentences is one of my favorite quotes:

"My free will consolidates and perfects its own autonomy by freely co-ordinating its action with the will of another. There is something in the very nature of my freedom that inclines me to love, to do good, to dedicate myself to others. I have an instinct that tells me that I am less free when I am living for myself alone. The reason for this is that I cannont be completely independent. Since I am not self-sufficiant I depend on someone else for my fulfillment. My freedom is not fully free when left to itself. It becomes so when it is brought into the right relation with the freedom of another."*

I found this so profound, especially the first time I read it. Growing up in a conservative Christian family in America, I was taught so much about freedom and independence, but mostly to the extend of patriotism. Freedom is so much more than patriotism. Some of the questions I've pondered over the years in regards to freedom include: What am I free from? And what I am free to? Freedom isn't just about exploring or excersing ones own "rights"... I think it is so true when Merton says " I have an instinct that tells me that I am less free when I am living for myself alone".
hmmm.... let's just chew on that for a bit.....

let me know what your thoughts are too, i'd love to share some dialogue about the excerpts I post.

Cheers from Oz,


*page 35, No Man Is An Island, Thomas Merton, circa 1955

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