Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Need For Solitude

This is something I started to realize at a pretty early age but never became literate enough to put into words so well. From Thomas Merton's 'New Seeds of Contemplation':

'Where men live huddled together without true communication, there seems to be greater sharing, and a more genuine communion. But this is not communion, only immersion in the general meaninglessness of countless slogans and clichés repeated over and over again so that in the end one listens without hearing and responds without thinking. The constant din of empty words and machine noises, the endless booming of loudspeakers end by making true communication and true communion almost impossible. Each individual in the mass is insulated by thick layers of insensibility. He doesn’t care, he doesn’t hear, he doesn’t think. He does not act, he is pushed. He does not talk, he produces conventional sounds when stimulated by the appropriate noises. He does not think, he secretes clichés.'

His point wasn't so much to depress his readers but to put his finger on the problem. And in that I think he succeeded.

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