Thomas Merton, in his later years experienced a conversion – or was it the fulfillment of an earlier one – when he left the Monastery to run some errands in town one day – and suddenly SAW people – all like him, nothing separated them from him, nor him from them.
The calling to be a solitary leaves the person in more than one paradox.
One may feel most at home being alone, one may feel somewhat self-conscious or even ill at ease socially. Or one may very well feel the enjoyment of healthy human company and sharing.
One may feel the need to draw a map of the spiritual terrain one moves in, yet forever being called to go beyond it, to simplify it.
One may hold dear some spiritual concepts only to realise that they can be held only in being processed.
One may recognise that one has much in common with everybody’s underlying aloneness, yet experience that those nearest not only don’t understand the calling but think it just avoidance, in the face of one’s still inevitable idiosyncrasies.
One is, however, under a constant pull to open oneself to the unknowing, and more and more so. And that may well be for one’s intrapsychic balance and sanity: the solitary who thinks she understands herself could be lost. The drive is greater than the sum of the findings.


~ by Barbara S on January 17, 2013.

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