Frases de Thomas Merton

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Thomas Merton

Fecha de nacimiento: 31. Enero 1915
Fecha de muerte: 10. Diciembre 1968

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Thomas Merton fue un monje trapense, poeta y pensador estadounidense. Está considerado como uno de los escritores sobre espiritualidad más influyentes del siglo XX.

Frases Thomas Merton

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„El núcleo del problema racial, tal como yo lo veo, es este: el negro (y también otros grupos raciales, pero el negro sobre
todo) resulta víctima de los conflictos psicológicos y sociales que ahora forman parte de una civilización blanca que teme una disgregación inminente y no tiene una comprensión madura de la realidad de la crisis. La sociedad blanca es pura y simplemente incapaz de aceptar realmente al negro y asimilarle, porque los blancos no pueden hacer frente a sus propios impulsos, no pueden defenderse contra sus propias emociones, que son extremadamente inestables en una sociedad sobreestimulada y rápidamente cambiante.
Para minimizar la sensación de riesgo y desastre siempre latente en sí mismos, los blancos tienen que proyectar sus miedos en algún objeto exterior a ellos mismos. Claro que la Guerra Fría ofrece amplias oportunidades, y cuanto más inseguros están los hombres, en un bando o en otro, más recurren a paranoicas acusaciones de «comunismo» o «imperialismo», según sea el caso. Las acusaciones no carecen de base, pero siguen siendo patológicas.
Aprisionado en este ineludible síndrome queda el negro, que tiene la desgracia de hacerse visible, con su presencia, su desgracia, sus propios conflictos y su propia división, precisamente en el momento en que la sociedad blanca está menos preparada para arreglárselas con un peso extra de riesgo.
¿Cuál es el resultado? Por un lado, la ternura de los «liberales» se precipita, de modo patético pero comprensible, a dar la bienvenida y a conciliar esa pena trágica. Por otro lado, los inseguros se endurecen de modo enconadamente patológico, se tensan las resistencias, y se confirman en el temor y el odio aquellos que (conservadores o no) están decididos a echar la culpa a otro de sus propias deformidades interiores.
La increíble inhumanidad de esta negativa a escuchar por un momento al negro, de algún modo, y de esta decisión de mantenerle oprimido a toda costa, me parece que proporcionará casi con seguridad una situación revolucionaria desesperanzadamente caótica y violenta. Cada vez más, la animosidad,
la suspicacia y el miedo que sienten esos blancos (y que en su raíz sigue siendo un miedo a su propia miseria interior, que probablemente no pueden sentir tal como es) llegan a hacerse una profecía que se cumple a sí misma. El odio del racista blanco al negro (lo repito, odio, porque aún es una palabra muy suave para indicar lo que hay en los corazones de esa agitada gente) se le hace aceptable cuando lo presenta como un odio del negro a los blancos, fomentado y estimulado por el comunismo. ¡La Guerra Fría y los miedos racistas se ensamblan en una sola unidad! ¡Qué sencillo es todo!
Al negro, claramente, se le invita a una sola reacción. Ha tenido innumerables razones para odiar al hombre blanco. Ahora se reúnen y se confirman sólidamente. Aunque no tenga nada que ganar por la violencia, tampoco tiene nada que perder. ¡Y por lo menos la violencia será un modo decisivo de decir lo que piensa de la sociedad blanca!
El resultado, sin duda, será muy desagradable, y la culpa caerá de lleno en las espaldas de la América blanca, con su inmadurez emocional, cultural y política, y su lamentable negativa a comprender.“

— Thomas Merton
Conjeturas de un espectador culpable

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„This new language of prayer has to come out of something which transcends all our traditions, and comes out of the immediacy of love. We have to part now, aware of the love that unites us, the love that unites us in spite of real differences, real emotional friction... The things on the surface are nothing, what is deep is the Real. We are creatures of Love. Let us therefore join hands, as we did before, and I will try to say something that comes out of the depths of our hearts. I ask you to concentrate on the love that is in you, that is in us all. I have no idea what I am going to say. I am going to be silent a minute, and then I will say something...
O God, we are one with You. You have made us one with You. You have taught us that if we are open to one another, You dwell in us. Help us to preserve this openness and to fight for it with all our hearts. Help us to realize that there can be no understanding where there is mutual rejection. O God, in accepting one another wholeheartedly, fully, completely, we accept You, and we thank You, and we adore You, and we love You with our whole being, because our being is Your being, our spirit is rooted in Your spirit. Fill us then with love, and let us be bound together with love as we go our diverse ways, united in this one spirit which makes You present in the world, and which makes You witness to the ultimate reality that is love. Love has overcome. Love is victorious. Amen.“

— Thomas Merton
Closing statements and prayer from an informal address delivered in Calcutta, India (October 1968), from The Asian Journal of Thomas Merton (1975); quoted in Thomas Merton, Spiritual Master : The Essential Writings (1992), p. 237.

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„I am able to approach the Buddhas barefoot and undisturbed, my feet in wet grass, wet sand.“

— Thomas Merton
Context: I am able to approach the Buddhas barefoot and undisturbed, my feet in wet grass, wet sand. Then the silence of the extraordinary faces. The great smiles. Huge and yet subtle. Filled with every possibility, questioning nothing, knowing everything, rejecting nothing, the peace not of emotional resignation but of Madhyamika, of sunyata, that has seen through every question without trying to discredit anyone or anything — without refutation — without establishing some other argument. For the doctrinaire, the mind that needs well-established positions, such peace, such silence, can be frightening. The Asian Journal of Thomas Merton (1975) Part One : Ceylon / November 29 - December 6.

„The humor, the sophistication, the literary genius, and philosophical insight of Chuang Tzu are evident to anyone who samples his work.“

— Thomas Merton
Context: The humor, the sophistication, the literary genius, and philosophical insight of Chuang Tzu are evident to anyone who samples his work. But before one can begin to understand even a little of his subtlety, one must situate him in his cul­tural and historical context. That is to say that one must see him against the background of the Confucianism which he did not hesitate to ridicule, along with all the other sedate and accepted schools of Chinese thought, from that of Mo Ti to that of Chuang's contemporary, friend, and constant op­ponent, the logician Hui Tzu. One must also see him in rela­tion to what followed him, because it would be a great mistake to confuse the Taoism of Chuang Tzu with the popular, de­ generate amalgam of superstition, alchemy, magic, and health­ culture which Taoism later became. The true inheritors of the thought and spirit of Chuang Tzu are the Chinese Zen Buddhists of the Tang period (7th to 10th centuries A. D.). But Chuang Tzu continued to exert an influence on all cultured Chinese thought, since he never ceased to be recognized as one of the great writers and think­ ers of the classical period. The subtle, sophisticated, mystical Taoism of Chuang Tzu and Lao Tzu has left a permanent mark on all Chinese culture and on the Chinese character itself. There have never been lacking authorities like Daisetz T. Suzuki, the Japanese Zen scholar, who declare Chuang Tzu to be the very greatest of the Chinese philosophers. There is no question that the kind of thought and culture represented by Chuang Tzu was what transformed highly speculative Indian Buddhism into the humorous, iconoclastic, and totally practical kind of Buddhism that was to flourish in China and in Japan in the various schools of Zen. Zen throws light on Chuang Tzu, and Chuang Tzu throws light on Zen. "The Way Of Chuang Tzu".

„We must suffer. Our five sense are dulled by inordinate pleasure.“

— Thomas Merton
Context: We must suffer. Our five sense are dulled by inordinate pleasure. Penance makes them keen, gives them back their natural vitality, and more. Penance clears the eye of conscience and of reason. It helps think clearly, judge sanely. It strengthens the action of our will.

„One might compare the journey of the soul to mystical union, by way of pure faith, to the journey of a car on a dark highway.“

— Thomas Merton
Context: One might compare the journey of the soul to mystical union, by way of pure faith, to the journey of a car on a dark highway. The only way the driver can keep to the road is by using his headlights. So in the mystical life, reason has its function. The way of faith is necessarily obscure. We drive by night. Nevertheless our reason penetrates the darkness enough to show us a little of the road ahead. It is by the light of reason that we interpret the signposts and make out the landmarks along our way. Those who misunderstand Saint John of the Cross imagine that the way of nada is like driving by night, without any headlights whatever. This is a dangerous misunderstanding of the saint's doctrine. Ch. X : Reason in the Life of Contemplation, p. 114.

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