Seeds

By Thomas Merton; Robert Inchausti (Editor); Robert Inchausti (Selected by)
(Shambhala Publications, Paperback, 9781570629303, 167pp.)

Publication Date: October 8, 2002

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Description

Thomas Merton is often considered the most prominent Christian contemplative of the twentieth century, but he was also a political activist, social visionary, and literary figure whose writings combine the candor of Thoreau and the moral vision of Gandhi. Here is a remarkably accessible introduction to his work: a collection of a short, vivid excerpts arranged in four parts so as to parallel the journey of a seeking soul in the modern world.

   •  "Real and False Selves" distinguishes between our real selves, a deep religious mystery known entirely only to God, and the identities we take on in order to function in society.
   •  "The World We Live In" provides a spiritual context to modern life, moving from a stark rejection of its empty promises to a deep compassion for its tragic limitations.
   •  "Antidotes to Illusion" reflects on contemplative practices that can serve as the allies of our "real selves" in the battle against illusion: silence, solitude, meditation, prayer, charity, and faith.
   •  "Love in Action" explores the role of the contemplative in the modern age and the challenges and pitfalls of living a life of active love.


Merton's startling critique of a society driven by technology and rampant acquisition, the politics of "good versus evil," and the self-deluding complacency of the spiritual "lifestyle" demonstrate beyond doubt that his writings are as urgent today as they were in his lifetime.




About the Author
Thomas Merton (1915-1968) entered the Cistercian Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky, following his conversion to Catholicism and was ordained Father M. Louis in 1949. During the 1960s, he was increasingly drawn into a dialogue between Eastern and Western religions and domestic issues of war and racism. In 1968, the Dalai Lama praised Merton for having a more profound knowledge of Buddhism than any other Christian he had known. Thomas Merton is the author of the beloved classic The Seven Storey Mountain.

ROBERT INCHAUSTI is Professor of English at California Polytechnic State University.

ROBERT INCHAUSTI is Professor of English at California Polytechnic State University.
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