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#4722 - Friday, October 5, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz

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  • Jerry Katz
    #4722 - Friday, October 5, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz The Nonduality Highlights http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights/ Hidden in the Same Mystery: Thomas
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      #4722 - Friday, October 5, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
      Hidden in the Same Mystery:
      Thomas Merton and Loretto
      Thomas Merton
      Sister Mary Luke Tobin
      The following is excerpted from the book review posted at
      Merton urged his listeners to "watch out for impractical ideals."  These he defined as a priori principles:  "You work it out in your head first . . . You work it out before, and then you apply it to reality, and you try to force reality to fit the ideal. . . And then when reality doesn't fit the ideal, you start fighting reality." 
      On the other hand, he warned about avoiding the other extreme, which he called "passive realism."  This "wrong kind of realism" says, "'Well, this is the way it is.  What can you do?' and then just does nothing."
      He then proposed another way, which he called "the Christian view." He described it as:

      [I]n the reality which I have and am now, there is a possibility for growth which God has put there.  There's a seed that He's planted there, and He's going to make grow in His own way, and what I have to provide is the love and the assent and the submission that's going to permit this to grow.  I have to let this grow.  I have to let the changes take place in my life that God wants to have take place in my life. 
      Merton added that this third approach takes faith, hope and love.  It requires a hard thing--accepting that each of us is the person he or she is, and none other.  "In being myself," he said, "I can be Christ."

      Mary Luke continued to repeat this same message after Merton died.  She incorporated it into an article she wrote for Praying (published by National Catholic Reporter) in 1984, and later in a presentation she gave at Rochester College in 1990.  Both her works are reprinted in Hidden in the Same Mystery. 
      While it is only natural to wonder what Merton or Luke might do in the particular circumstances we face today, we cannot know for certain.  Thanks to Hidden in the Same Mystery, however, we now have a compilation of wisdom from two recent spiritual giants to help shape the questions we ask.  Drawing on that same message from Merton's talk, some of those questions might be:

          In what ways are we attempting to impose an ideal that doesn't fit with reality?
          In what ways are we giving up and doing nothing?   
          And most importantly, What seeds of new life has God placed within us--and how can we nurture their growth?
      ~ ~ ~
      Read the fully review and more details about the book:
      ~ ~ ~
      Fons Vitae, which publishes this book, "translated from Latin as 'the fountain of life',  is devoted to making works available from the world's great spiritual traditions.  Fons Vitae  refers to the knowledge which flows out to humanity from the Divine Source."
      Fons Vitae, a non-profit, academic press, publishes interfaith scholarly works focused primarily on world spirituality.
      A peer-reviewed publishing house, Fons Vitae is distinguished for its significant English translations of key Arabic and Persian works, especially in the field of Sufism.

      Its award-winning books and DVDs are used throughout the world in university classrooms and by the general public, including in its prison outreach.
      Fons Vitae seeks to broaden understanding and admiration of all the worldÂ’s sacred traditions by sponsoring lecture series and educational programs, as well as by participating in interfaith congresses worldwide.
      ~ ~ ~
      I think the world of nonduality could use a "non-profit, academic press" as well. Many of Fons Vitae's books would fit well. The publisher, Gray Henry, was amazingly helpful in granting me permission to reprint a rare text from Ib'n Arabi in my book of readings, One: Essential Writings on Nonduality, and even excited about the particular passage I wanted to quote.
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