Monday, November 07, 2005

Sogyal Merton

Went back to the old well and read a Thomas Merton book that was a text in Theology at Marquette circa 1969. Faith and Violence. What he wrote played into what I'd been thinking coming up to those days. Violence was a topic in the time [CIA hunt of Che, Kerner Commission, Cronkite, Watts, Detroit, Vietnam, Velvet Underground, Panthers, MC5, etc.]. Here we go again.

This book is concerned 'with the defense of the dignity and rights of man against the encroachments and brutality of masive power structures....'

He writes: "The population of the affluent world is nourished on a steady diet of brutal mythology and hallucination, kept at a constnt pitch of high tension by a life that is intrinsically violent in that it forces a large part of the population to submit to an existnece which is humanly intolerable. " p.3

He quotes John XXIII quoting Augustine: ''What are kinkdoms without justice but bands of robbers?'' And I look in my daily paper and see that Sen. McCain has to couch his motion to outlaw torture using strategem: "Rest of world no longer respects us." I feel for him - I am on no stage where I have to scrape the ethical bottom of the empire barrel. p.4

Daily paper described per Merton: "The ritual moring trance, in which one scans columns of newsprint, creates a peculiar form of gneneralized pseudo-attention to a psedo-reality This experience is taken seriously It is ones daily immersion in 'reality.' One's orientation to the rest of the world. One's way of reassuring oneself that one has not fallen behind. That he is still there. That he still counts!" p.151

Comment per me: Too real!

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