On Visible Conjurations Fraters Ashen and Cecchetellitwo magicians who I respect highly as individuals and co-Workers in the divine sense, have recently posted their views regarding the visible appearance of spirits to magicians when performing grimoire magic. I do not disagree with any of their statements or conclusions, but I do have concerns about their emphasis on the visibility of spirits and the ability to clearly hear the spirits speak. Ashen has made it clear that he doesn't believe your average guy walking down the street, peeking in through a window during a conjuration is going to see the spirits the magician sees during the rite. I'm pretty sure Mr.
Wins no wars and ends them all. Thoughts of a child's heart Without care, without weapons! Gives life to what it loves Kind as the innocent sun And lovelier than all dragons! In seeming weakness Merton finds a symbol of regenerative love. Emblems for a Pilgrim The next collection of poetry to be published was Emblems of a Season of Fury in The Second Vatican Council was in its second year.
Merton was still Master of Novices. Late that year President John Kennedy was assassinated. It is a varied collection of poems of social protest and poems clearly influenced by Merton's study of Zen.
The previous year Merton had been ordered by the superior of his religious order not to publish anything further on the issues of war and peace. The conflict within him as to his desire for solitude continued.
In a building was constructed on the monastery's land which Merton was allowed to use for a few hours each day for solitude. His abbot in the s and s was frequently in conflict with Merton over this issue and discouraged Merton's ideas about joining another, more eremitic, order such as the Carthusians and the Camoldoli.
His apophatic orientation continued, but a long suppressed openness to the world had begun in the late s and can be found in the social protest poems in Emblems of a Season of Fury. The very word "fury" is not too strong for the emotions released within Merton at this time. He not only protested war and racism, but his own illusions.
In a real sense it was a time of crisis for Merton.
His inner dark night was not only about solitude and contemplation, but about love. In he had written that "my worst and inmost sickness is the despair of ever being able truly to love, because I despair of ever being worthy of love. The paradox is that the more solitude he was to have, the greater became his interest in the state of the world and his compassion for others.
As a published poet and writer Merton had to deal with the public perception of himself. This "Mertonism" could distract him into writing what he thought his audience wanted and expected from him instead of the truth he felt.
In he wrote in a letter about the image people had of him and how distorted it was. He said that those who believe in such an image do not know how unwilling I would be to have anyone repeat in his own life the miseries of mine.
That would be flatly, a mortal sin against charity. I thought I have never done anything to obscure the lack of anything that a monk might conceive to be a desirable quality. Surely this lack is public knowledge, and anyone who imitates me does so at his own risk.
I can promise him some fine moments of naked despair. Wallace Stevens wrote a poem called "Of Modern Poetry" in which he addresses the weakening of'traditional faith and the ascribing to poetry and literature an almost religious role left in the wake of that weakening. It had not always had To find: Then the theatre was changed To something else.
Its past was a souvenir. For over fifteen years Merton lived a script that developed deeper lines, but had not broken off into radically new scenes. Poetry marks his inner longing for only that which will suffice. Merton's interests included reading Pasternak, Camus, Suzuki, Weil, Russian mystics, central and South American poets, Islamic Sufis as well as about nuclear war, racial equality, Asian religions, modern monasticism, and fourteenth century mystics.
In he wrote I am still a 14th century man: This is what I am: I must consent to be it and not be ashamed that I am not something more fashionable. Yet, as his poetry became more simple, objective, "flattened," freer of meter, poetic diction and imagery, he worked to allow the words, the semantic associations, to speak for themselves.
Sometimes the result was more didactic than poetic vision, but Emblems is a collection that tries to hold together Merton's far-reaching sides. The mystical lyrics are found with the satires and protests. It is the emergence of Merton's dialectical, synthesis of mystical and social, monastic and worldly, poetic and religious, sacred and profane.
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Thomas Merton - home page of the Thomas Merton Society of Great Britain and Ireland. An Incarnational Transformation. In the s Thomas Merton, the mystic poet, became more pronounced in his prophetic voice and more diffuse in his lifelong pilgrimage to the sacred.
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