Sunday, October 21, 2018

content to be lost

Desert and void. The uncreated is waste and emptiness to the creature. Not even sand. Not even stone. Not even darkness and night. A burning wilderness would at least be "something." It burns and is wild. But the Uncreated is no something. Waste. Emptiness. Total poverty of the Creator: yet from this poverty springs everything. The waste is inexhaustible. Infinite Zero. Everything wants to return to it and cannot. For who can return "nowhere?" But for each of us there is a point of nowhereness in the middle of movement, a point of nothingness in the midst of being: the incomparable point, not to be discovered by insight. If you seek it you do not find it. If you stop seeking, it is there. But you must not turn to it. Once you become aware of yourself as seeker, you are lost. But if you are content to be lost you will be found without knowing it, precisely because you are lost, for you are, at last, nowhere.
 The ALL is nothing, for if it were to be a single thing separated from all other things, it would not be ALL. This precisely is the liberty I have always sought: the freedom of being subject to nothing and therefore to live in All, through ALL, by Him who is ALL.  In Christian terms, this is to live "in Christ," for the Spirit is like the wind, blowing where He pleases, and He is the Spirit of Truth.  The "Truth shall make you free."

But if the truth is to make me free, I must also let go my hold upon myself, and not retain the semblance of a self which is an object of a "thing." I, too, must be no-thing. And when I'm no-thing I am in the ALL, and Christ lives in me.

~ Thomas Merton
from Merton's Palace of Nowhere by James Finley
sketch by the author