Friday, September 01, 2017

Parallels With Merton

... dim parallels, but parallels nonetheless.

After years of struggling with it, I'm almost at the end of Thomas Merton's autobiography of faith, The Seven Storey Mountain. I couldn't find an unabridged version on Audible, so I'm reading a real, paper book. How taxing! Anyway, the book details his journey from communist wastrel to Trappist monk.

How's that for a transition in life?

Thomas Merton entered the monastic life in the second week of December, 1941. Something else happened that week, what was it? Oh yeah. This.

December 7, 1941: Presaging ANTIFA, the Japanese responded to white supremacist hate speech.
Merton gave up his old life in order to gain a new one. He wrote about the freedom that comes with surrendering to God, the shedding of old sins and the embrace of divine love. He was a terrific writer, so it's more eloquent than that, but that's the idea. In a world falling into strife and chaos, he embraced the peace of Christ.

Last Sunday, I blogged one of my standard posts about chucking all the political hate and turmoil. I don't have any illusions that this vow will be more successful than previous ones, but why not try?
I need to avoid the things that trigger the unwanted thoughts. Anger wasn't one of the things I was working on, but it was front and center this week, brought on by my consumption of political posts on Facebook and Twitter. It was really rough as the progressive onslaught upon the culture and their obsession with race was infuriating.
I've pretty much stuck to that plan. I'm down to maybe 3 political people on Twitter and consuming only Instapundit on the web. I've found much more peace in my life because of it. I miss the anger that came with reading stories of outrages because anger, like all sins, is fun. Lots and lots of fun.

Meanwhile, the world continues to spiral into hysteria. Dig this.
The University of Mississippi cut short a fraternity retreat this weekend when a participant threw a banana peel into a tree...The meeting then began to unravel—some participants left the room crying—and students departed from the campsite as they no longer felt "welcome" or "safe."...Makala McNeil, president of Alpha Kappa Alpha and one of the students who happened upon the peel, told the student paper, "You see how much fear and how much anger you incite in black people just from an unintentional image."
Some dude ate a banana and couldn't find a trash can, so he tossed the peel into a tree. That sounds like something I would do. "Hey, it's biodegradable!" is an excuse I've used plenty of times. In one of the least racist nations on Earth, this resulted in rage and fear.

A banana peel in a tree resulted in rage and fear. "You see how much fear and how much anger you incite in black people..."

It's not the attack on Pearl Harbor or a world at total war, but it's a difference in scale, not in kind. We've become so convinced of an existential threat that doesn't exist that we see it everywhere. It's a national mania, fed by an academy that has become completely detached from reality, an unthinking media that enforces orthodoxy and a political class that is terrified of the media.

It might not have been such a bad idea to unplug from this insanity after all. It makes blogging harder, but that's not such a big price to pay for the peace.

No comments: