Dancing with the Raven

SSJ Monica Weis

in The Environmental Vision of Thomas Merton

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780813130040
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813135717 | DOI:
Dancing with the Raven

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This chapter emphasizes three pivotal moments in Thomas Merton's life. The first, in the late 1950s, was his experience at Fourth and Walnut in Louisville, where he suddenly realized that “I loved all people and that they are a part of me”. The second, in 1963, was the experience that triggered his letter to Rachel Carson, an experience of his oneness with all of nature. The third, in 1968, was the experience at the Buddha statues in Ceylon, where he was drawn into oneness with all that is. This book explores the powerful impact of nature on Thomas Merton's spiritual development and budding ecological consciousness. It also explores Merton's commitment to seeing and increased awareness and explores some of the consequences of that commitment: his deepening sense of place and desire for solitude; his expanded love and responsibility for human and nonhuman life; and his evolving ecological consciousness. An overview of the chapters included in this book is presented.

Keywords: Thomas Merton; Rachel Carson; Buddha statues; nature; spiritual development; ecological consciousness; human; nonhuman life

Chapter.  2993 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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