Believing means liberating the indestructible element in oneself, or, more accurately, being indestructible, or, more accurately, being.
In the year he died, the Trappist monk and best-selling author, Thomas Merton, published an essay addressed to “Unbelievers” apologizing for the inadequacy and impertinence of what had been inflicted upon them in the name of religion. It was not just because the manipulative antics and “vaudeville” of the defenders of the faith embarrassed him but also because it seemed to him that their “defenses” constituted “a falsification of religious truth.”1
“Faith comes by hearing, says St. Paul, but by hearing what?” he asked. “The cries of snake-handlers? The soothing platitudes of the religious operator? One must be able to listen to the inscrutable ground of (one’s) own being, and who am I to say that (the atheists’) reservations about religious commitment do not protect, in [them], this kind of listening?”2
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