Monday, April 13, 2009

our lives on this earth

The mature person realizes that life affirms itself most, not in acquiring things, but in giving time, efforts, strength, intelligence, and love to others. Here a different kind of dialectic of life and death begins to appear. The living drive, the vital satisfaction, by "ending" its trend to self-satisfaction and redirecting itself to and for others, transcends itself. It "dies" insofar as the ego is concerned, for the self is deprived of the immediate satisfactions which it could claim without being contested. Now it renounces these things, in order to give to others. Hence, life "dies" to itself in order to give itself away and thus affirms itself more maturely, more fruitfully, and more completely. We live in order to die to ourselves and give everything to others. ...This "dying" to self in order to give to others is nothing more or less than a higher and more special affirmation of life. Such dying is the fruit of life, the evidence of mature and productive living. It is, in fact, the end or the goal of life.

Thomas Merton. Love and Living.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thats is a way of living.
i have lately been thinking of father abraham. he has a farm, 400 men who he sort of owned loosely and their families. everyone around knew that father abraham had this personal god hence "the god of abraham" was said. i believe that living under the shadow of abraham, in his village, meant that they were covered under the shadow of a big faith which flowed through abraham and then into his "followers" (servants)
maybe, if i work well, earn a living, and try to keep an eye on my brethren, i can have my own personal village, and others can have me in their village, and we can all do well as workers, be it carpenters, plumbers, lawyers, teachers, or stay at village moms.