Into the other

(I feel that this applies not only—though yes, deeply—to human connections, but also in subtler, perhaps more partial yet palpable ways to our presence with other species, landscapes, the earth and sky, and indeed, all creation)

ThomasmertonLONGTo love another as a person…we have to love him for what he is in himself, and not for what he is to us.  We have to love him for his own good, not for the good we get out of him.

And this is impossible unless we are capable of a love which “transforms” us, so to speak, into the other person, making us able to see things as he sees them, love what he loves, experience the deeper realities of his own life as if they were our own.

Without sacrifice, such a transformation is utterly impossible.  But unless we are capable of this kind of transformation “into the other” while remaining ourselves, we are not yet capable of a fully human existence.

Thomas Merton
from Disputed Questions

Image: Spirituality and Practice

 These thoughts were percolating as I wrote the previous post (scroll down).

About Jim

Night sky watcher; a mobile bit of earth's body. One foot lingering in Lower Cañoncito's piñon-juniper foothills at the southern tip of the Rockies, the edge of the Great Plains stretching away from the mouth of our little valley a couple miles downstream. The other foot re-rooting into the Land of the White Pines, home of my blood and bones, amidst the coastal plain and glacial hills and ponds of southern Maine, between the North Atlantic and the bones of the ancient Appalachian Mountains.

Posted on 2013/11/09, in Nourishing Words. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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