No Man Is An Island by Thomas Merton
New York : Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1955. First Edition. Hardcover. 264 pages ; 21 cm. $3.95 dust jacket with a few rips and tears around the DJ edges. Previous owner bookplate on front free endpaper. Pages are unmarked and binding is firm.
No Man Is an Island
"My own reflections on certain aspects of the spiritual, life" is Thomas Merton's description of his new book. He states that it is "intended to be simpler, more fundamental, and more detailed" than his earlier and smaller volume, Seeds of Contemplation, to which it is related. Its subject is the basic verities on which the spiritual life depends.
Without a life of the spirit, Thomas Merton explains, existence becomes unsubstantial and illusory. It is the life of the spirit which puts us in fullest contact with reality —not as we imagine it, but as it really is. Since every human being, as part of mankind, belongs to the mystical body whose central reality is "God's love living and acting in all beings," no man is entirely alone. Thus the book's title, taken from John Donne's famous passage.
The theme is developed in sixteen chapters whose nature and scope are indicated by such typical headings as "Love Can Be Kept Only by Being Given Away"; "Conscience, Freedom, and Prayer"; "Sentences on Hope"; "Sincerity"; "The Inward Solitude"; and "Silence." His many readers will agree that the inspiring and compassionate pages of No Man Is an Island rank with the major work of Thomas Merton.
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