Sunday, May 04, 2008

Merton's violent activist

“… there is a pervasive form of contemporary violence that the activist fighting for peace by non-violent means mostly succumbs, viz. activism and overwork. The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form of innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by the multiplicity of conflicting concerns, to surrender oneself to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone with everything, is to succumb to violence, more than that, it is cooperation in violence! The frenzy of the activist neutralises his work for peace, it destroys the fruitfulness of his own work because it kills the root of inner wisdom which alone makes work fruitful.”
– Thomas Merton