Friday, August 3, 2012

Knowing when we have fallen

Artist: Pieter Bruegel the Elder 
Image from Wikimedia Commons 

Oh, I think this is so very, very true. And, if we let it, this realization can help us cultivate compassion for those who have no idea at all that they are in spiritual darkness:
We stumble and fall constantly even when we are most enlightened. But when we are in true spiritual darkness, we do not even know that we have fallen.
-- Thomas Merton 


  1. Wow!

    a scary thought be that lost.

    annie c

  2. Thanks for this comment, Annie. Yes, I think that is why it is so important that we always have someone in our support system with whom we share deeply about our interior lives. All of us have blind spots --- and, by definition, we can't see our own blind spots.

  3. I suppose it is a truism but I've never heard it stated. But I suspect the view is easier stated than implemented, especially given that it would necessarily apply to a very wide range of darkness, from those who are simply lost in the darkness to those who have chosen the darkness and have given themselves over to evil. But, having taken the thought that far, I then wonder if the statement is in fact a truism. For I believe those who give themselves over to evil know exactly where they are. But then I suppose they would deny they have fallen.

  4. When taken to the extreme of those who have chosen darkness/evil, I would agree that small group knows exactly where they are. However, if they have chosen to be on the side of the fallen they are not truly in spiritual darkness for as you say, Tom, they know exactly where they are. Therefore, the statement is still true.
    Carolyn L.


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