Monday, March 14, 2011

Being and Doing

I find myself thinking on these a lot. Not always directly; mostly indirectly. And I think it's common since us Americans are a little obsessed with both being and doing. Sometimes it feels like the only way we know about someone's being is by what they are doing.

But I get the feeling that it's not the end of the story.

"We do not live merely in order to "do something"-no matter what.

Activity is just one of the normal expressions of life, and the life it expresses is all the more perfect when it sustains itself with an ordered economy of action. This order demands a wise alternation of activity and rest.

We do not live more fully merely by doing more, seeing more, tasting more, and experiencing more than we ever have before. On the contrary, some of us need to discover that we will not begin to live more fully until we have the courage to do and see and taste and experience much less than usual."

And our activity and rest seem directly tied to our happiness somehow.

"We cannot be happy if we expect to live all the time at the highest peak of intensity. Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony."

I know this is true but it's hard for me to really live like this is true.

Thanks for reminding us, Thomas Merton. (From No Man is an Island)

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