“Symbols” by Thomas Merton



Traditionally, the value of the symbol is precisely in its apparent uselessness

 as a means of simple communication.  It is ordered toward communion,

 not to communication. Because it is not an efficient mode of communicating

 information, the symbol can achieve a higher purpose, beyond 

cause and effect. Instead of establishing a new contact by a meeting of minds

 in the sharing of news, the symbol tells nothing new:

 it revives our awareness of what we already know,

 and deepens our awareness. What is “new” in the symbol is the ever new

 discovery of a new depth and a new actuality in what is and always has been.

The function of the symbol is to manifest a union that already exists

 but is not fully realized.  The symbol awakens awareness or restores it.  

Therefore it does not aim at communication but at communion. 

 Communion is the awareness of participation in an ontological reality: 

in the mystery of being, of human love, of redemptive mystery, 

of contemplative truth,

~ Thomas Merton 

from Merton’s Palace of Nowhere 
by James Finley

5 Comments Add yours

  1. True words of wisdom and guidance is a symbol. Great pointers 👍👍👍👍👍

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hello, Amira, hope all is well with you! zaza

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Margaret says:

    Hi Amira,
    Long time & hope you are well Missed your presence here. Thank you for the lovely post & I will copy the flower of life in my journal ❤️🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. organicschat says:

    What a lovely post Amira. Beautifully expressed by Thomas Merton. I hope you are well dearest friend. I see that this post is from August 5 so indeed, I do hope all is well. Much love 💖💕🌷🌳🍃


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