Thomas Merton, Seven Storey Mountain

I’m thoroughly enjoying reading this autobiography. Here’s another example of why:

“At Hyeres I had to wait a couple of days before the money arrived and when it did, the letter that went with it was filled with sharp reproofs. Tom, my guardian, took occasion of my impracticality to call attention to most of my other faults as well, and I was very humiliated. So after a month of my precious liberty, I received my first indication that my desires could never be absolute: they must necessarily be conditioned and modified by contacts and conflicts with the desires an interests of others. This was something that it would take me a long time to find out and indeed in the natural order alone I would never really get to understand it. I believed in the beautiful myth about having a good time so long as it does not hurt anybody else. You cannot live your own pleasure and your own convenience without inevitably hurting and injuring the feelings and the interests of practically everybody you meet.”

Thomas Merton, Seven Storey Mountain, p. 114

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