The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

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Author QuotedMaurice Merleau-Ponty
Title QuotedSens et non-sens
Date (Year/Month/Day)1964/02/02
ImprintParis : Nagel. [1963, c1948]
QuotationOne of the worst things I have ever done-the absurd enterprise of writing that text for the Vatican Pavilion. Nothing whatever to do with a movie. I must learn to refuse these baits. Yet how marvelous to really and competently do a movie! Merleau-Ponty's essay on the films-have important implications for the new liturgy. Liturgy on "comportement" [behavior]! Translating language of movies into Liturgy. "(La liturgie) s'addresse à notre pouvoir de dechiffrer tacitement le monde ou les hommes et de coexister avec eux." ["Liturgy addresses itself to our power to decipher tacitly the world or men and coexist with them," Sens et non sens, p. 103.] This is either so right or so utterly wrong as to be blasphemous. But in that cas"¦? Liturgy is to be experienced, and it is a film. Not past thought or willed. Experienced by the presentation of conducts. "Non pas"¦chaque conscience et les autres, mais la conscience jetee dans le monde, soumise au regard des autres et apprenant d'eux ce qu'elle est" ["Not"¦each conscience and the other consciences, but the conscience thrown into the world, submitted to the view of others and learning from others what it is"] (Sens et non sens, pp. 104-105). This needs interpretation (danger of the Fascist application, or the Soviet application of it!) but in the right sense it is "liturgy." Or is it? "Engagement de la conscience dans un corps." ["The engagement of a conscience in a body."]
Quotation SourceDancing in the Water of Life: Seeking Peace in the Hermitage. The Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 5, 1963-1965.; Edited by Robert E. Daggy. / San Francisco : Harper Collins. 1997, p. 69-70
Letter to 
Link to Merton's Copy 52167 

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