The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

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Author QuotedMaurice Merleau-Ponty
Title QuotedIn Praise of Philosophy / transl. of Eloge de la philosophy et autres essays (Paris 1960)
Date (Year/Month/Day)1963/12/17
Imprint[S.l.] : Northwestern University. 1963
Quotation[Maurice] Merleau-Ponty says: "Nothing can be explained by way of man, for he is not a strength but a weakness in the heart of being, for he is not a cosmological factor but the place where all cosmological factors, through never ending change, alter their meaning and become history" (Eloge de la philosophie [In Praise of Philosophy, 1963]). In my Book Providence, [Note 11: "Book Providenc" is unclear, though this is what Merton wrote in his journal. He perhaps missed a word or words as he was writing. It could possihly read "Book [of] Providence," but that makes little more sense.] Merleau-Ponty is a radical and welcome discovery-he is like Zen, Herakleitos, much more radical and simple at the same time than Sartre, no need of any of Sartre's passion and programs, and no need of Nausea. Does not admit Descartes, radically anti-cogito, anti-Parmenides, anti-Plato. The anti-Plato in me has always been this and never Aristotle. The anti-Plato in me is Zen and Old Testament. His idea of metaphysical consciousness-aware that intelligibility is contingent fact, springing from man's existence and confrontation in history with being as pour soi [for oneself]. (The en soi [in oneself] is unintelligible.) This may seem radically antichristian (certainly anti-scholastic) yet I wonder if after all the Bible would not show it to be very Christian, cf. the approach of the W. G. Kümmel book.
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. 47
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