A Quote by Thomas Merton on enlightenment, compassion, humanism, and love

In Louisville, at the corner of 4th and Walnut,
        in the center of the shopping district,
        I was suddenly overwhelmed by the realization
        that I loved these people,
        that they were mine and I was theirs,
        that we could not be alien to one another . . . .
        It was like waking from a dream of separateness,
        of spurious self-isolation in a special world,
        the world of renunciation and supposed holiness. . . . . .

The sense of liberation from illusory difference
       was such a relief to me that I almost laughed out loud . . . .

       My happiness could have taken the form of the words,

       ‘Thank God I am like other men,
             that I am only a man among other men . . . .’

It is a glorious destiny to be a member of the human race,
       though it is a race dedicated to many absurdities
       and one which makes terrible mistakes;
       yet, with all that,
               God himself gloried in becoming
               a member of the human race.

Thomas Merton (1915 - 1968)

Source: The "Louisville Epiphany"

Contributed by: communeist