New Seeds of Contemplation

New Seeds of Contemplation

New Seeds of Contemplation

New Seeds of Contemplation

Synopsis

This edition is a much-enlarged and revised version of Seeds of Contemplation, one of the late Father Thomas Merton's most widely read and best-loved works. In its original form, the book was reprinted ten times in this country alone, and has been translated into more than a dozen languages, including Chinese and Japanese. Christians and non-Christians alike have joined in praising it as a notable successor in the meditative tradition of St. John of the Cross, The Cloud of Unknowing, and the medieval mystics, while others have compared Merton's reflections with those of Thoreau. New Seeds of Contemplation seeks to awaken the dormant inner depths of the spirit so long neglected by Western man, to nurture a deeply contemplative and mystical dimension in our spiritual lives. For Father Merton, "Every moment and every event of every man's life on earth plants something in his soul. For just as the wind carries thousands of winged seeds, so each moment brings with it germs of spiritual vitality that come to rest imperceptibly in the minds and wills of men. Most of these unnumbered seeds perish and are lost, because men are not prepared to receive them: for such seeds as these cannot spring up anywhere except in the good soil of freedom, spontaneity and love."

Excerpt

THIS is not merely a new edition of an old book. It is in many ways a completely new book. The full substance of the former work has been retained, only a sentence here and there has been discarded. Minor corrections have been made in the original text, and there have been very numerous additions. Almost every chapter has been considerably expanded and several completely new chapters have been added. The purpose of this revision was not simply to make a larger book out of a small one, but to say many new things that could profitably be added to the old. And there was very good reason for saying these new things within the context of what was said before, in a different way.

More than twelve years have passed between the first and second redactions of this text. When the book was first written, the author had no experience in confronting the needs and problems of other men. The book was written in a kind of isolation, in which the author was alone with his own experience of the contemplative life. And such a book can be written best, perhaps only, in solitude. The second writing has been no less solitary than the first: but the author’s solitude has been modified . . .

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