MONASTICISM IN THE WEST MARTIN: CASSIAN: JEROME
THE statement that "East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet," is based on racial differences. Some of these are superficial, and find expression in the extraordinary contrasts between the Oriental and the Occidental ways of doing things. But others are temperamental. The East is the land of meditation, where men think for the joy of thinking, and do not require that their thoughts shall tend toward any concrete conclusion. The West is the land of action.
The meditative man desires to withdraw from the world. He seeks a place of quiet where he may escape the manifold distractions of common life; he subordinates the body to the spirit; he dreams of an ideal state for which this present life is a preparation or probation. He believes in a "world-renouncing ethic," whose formula is "We live to die."
The active man desires to use and control the world. His happiness is to immerse himself in