Thomas Merton’s thoughts on the impression of technology on western society are so properly documented even the casual Merton reader is probable to be familiar with them. In many letters, publications, and essays, Merton said that the reliance on technology in the west was interfering with the potential of the believer to enter a state of contemplative thought. Merton felt so strongly about this, in point, that it was 1 of the driving forces that led the mystic to additional investigate the religions of the east. Figuring out this, it may surprise some to discover that Merton’s situation was not that present day technology must be completed absent with, rather, that human beings must discover to dwell with technology in humility. Nevertheless, this was not anything Merton thought would transpire if mankind ongoing on its recent path.
If 1 is searching for a complete collection of the thoughts of Thomas Merton in regards to this concern, then they may seem no additional than the 1968 published perform “Conjectures of a Responsible Bystander.” It is below that the reader will uncover Merton’s most made and articulated dialogue of the dilemma of technology. For Thomas Merton, technology itself is not the concern. What is extra distressing, the mystic writes, is the way in which human beings have held up technological improvement as some sort of get rid of-all. In believing that technology is “the optimum progress of gentleman,” Merton believes that western society is overlooking a sizeable dilemma. As miraculous and excellent as technological improvement is, it is of no price if the people building these strides are not equipped to deal with them. Merton anxieties that continuing technological improvement will final result in offering way too a great deal energy to a society that is frustrated and egomaniacal. In this feeling, technology will become
however another machine of our disintegration, Merton writes, which makes contemplative residing all but unachievable.
In holding up technological improvement as a panacea, Thomas Merton believes that western culture has turned it into a crutch with which people lead their life. Merton describes this way of residing as a sort of moral infancy, in which 1 has turned technology into a sort of quasi-mother nature, building it the resource of their existence. Merton rejects the notion that technological progress necessarily equates to human improvement, stating that this perception alienates human beings from reality, hindering their potential to enter a contemplative state which may lead to a mystic union with God. It is in this separation from God, Merton writes, that we build for ourselves the idol of intake, additional detaching ourselves from what is actual.
Thomas Merton writes that, rather than progress the notion that technology finally prospects to contentment, human beings must have a genuine appreciation and regard for the environment which God has presented them. This acknowledgment, Merton writes, permits for a feeling of contemplative recognition in the believer that cannot be attained by alienating oneself via the veneration of technology. In accepting God, and his place as the rightful creator of all that is, the believer can be reported to be drawn nearer into a mystic romance with God. Merton warns that to not stick to this path may lead to a bogus feeling of humanism, which conjures up almost nothing but hatred for every single facet of generation, severing the mystic romance a believer has with God to an ever higher diploma.
One particular may uncover some of Thomas Merton’s later thoughts on technology in a piece created for “middle journal” just 5 months in advance of his death. Wherein, Merton discusses what he refers to as the “illness of contradiction,” which manifests itself in the destroying of mother nature and the creating of technology. This illness, Merton believes, is rooted in our Judeo-Christian mother nature, which, at an unconscious degree, actively seeks to demolish any likelihood of a mystic union with God by destroying God’s generation. It is in our very mother nature to stray from God, and distract ourselves from the contemplative state which provides us nearer to God. In the eyes of Thomas Merton, the veneration of technology is another way of accomplishing this. It is only by recognizing the genuine place of technology, Merton believes, that the believer may enter into a contemplative state and accomplish a romance with God.