A certain interior solitude

Came across this quote by Thomas Merton a very interesting character (an American Trappist monk, writer, theologian, mystic, poet, social activist, and scholar of comparative religion.) 

“In actual fact, society depends for its existence on the inviolable personal solitude of its members. Society, to merit its name, must be made up not of numbers, or mechanical units, but of persons. To be a person implies responsibility and freedom, and both these imply a certain interior solitude, a sense of personal integrity, a sense of one’s own reality and of one’s ability to give himself to society–or to refuse that gift.”

Merton – Thoughts on Solitude

The quote was part of the podcast episode Never Mind the Stasi, where the host Hari Kunzru explains: “without privacy, without the ability to make basic decisions for yourself, society could not exist. Unless you have freedom to act and can take responsibility for your actions; you are not human in society, just a function, a cog in a totalitarian machine.”

Kunzru is the host of my current favorite podcast – bingeing it now called “Into the Zone” after listening to the episode on cyberspace, I immediately began listening to all the episodes in order.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.