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Sean Carter Essay, Research Paper
Living from day to day is a journey that never ends. It is a constant
yearning to discover who we are and who we want to be. Sometimes, however,
what we think we are, we sometimes aren’t, and what we wish to be isn’t
always what we become. It is a constant learning process to discover one’s
self and is not something that can be easily achieved.
Thomas Merton, a trappist Monk, describes his journey of discovering
himself in the autobiography The Seven Story Mountain. There were times
and periods in his life when he thought he knew what he did or did not want
to be and then there were times filled with confusion of not knowing his
true identity. It wasn’t until he finally joined the trappist monastery
that he felt secure with himself and felt that he had finally achieved the
discovery of who he truly was.
Throughout his life, Thomas Merton actively sought many things that he
thought would help him discover his true identity and become what he
thought he should be. Inevitably, though spiritual quests and yearnings.
As a seeker of true innerpeace, Merton was often unrealistic in his
choices and decisions which often le him to outcomes that weren’t as he had
anticipated. He often found himself in a state of confusion where he did
not think about the consequences or sacrifices he would have to make to
Thomas Merton wanted to find a place “his place” in which he felt that
he belonged. However, unlike may other people, Merton found himself a
constant wanderer. He chose though, not to give up until he had found his
personal sanctuary. The constant need for a sense of belonging led Merton
into many different religions and social structures that did not exactly
fit “him”. He often dove head into many organizations and then found a
great deal of resentment towards those particular groups. A particular
example of this was when Merton decided to attend Communist meetings. He
went to one even though he did not know what the word really meant or even
the basis for which the groups stood. Merton thought that he had to go
through with meetings or other social gatherings before he realized that
they weren’t for him. Ultimately, he knew that he would somehow find his
Utopia in a religion.
Only when an individual truly gives themselves up to their spirituality
do they begin to become peaceful. The connection of their spirituality to
a “higher power” is what gives them a true feeling of belonging and
attachment to a stable environment. After Merton purchased a book on
Catholicism by accident, he found that he enjoyed the readings and became
very interested in learning more. He had finally begun to believe that
this was “his” religion and this feeling of happiness drove him to seek
Once Merton found his “self” as a spiritual mystic, he then felt
compelled to aid others in finding their “self”. He did this by expressing
his discoveries and knowledge he dad acquired from his many different
experiences, and put them all together in a compelling piece of work that
has been read by many. By entering the trappist monastery Merton believed
he had truly discovered his “self” and felt the weight of the world had
been removed from his shoulders.
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