The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

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Author QuotedEduard Conze
Title QuotedBuddhist Thought in India
Date (Year/Month/Day)1968/11/19
ImprintLondon : [s.n.]. 1962
Quotation"True love requires contact with the truth, and the truth must be found in solitude. The ability to bear solitude, and to spend long stretches of time alone by oneself in quiet meditation, is therefore one of the more elementary qualifications for those who aspire towards selfless love." (Conze, p. 85) This is the chapter on Buddhist social virtues. [Note 69: Actually, the chapter (chap. 6) in Conze'Buddhist Thought in India is entitled "The Cultivation of the Social Emotions." The discussion of maitri ("friendliness") begins near the top of p. 82 in the Ann Arbor paperback edition.] Maitri"”friendly lov"”is not exclusive, it is rooted in truth rather than in passionate need. Compassion is proportionate to detachment; otherwise we use others for our own ends under the pretext of "love." Actually, we are dominated by illusion. Love that perpetuates the illusion does no good to others or to ourselves. Ultimately the illusion has to be destroyed by prajna, which is also one with perfect compassion (karuna).
JournalThe Other Side of the Mountain: The End of the Journey. The Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 7, 1967-1968.; Edited by Patrick Hart, O.C.S.O. / San Francisco : Harper Collins. 1998, p. 287
Link to Merton's Copy