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Author QuotedPlato
Title QuotedGorgias
Date (Year/Month/Day)1964/05/17
QuotationYesterday, on the Vigil, a group of the Hibakusha [Note 29: Survivors of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki] on the World Peace Mission Pilgrimage came out here... People signed and marked by the cruelty of the age, signs on their flesh because of the thoughts in the minds of other men. They are an important indication of what certain "civilized" thinking really means. When we speak of "freedom" we are also saying that others like these good, charming, sweet, innocent people will be burned, annihilated, if and when we think we are menaced. Does this make sense? Is it not an indication that our thinking is absurdly flawed? True, our thinking is logical and makes war seem right and necessary when it is fitted into a certain context, starting from certain supposed "axioms." The trouble is with the context and the axioms, and the root trouble is the whole concept of man and indeed of reality itself with which man operates. The thinking has not changed because the "axioms" have not changed. They are the axioms of sophistry and sophistry as Plato knew spells tyranny and moral anarchy. An illuminating experience, to read the last pages of Gorgias and to meet the Hibakusha on the same day. I spoke to them briefly, was not expecting an interpreter and was a bit put out-he translated and explained enthusiastically and I think we were in good rapport but there was not much discussion.
JournalDancing in the Water of Life: Seeking Peace in the Hermitage. The Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 5, 1963-1965.; Edited by Robert E. Daggy. / San Francisco : Harper Collins. 1997, p. 104-05
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