The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

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Author QuotedLord Walter Northbourne
Title QuotedReligion in the modern world
Date (Year/Month/Day)1965/04/17
ImprintLondon : Dent. [1963]
QuotationThe last pages of Northbourne's book are remarkably good, and make clear the confusions that had given me trouble with the Schuon-Guinan line of thought. Northbourne is most insistent on not mixing up traditions, on not being syncretistic. On the great danger of pseudo-religious "nothingness" using a melange of Eastern and Western elements-worse still, disciplines. "The effectiveness of any single religion as a means of grace and a way of salvation is impaired or neutralized by its supplementation or dilution with anything that is alien to it" p. 101. He sees clearly that these pseudo-religious, pseudo-mystical movements, while claiming to be a reaction against materialism, are in fact only the last convolution of the profane spiral, and complete the whole work. "Anything that purports to be initiation and spiritual disciplines that have authentic spiritual roots and thus retain some of their power." Case of poor Joel Orent and his guru. Northbourne's last chapter is invaluable.
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. 231
Link to Merton's Copy