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Thomas Merton Thomas Merton was born on January 31 1915 As Merton grew he had a sense of pride in the fact that both of his parents were artists Mertons spiritual journey began to develop and he became conscious of the link between art and spirituality Thus Thomas Merton is arguably the most influential American Catholic author of the twentieth century Although during most of his youth Merton led a rambunctious life It was not until 1941 that Thomas Merton became a Trappist monk It was one of the most momentous years in his life Merton believed that one needed a transformation of consciousness which is required in order to leave a false self and discover the true self Merton believed that for him to reach this state the need to leave the world behind thus he actually entered the world more fully than most of us do Merton believed in the isolation of no radio no daily paper and no television Through this isolation Merton realized that by being freed of the day-to-day news he was able to gain a sense of perspective that time has shown enabled him to understand what was happening better then most of the people could at the time From this Thomas Merton became somewhat of a political figure Thomas Merton believed that race and peace as the two most urgent issues of our time 2 Merton was a strong supporter of the nonviolent civil rights movement Merton came to the idea of World Peace Merton thought that some views were to such an extent that it prevented seeing any good in the political views of our enemies Thomas Merton came to believe the need to enter upon a way that meant he had to leave all ways and in some sense get lost Merton came to the acceptance of the other doctrines but it never meant rejection of his own Merton wrote Genuine
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