The contemplative life should liberate and purify the imagination which passively absorbs all kinds of things without our realizing it; liberate and purify it from the influence of so much violence done by the bombardment of social images…. The training of the imagination implies a certain freedom and this freedom implies a certain capacity to choose and to find its own appropriate nourishment. Thus in the interior life there should be moments of relaxation, freedom, and “browsing.” Perhaps the best way to do this is in the midst of nature, but also in literature. Perhaps also a certain amount of art is necessary and music.
- Thomas Merton
Quoted in Essential Monastic Wisdom, by Hugh Feiss
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