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No Man is an Island (Shambhala Library) Hardcover – 27 Jun 2005

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications Inc; New edition edition (27 Jun 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590302532
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590302538
  • Product Dimensions: 11.6 x 2.7 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 597,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"A stimulating series of spiritual reflections which will prove helpful for all struggling to find the meaning of human existence and to live the richest, fullest, and noblest life."-- "Chicago Tribune" "Merton wrote of ageless spiritual life and religious devotion with the knowledge of a modern."-- "The New York Times" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By C. Burke on 30 July 2010
Format: Hardcover
Merton is clearly aware of God incarnate, of God indwelling. This book is very readable and a resource for spiritual nourishment for anyone. The term mystic can present a perception of the abstract, but Merton is so very much rooted in his own reality and the reality of God's presence. This book is particularly valuable for anyone who suddenly finds themselves alone for any reason (e.g. separated, bereaved, children left nest....), as it provides reasurrance of ones own God-given value by nature of His indwelling and of the fact that we are part of His Body regardless of seeming isolation.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Scientia quarens Intellectum on 3 April 2007
Format: Hardcover
Merton's image of the human person is staggering. Interconnected to everything and everyone and bound together in God. This book captures the beauty, clarity and peace offered in Merton's vision. I recommend it to all Christians as well as Spiritual people interested in the kind of notion of personhood found in Christian Spirituality.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Tricia on 4 Oct 2010
Format: Hardcover
Very informative and helpful for one's spiritual progress. It is just like a retreat in that Merton uses actions, thoughts and events one is likely to encounter along one's spiritual path. I found it very encouraging, enlightening. I found answers to questions I had but lacked the time to ask a priest. The literary style is a joy to read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 65 reviews
119 of 121 people found the following review helpful
Assurance That God is Able 8 July 2000
By Steven Byrne - Published on
Format: Paperback
A wellspring of encouragement for those who are looking for spiritual simplicity, without dogmatism. Merton's flowing prose carries the reader so effortlessly, that I often had to stop myself, saturated, and put off going on until I had the capacity to absorb more. The greatest challenge of this book is not in comprehending his points, but in accepting them as actually possible, and internalizing their meaning for one's own life context. Merton opens a door to a place of potential joy, that many will desire to pass through.
108 of 110 people found the following review helpful
No Man is an Island. 24 Jan 2004
By Wesley L. Janssen - Published on
Format: Paperback
The writings gathered in this volume will not be read quickly or superficially. Paragraphs will continually ask to be reread. Thomas Merton's perspicacious meditations, offered with such poetic strength, are to his reader like veins whose rich ore leads the miner deep. The effort is real and so too is the reward. Merton (1915-1968) was a contemplative monk, a Trappist, and although most of his readers may think themselves of another world, so to speak, it is the world of which Merton writes which is Real, and the clabbering, self-directed world of our common experience that is illusory.
A few thoughts, ones that are obviously directed more narrowly toward other Catholic monks, may generally be less helpful to most readers (I think of basically one chapter). I could offer other minor detraction but it would probably only amount to vanity on my part. It will be more valuable to meditate on these words of Merton:
"Those who love their own noise are impatient of everything else. They constantly defile the silence of the forests and the mountains and the sea. They bore through silent nature in every direction with their machines, for fear that the calm world might accuse them of their own emptiness. The urgency of their swift movement seems to ignore the tranquillity of nature by pretending to have a purpose. The loud plane seems for a moment to deny the reality of the clouds and of the sky, by its direction, its noise, and its pretended strength. The silence of the sky remains when the plane has gone. The tranquility of the clouds will remain when the plane has fallen apart. It is the silence of the world that is real. Our noise, our business, our purposes, and all our fatuous statements about our purposes, our business, and our noise: these are the illusion. God is present, and His thought is alive and awake in the fullness and depth and breadth of all the silences of the world. The Lord is watching in the almond trees [Jer 1.11, 12]. . . Whether the plane pass by tonight or tomorrow . . . whether the liner enters the harbor full of tourists or full of soldiers, the almond tree brings forth her fruit in silence.
"There are some men for whom a tree has no reality until they think of cutting it down . . . men who never look at anything until they decide to abuse it and who never even notice what they do not want to destroy. These men can hardly know the silence of love: for their love is the absorption of another person's silence into their own noise. And because they do not know the silence of love, they cannot know the silence of God . . . Who is bound, by His own law of Charity, to give life to all those whom He draws into His own silence."
65 of 69 people found the following review helpful
Without solitude there can be no communion. 6 April 2000
By Jackie M. Sthilaire - Published on
Format: Paperback
Thomas Merton is full of wisdom as he shares his spiritual insights. Merton exemplifies a life lived in the spirit of God. There are many enemies of the spirit but the first enemy is our own self ( our ego). We love to be in control, to share our opinions, we are so afraid to let go, to go within and listen to the silence. Only when we listen with an open heart can we start living our real self with no mask. Our busyness turns to a more peaceful existence, we become more creative and less stressed, more grateful and less in need of stimulus . Less powerful but more compassionate. We are less fearful and more trusting of ourselves and others. Less depressed and more self accepting. The inner soul created in the image of God. This is our true being. "To be or not to be that is the question."
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Profound 17 Dec 2001
By R. Schwartz - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"No Man Is An Island" can only be described as profound. There are many superb writings of spiritualiy, God and Christ. Thomas Merton's book is one that should not be passed up, it is absolutely profound for the interior solitude, the silence within, our silence where we find God's silence, who knows us and where we know Him. A book by a man of God for men of God, Merton goes far beyond religious organizational teachings and human thinking, to that of the spiritual life with God. I can only say, I have new found respect for the Catholic church, for Merton does not write in defense of her, but for God, men and charity, that go far beyond this life, existing now within us, and bring us to the real life we seek.
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
A Little Disjointed, but Potentially Life Changing Nevertheless 11 April 2006
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is a collection of musings on a variety of topics fundamental to spiritual development. It does not have a specific outline as some books might have. Each chapter relates to the others, yet stands alone. Merton was an expert spiritual director. This comes through in the book.

My suggestion is for you to read carefully through the list of chapter titles and if more than one of them interests you, purchase the book.

1. Love can only be kept by giving it away (I liked this one)

2. Sentences on hope.

3. Conscience, freedom, and prayer

4. Pure intention

5. The word of the cross

6. Asceticism and sacrifice (this was interesting to me)

7. Being and doing

8. Vocation (a solid chapter)

9. The measure of charity (interesting)

10. Sincerity

11. Mercy

12. Recollection (this made me think a lot)

13. "My soul remembered God"

14. The wind blows where it pleases (this also made me think a lot)

15. The inward solitude (I liked this one)

16. Silence (Merton ends with one of his best)
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