As soon as we start to verbalise there is a desire to find meaning. The small child repeatedly asks ‘why’ and the following response elicits another ‘why’. Freud called this the epistemological drive and felt that it was an innate characteristic of being human. It’s also surely the urge to find meaning that drives spiritual searching. To be alive is to be in a state of becoming – a state of potential. I think this is what is meant about being in a state of continual conversion. In other words it is a form of death to find that one has arrived and there is no further urge to search further and deeper and onwards. There is complete comfort in the idea that as we look so we find and as we knock the door is opened but again it is a dynamic process. In other words the joy is in the travelling not necessarily in the arrival.
One of the great things about Thomas Merton is that he was always open to new possibilities and his writings confirm his enthusiasm and zest for discovery of new things. 2015 is the centenary of his birth and it is rightfully a celebration of his life.