By Nicholas Buxton
An informative and fascinating ebook approximately monasticism, its heritage, perform, and relevance to modern existence, combining own insights with sound scholarship. the 1st a part of the booklet makes a speciality of the early days of Christian monasticism and the transmission of this practice to western Europe, targeting specific subject matters or figures of curiosity and looking to draw parallels with the present-day. the second one part explores the primary positive factors of monastic lifestyles, comparable to silence and humility, drawing on own event in addition to foundational literature. half 3 explores the modern relevance of monasticism, suggesting that the center Benedictine ideas of balance, conversion, and obedience supply a framework for another means of being that can allow our daily lives to be enriched or even remodeled.
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Extra info for Tantalus and the Pelican: Exploring Monastic Spirituality Today
You just can’t do this,” I continued, with a tremor in my voice. “I’m not taking that goat anywhere. You can’t just abandon 42 Nicholas Buxton it after taking it away from its mother and raising it as a pet. ” I stormed out, on the verge of tears, and more than a little alarmed at the vehemence of my own anger. Like I said, all was not well at Sunnataram. When Phra Chusit returned I told him that I had decided to go back to India. Not because of the business with the goat, but because I was getting restless anyway.
I cannot be my memories, for example, because if I forget something, I am not fundamentally diminished as a result. I am still me. In fact, whatever it is that is me cannot be identified with anything mental or physical that is subject to change, because then I would not be the same person now that I was at some point in the past, such as when I was a child. And yet I am still me. For all these reasons, therefore, the ‘true’ self – whatever that might mean – must be located elsewhere, beyond the self of ordinary experience.
Of the monks I lived with, most of whom were in their twenties, one explained matter-of-factly that he had taken the robe after the death of his father. At the time, I was unable to see any obvious connection between these two events. Later I learned that this is a fairly standard way of expressing one’s filial obligations, undertaken in order to earn merit on behalf of the father who might thereby enjoy a more favourable rebirth next time around. Another had recently left university, after taking a degree in law.
Tantalus and the Pelican: Exploring Monastic Spirituality Today by Nicholas Buxton