At the root of all war is fear: not so much the fear men have of
one another as the fear they have of everything. It is not
merely that they do not trust one another; they do not even
trust themselves. If they are not sure when someone else
may turn around and kill them, they are still less sure
when they may turn around and kill themselves. They
cannot trust anything, because they have ceased to believe in God.
It is not only our hatred of others that is dangerous
but also and above all our hatred of ourselves: particularly
that hatred of ourselves which is too deep and too powerful
to be consciously faced. For it is this which makes us
see our own evil in others and unable to see it in ourselves.
Thomas Merton. New Seeds of Contemplation
(New York: New Directions Press, 1961): 112.
Thought for the Day
[W]e never see the one truth that would help us begin to solve
our ethical and political problems: that we are all more or less
wrong, that we are all at fault, all limited and obstructed
by our mixed motives, our self-deception,
our greed, our self-righteousness
and our tendency to aggressively and hypocrisy.
New Seeds of Contemplation: 115-116.