The Anonymous Whole


Another excerpt from Thomas Merton’s Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander

This is one of the few real pleasures left to modern man: this illusion that he is thinking for himself when, in fact, someone else is doing his thinking for him. And this someone else is not a personal authority, the great mind of a genial thinker, it is the mass mind, the general “they,” the anonymous whole.

One is left, therefore, not only with the sense that one has thought things out for himself, but that he has also reached the correct answer without difficulty– the answer which is shown to be correct because it is the answer of everybody. Since it is at once my answer and the answer of everybody,

how should I resist?

Published by jeffw5382

Stumbling spiritual pilgrim on my way from here to here. Recovered Addict, US Navy Veteran. Sharing my journey of self discovery, in the spirit of service, generosity and gratitude.

2 thoughts on “The Anonymous Whole

  1. Thought provoking!

    Do we arrive at conclusions because they are our own thoughts?

    If I have to buy an appliance or piece of electronics, while in the store I’m searching to see how many other people bought this item and what they thought! My final selection is usually based on the reviews of others. Much of society is like this now. And in all fairness I must confess, I love
    I walk away with my items in shopping cart and 2day shipping feeling pretty clever that I had all this awesome info to make an educated decision . After all, 1500 people wouldn’t lie, right?

    I ran my business for 19 years on the same premise. Very little advertising and excellent service so Word-of-mouth was my main for of new business.

    At the end of the day, all we have is our word. It should count for something!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This excerpt is from a section of the book devoted to propaganda, how and why it is successful. I found it insightful and caused me to consider how my thinking is influenced. Thank you for stopping by Smile and hug


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