More banal and More Appalling

The following is Thomas Merton’s interpretation on Adolf Eichmann’s final words before the gallows. He contends that society where Eichmann dwelled, is equally complicit in the holocaust. From Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander

“Your world is full of me, I am all over the place, I am legion; and you, whether you like it or not, are going to take the same long course in wickedness and study all its details. When you have finally, with great labor, learned it all, you will be even more banal and more appalling than I.”

“I truly feel that I must recognize how I am responsible, that is having a willingness to be a cause in the matter.” Jeffimg_1880-edited

What Eichmann actually said was “I am a believer. After a short while, gentlemen, we shall meet again. Such is the fate of all men. Long live Germany. Long live Argentina. Long live Austria. I shall not forget them.”

Thomas Merton adds

“Instead of hating the people you think are war-makers, hate the appetites and disorder in your own soul, which are the causes of war. If you love peace, then hate injustice, hate tyranny, hate greed – but hate these things in yourself, not in another.”
Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation thomas-merton-150x150

That is all 🙂


5 thoughts on “More banal and More Appalling

  1. So true. I went through some kind of weird enlightenment period, where I was able to see the sickest, darkest, most evil parts of my soul. That’s how I see it. It was grueling, but in the end… I realized that I’m as sick as the sickest. I try very, very hard never to pass judgement now. As they say… if you spot it, you’ve got it. Thanks for sharing. That is all. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

      1. you know… it wasn’t really by my own choosing. I read a post recently about being careful to pray for humility, because you just might get it. I had to stop and wonder if that’s what it was because I had in fact been praying for humility! Sheesh. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

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