Item description for The Other Side of the Mountain: The End of the Journey (Merton, Thomas//Journal of Thomas Merton) by Thomas Merton...
Overview The author's final journal describes his travels in the United States and the Far East, and discusses the reconciliation of the desires for solitude and fellowship. Reprint.
Publishers Description This seventh and final volume of his celebrated journals completes the story of a remarkable man and his lifelong search for spiritual fulfilment. With the election of a new Abbot at the Abbey of Gethsemani, Merton enters a period of unprecedented freedom, culminating in the opportunity to travel to California, Alaska, and finally the Far East -- journeys that offer him new possibilities and causes for contemplation. In his last days at the Abbey of Gethsemani, Merton continues to follow the tumultuous events of the sixties, including the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy. In Southeast Asia, he meets the Dalai Lama and other Buddhist and Catholic monks and discovers a rare and rewarding kinship with each. The final year is full of excitement and great potential for Merton, making his accidental death in Bangkok, at the age of fifth-three, all the more tragic.
Citations And Professional Reviews The Other Side of the Mountain: The End of the Journey (Merton, Thomas//Journal of Thomas Merton) by Thomas Merton has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Ingram Advance - 07/01/1999 page 15
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.14" Width: 5.26" Height: 0.95" Weight: 0.6 lbs.
Release Date Jun 23, 1999
Publisher Harper Collins Publishers
Series Journals of Thomas Merton
ISBN 0060654872 ISBN13 9780060654870
Availability 0 units.
More About Thomas Merton
Thomas Merton (1915-1968) was a Trappist monk, spiritual director, political activist, social critic, and one of the most-read spiritual writers of the twentieth century. He is the author of many books, including The Seven Storey Mountain.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Other Side of the Mountain: The End of the Journey (Merton, Thomas//Journal of Thomas Merton)?
I Didn't Know Whether to Give it 1 Star or 5 Stars? Nov 24, 2003
IF You are a died in the wool Merton fan this journal is a must read. It (along with the other 6 volumes) helps the reader understand the person behind the books. It took me a long time to read this book because I chewed on a few pages each day and tried to picture the last year of Merton's life in my mind as I compared it to my own struggles. I loved the book! Give it 5 stars.
IF you are looking for quick insights to the contemplative mind and think Merton is a good place to look, you are correct, but this is not the volume for you. Remember this is a journal, not a book. It is open with Merton's struggles and anxieties. Often Merton quotes small portions of other works and sketchy notes that are important to him, but confusing to the reader. You probably will not finish the volume. Give it 1 star.
IF you are interested in the biographies of notable Christians, and I am, you will find this volume intriguing, inspiring, and at times troubling as you wrestle with the imperfections of a person that many put on a pedestal. Give it 3 stars and prepare to wrestle.
IF you journal, and I do, you will feel an urge after each section to go to your own journal and fill in a few pages. Give it 5 stars and sharpen your pencil.
That's as much as I can say about this book, but it should be enough for you to know if you want to add it to your library.
opened my eyes and my heart Feb 16, 2002
I found this book at my local "Catholic" bookstore and it re-arranged my head for the better. After being a pretty regular journal writer, I found myself completely taken with the "place" that Merton created as he wrote day-to-day. I discovered that I simply "lost track" of about four decades of my life......either that or his style and words brought me so completely into my past and present that time lost all meaning and I was both myself now and myself then. Since I read his last journal as my introduction to Thomas Merton in general, I have read several of his journals.......I still cannot believe that he died in Thailand when I was in high school since I feel his presence in Fall River MA each night as I write in my own little book....must be the sign of a truly awesome writer.
Historically important,but spiritually very weak May 3, 2001
I would suggest this book to the scholar anxious to follow Merton's life story ,but it is certainly not a book for those interested in developing their christian faith and needing a book to help them know the Lord more.It is so full of contradictions,I am not even sure that it represents an adequate picture of firm christian life , let alone monastic life.I would imagine that his experimentation with so many other forms of spiritually led him to lose his identity.And what of the statement in the previous volume that he was to remain faithful to "M" all his life.A year later he was burning her letters without even opening them!A rather open form of fidelity! The book is probably a must for historical scholars,but for those wishing to find a book that steers the pilgrim in the rough and tumble of spiritual life, this book is not for you!
The long awaited finale Dec 1, 2000
As an avid Thomas Merton fan who owns almost every book this Trappist monk ever wrote, I have been eagerly anticipating each new volume of the Merton journals as they have been released over the past few years. This final volume is the last in a simply superlative set, every volume of which is a "must have" for any Merton devotee.
As the books are journals that were not really intended for publication, the voice is not "Thomas Merton, Best-Selling Author and Religious Thinker". The voice we hear now is "Thomas Merton, Sinner Just Like the Rest of You, But Doing the Best He Can". And the bottom line is that I really like this voice! I like Merton! Not just the best-selling author Merton, but the every-day guy Merton - who makes mistakes, gets angry or even irratible, and sins in spite of himself.
Highly recommended for any Merton fan, but also of interest to religious scholars and biographers (the books are well indexed) and even everyday folks who are merely interested in the life and times of a Trappist monk in the 20th century.
The End of the Journals Aug 31, 1998
As in other volumes of the Merton Journals, the volume editor provides an introduction and background for the text. In this case, the editor's introduction is weak in summarizing this journal and closing the seven volumes - but the words of the journal invariably speak for themselves. The journals are a joy to Mertonphiles. As with the previous volume (Learning to Love), the text is a bit distressing. Merton is petty, catty about his fellow monks, rarely reflective, and seems to live the life of a Bon Vivant - drinking wine and beer, picnicking, going out on the town, etc. - not the usual vision of a cloistered contemplative monk of a "strict observance." At times, he appears to be a perpetual college student. One can't help but wonder if he wrote and lived as he did just to prove to later readers of his work that he was not a saint. One particular event in this volume seems to be significant - even more than the celebrated meetings with the Dali Llama. His reaction to the death of his Aunt Kit in a ferry accident in New Zealand reveals the loneliness of a man orphaned in his early teens, leaving the reader to wonder how much of a persona he put up and how truly insecure he was.
As the final volume progresses, it appears that Merton is just going through the motions in keeping the journal. Some entries are casual or offhanded - his departure from Gethsemani, for example. He also hints about not returning. One feels he is living in a dream or living a dream. He is letting go of his past. He discusses getting his affairs in order with the Merton Trust at Bellarmine. He speaks of not having his papers (of which he says there are plenty) "merely to rot or get lost in the monastic library." He wants his papers to be read and seems to be planning for how people will view him in the future.
A few final words on the Journals of Thomas Merton. It was well worth reading the seven volumes and they are now a permanent part of my library. They covered the majority of his life as a religious, and a bit of the time before. The editing and preparation of the journals was very well done. The volumes are meticulously indexed, a great help to readers and scholars. The journals are unvarnished Merton. The text bears careful word-by-word reading because flashes of brilliance and insight appear quite unannounced. Publication of the journals is a literary event, but not necessarily a spiritual event - his spiritual legacy has been distilled into his other books. These will continue to be the medium by which most people will come to know Merton.