“As long as I assume the world is something I discover by turning on the
radio or looking out the window I am deceived from the start.  As long
as I imagine that the world is something to be ‘escaped’ in a
monastery–that wearing a special costume and following a quaint
observance takes me ‘out of this world,’ I am dedicating my life to an
illusion. Of course, I hasten to qualify this.  I said a moment ago that
in a certain historic context of thought and of life this kind of
thought and action once made perfect sense.  But the moment you change
the context, then the whole thing has to be completely transposed.
Otherwise you are left like the orchestra in the Max brothers’ Night at
the Opera where Harpo had inserted ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game’ in the
middle of the operatic score.”


–Thomas Merton