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the very interesting guest speaks of the apartness of his subjects. the question is "apart from what?"
being on panels, lecturing, etc reminds me of wittgenstein who said words are a "public activity" something social. like panels, lecturing. one can't help but see merton as not quite able to relinquish public activity much of what amounts to somethng buddhists understand to be self-dramatization. i would also submit that dorothy day's soup kitchens were not the thing that is "apart" but the rest is.