Thomas Merton Reflecting On The Fourth Memra of Bishop Philoxenos of Mabbug (5th Century) On Simplicity

9780879071356…so the first thing Adam and Eve never did was that they never tried to be simple. They never made the slightest effort to be simple. As soon as you try to be simple you’re through, you’ve had it. You’re already complicated. So this is a most important point. The thing to do is to absorb this and immediately forget it. When you walk out of this room, don’t give simplicity another thought for the rest of your life! Have nothing more to do with simplicity. Simply walk with God in the reality that he has given us, in which we’re not thinking about God — we are immediately united with God — and we just simply walk with God. We are not aware we are walking with God, because nine-tenths of the trouble comes from wanting to see that we are walking with God and not with somebody else. How do I know it’s you? that’s not the question one asks. Adam and Eve didn’t think about God. They didn’t say, “Where did you come from? …where were you at 9:00 this morning? …you weren’t here then, you’re coming only in the afternoon!” [Laughter] …and “who made you?” …well, mind your own business! [Laughter]. I think this is a very excellent expression of what this whole idea of simplicity is and where [Philoxenos of Mabbug (Western Syria)] really gets it across is where he speaks about the child being completely mingled with the word of the one who speaks.

Novititate Conferences, Tape #147