Returning to Reality

Returning to Reality

Returning to Reality

My latest blog entry for the Huffington Post has been published; it’s called Would Thomas Merton Use an iPad? Contemplation, Technology and Discernment.

Beneath the whimsical title, this post looks at a serious question: how the philosophy and spirituality of Thomas Merton might be used a compass point for considering ethical questions related to technology and society. The inspiration for this comes from a recently published book, Returning to Reality: Thomas Merton’s Wisdom for a Technological World. Written by Phillip M. Thompson of the Aquinas Center at Emory, this book considers Merton’s philosophy of technology and then applies Merton’s thought to three contemporary issues. It’s a short book and well worth a look. Anyway, check out my post (and the book).

Disclosure: a complimentary review copy of the book mentioned in this post was supplied to me by the publisher. If you follow the link of the book mentioned in this post and purchase it or other products from, I receive a small commission from Amazon. Thank you for doing so — it is the easiest way you can support this blog.

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  • Jeremy

    “It has become apallingly clear that our technology has surpassed our humanity” -Albert Einstien

  • Oliver

    Thanks a lot for introducing this book, Carl. Great article on HP!

  • sgl

    i think you’d like john michael greer’s perspective on technology. (he’s the author of various books about peak oil among other topics, and also writes a weekly post on his blog,

    The Myth of the Machine

    The Recovery of the Human

  • sgl

    an excerpt from “The Myth of the Machine”

    “For most Americans, television has come to represent the experience of collective participation, and yet the flickering lights in the suburban windows serve as a reminder that few activities are more solitary or more isolating. In precisely the same way, the freedom represented by the car moving down the open road is a pathetic illusion; from the immense government programs that build and maintain those open roads, through the gargantuan corporate systems that produce the cars, to the sprawling global network of oilfields, pipelines, refineries, and the rest of the colossal system that transforms fossil hydrocarbons into the gas that keeps the car going, there are few human activities on Earth that depend more completely on the vast and faceless bureaucracies that most Americans think they despise. Isolation packaged as participation, dependence packaged as freedom:”

    • Jeremy

      Thanks for the excerpt. Whetted my apetite!