In the monastery, or ar any rate in choir, I have been forgetting how to think-and only in the last few days have I woken up to the fact that this is very dangerous! I mean the constant, habitual passivity we get into. No matter how honest the surroundings and how clean the doctrine believed in them, no man can afford to be passive and to restrict his thinking to a new rehearsal, in his own mind, of what is being repeated all around him.
But we are not as honest as we think, and our doctrine is not as pure as we hope it is. I least of all can afford to be passive in this place.
One must constantly be asking himself- ‘What do I mean by this? Am I saying what I mean? Have I understood what this implies? Have I some noition of the consequences of what I am saying?’ I am particularly bad on the last question because usually I think on paper, that is, I often do not really know what I think until it is set out in black and white: then, I can agree or disagree.
Written in 1958…