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For forty years, James Finley’s Merton's Palace of Nowhere has been the standard text for exploring, reflecting on, and understanding the rich vein of Thomas Merton's thought. Spiritual identity is the quest to know who we are, to find meaning, to overcome that sense of “Is this all there is?” Merton’s message cuts to the heart of this universal quest, and Finley illuminates that message as no one else can.
As a young man of eighteen, Finley left home for an unlikely destination: the Abbey of Gethsemani, where Thomas Merton lived as a contemplative. Finley stayed at the monastery for six maturing years and later wrote this Merton’s Palace of Nowhere in order to share a taste of what he had learned on his spiritual journey under the guidance of one of the great religious figures of our time. At the heart of the quest for spiritual identity are Merton's illuminating insights—leading from an awareness of the false and illusory self to a realization of the true self.
Dog-eared, tattered, underlined copies of this book are found on the bookshelves of retreat centers, parish libraries, and the homes of spiritual seekers everywhere. This anniversary edition brings a classic to a new generation and includes a new preface by Finley.