As a young contemplative, James Finley had the opportunity to learn under Thomas Merton at the Abbey of Gethsemani. Years later, he shared those insights into Merton’s thinking in his book, Merton’s Palace of Nowhere. Now forty years later, Finley’s work is being reissued, and this book remains as startlingly insightful as it was when first published. Merton was capable of seeing through to the truth of our reality in a way that few us achieve, and Finley’s writing makes that wisdom all the more accessible for us. This small volume, which begins by distinguishing our true and false selves and ends by instructing on the two selves’ ultimate conclusion in death, provides sufficient material for a lifetime of contemplation. Whether revisiting this volume or discovering it for the first time, Merton’s Palace of Nowhere should not be missed by the serious contemplative, lay or otherwise.
(Reviewed through Netgalley.)