“A life free from care” – the hermit and the analyst

Henderson, David (2015) “A life free from care” – the hermit and the analyst. In: International Thomas Merton Society 14th General Meeting: Merton 100: Living the Legacy, 4-7 Jun 2015, Louisville, Kentucky, USA. . [Conference or Workshop Item]

Official URL: http://merton.org/2015/


In August 1965 Thomas Merton went to live full-time in his hermitage. On the eve of his move he gave a talk to the novices of Gethsemani. He described his aspirations for the hermit life. His aim he said was “to put away all care, to live without care, to not have to care.” He opposed this to the life of the world which “is a life of care… a life of useless care… self-defeating care… a life which cannot confront the inevitable fact of death.” It seems to me that this vocation to carelessness bears striking resonances with the vocation of the psychoanalyst. What I want to explore in this paper are some of the ways in which hermits and analysts get up to the same kind of mischief. I’ll look at parallels between some of Merton’s writings and writings of psychoanalysts, including Sigmund Freud, C.G. Jung, Donald Winnicott and Wilfred Bion.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology > Centre for Psychoanalysis
Item ID: 16905
Useful Links:
Depositing User: David Henderson
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2015 09:01
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:35
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/16905

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Activity Overview
6 month trend
6 month trend

Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.