Thomas Merton (1915-1968)
French-American Roman Catholic monk, poet If I had a message to my contemporaries, I said, it was surely this: Be anything you like, be madmen, drunks, and bastards of every shape and form, but at all costs avoid one thing: success.... If you have learned only how to be a success, your life has probably been wasted. If a university concentrates on producing successful people, it is lamentably failing in its obligation to society and to the students themselves.
-- Thomas Merton, quoted in James E Kiefer, "Thomas Merton, Monk, Poet, Spiritual Writer" The danger of education, I have found, is that it so easily confuses means with ends. Worse than that, it quite easily forgets both and devotes itself merely to the mass production of uneducated gradtuates -- people literaly unfit for anything except to take part in an elaborate and completely artificial charade which they and their contemporaries have conspired to call "life".
-- Thomas Merton, quoted in James E Kiefer, "Thomas Merton, Monk, Poet, Spiritual Writer" The most awful tyranny is that of the proximate utopia where the last sins are currently being eliminated and where, tomorrow, there will be no sins because all the sinners have been wiped out.
-- Thomas Merton (1948), quoted from Laird Wilcox, ed., "The Degeneration of Belief"