The Monk

I used to know a monk, a hermit, a saint. He lived only for the sweetness
of prayer; and steeping himself in it, he would stand so long on the cold
floor of the church that his legs below the knees grew numb and senseless
as blocks of wood. He did not feel them; he stood on and prayed.

I understood him, and perhaps envied him; but let him too understand me and
not condemn me; me, for whom his joys are inaccessible.

He has attained to annihilating himself, his hateful
ego
; but I too; it's
not from egoism, I pray not.

My
ego
, may be, is even more burdensome and more odious to me, than his
to him.

He has found wherein to forget himself… but I, too, find the same,
though not so continuously.

He does not lie… but neither do I lie.

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