Merton is articulate - that was evident and well done. The book left me disappointed. The picture of the contemplative and man's true identity are an ideal far removed and out of reach for the ordinary person. If his ideas are correct as they very well may be, there is lingering gap in the "How To" in this work and so so many contemporary works, movements and ideas. After reading this, it is very clear that I do not posses the willingness to self-discipline myself into the mystical union of God as Man. Merton also makes clear that this union with God is at the apex, a measure of grace that is therefore initiated by God for the person seeking Him. I was left feeling once again that a beautiful ideal is not to be experienced by the ordinary person. The core ideas make sense and coupled with similar contemporary readings and practices will at the lease attempt to congeal the general idea that we are all one and we are all an expression of God.