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BBC programme on Worth

BBC2 had a programme last night (first of a series) about a group of men spending 6 weeks in the Benedictine monastery at Worth, living as part of the community. I was interested in this because in the long ago I was a boy at Worth Preparatory School, when Worth was a priory of Downside.

The monks were, I thought, quite impressive. In talking to their visitors they gave a fine example of how to conduct a psychotherapeutic session: sensitive listening, saying the right thing at the right time, with no hint of dogmatism.

One of the monks made an interesting comment on Scripture: he said that he responded to it as poetry, and found that it worked for him at this level irrespective of any intellectual questions he might have about it. (At least, I think that was what he said; I hope I’m not traducing him.)

This is all very well but one could say the same about any hallowed text; it’s quite similar to what C.G. Jung believed about the I Ching. It comes to close to saying that the surface meaning is irrelevant and that you, the reader, supply the meaning.

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