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The monk in hiding himself from the world becomes not less than himself, not less of a person, but more of a person, more truly and perfectly himself: for his personality and individuality are perfected in their true order, the spiritual, interior order.
-Thomas Merton, The Seven Storey Mountain, pt. 3, ch. 2 describing Merton's impressions following his first visit to the Trappist monastery which he later joined, 1948