A friend wrote me about Merton’s quote about illusion and briefly stated that only noise could be measured and that because silence could not be measured it must be the illusion. I think silence can be measured. Have you ever had a disagreement with your spouse? How long before you spoke again? There is silence and it can be measured. Merton’s quote got me to thinking of another quote taken from the First book of Ecclesiastes which is very instructive and forces me to really look at what is important.

Everything is Meaningless

The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem:”Meaningless! Meaningless!”
says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
Everything is meaningless.”

What does man gain from all his labor
at which he toils under the sun?

Generations come and generations go,
but the earth remains forever.

The sun rises and the sun sets,
and hurries back to where it rises.

The wind blows to the south
and turns to the north;
round and round it goes,
ever returning on its course.

All streams flow into the sea,
yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from,
there they return again.

All things are wearisome,
more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
nor the ear its fill of hearing.

What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.

Is there anything of which one can say,
“Look! This is something new”?
It was here already, long ago;
it was here before our time.

There is no remembrance of men of old,
and even those who are yet to come
will not be remembered
by those who follow.