Several years ago, one of my spiritual guides introduced me to the work and spirituality of Thomas Merton. I continue to explore it every day. His frequent reference to “point vierge” [literally translated as ‘the virgin point’] has been an important concept in my continuing quest to learn who I truly am. Merton writes:
“The first chirps of the waking birds mark the ‘point vierge’ of the dawn under a sky as yet without real light, a moment of awe and inexpressible innocence, when the Father in perfect silence opens their eyes. They speak to Him, not with fluent song, but with an awakening question that is their dawn state, their state at the ‘point vierge.’ Their condition asks if it is time for them ‘to be?’ He answers, ‘Yes.'”
When I first read that sequence, I questioned why I am not required to ask for that same permission ‘to be.’ I concluded that humans are so intent to be masters of their own fates that they request permission from no one for anything. I am humbled by the “point vierge,” and I do ask God for ‘permission to be’ before I open my eyes every morning. He allows it, and I am glad.
I have contemplated frequently on that concept of point vierge, and I conclude that all men are good. That deepest part of each human is untouched and rarely explored by common men. There lies in each of us that entity that is pure and unspoiled. That is who we are. Unfortunately, most of us don’t realize it, nor do we take the time to reflect upon it. Therefore, too many good people make too many bad choices that negatively affect all creatures and the planet we inhabit.
Each of us must search for the point vierge that dwells in us. It is not a simple task, nor one that we can expect to accomplish in the blink of an eye. Each man has to work at it, to dig deep within the core of himself to find it.
I am reminded of Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, best known simply as Michelangelo who — divinely inspired — gave to the universe a collection of some of the greatest art created by human hands. Michelangelo said two things that are immeasurably significant in our search for our true selves:
“In every block of marble, I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely appartion to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.”
“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”
“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free!” There is an angel inside of each creature on Earth. First, we must find and reveal our own angel. Each person must look deep within himself to find that pure spirit at the point vierge. As he searches, he must “hew away the rough walls” that burden us all, walls that are not true parts of us. Strip away hate, mistrust, unbelief, dishonesty, egotism and all those things that lead us to make bad decisions. What is left is YOU! YOU are made in the image of God. YOU are pure love and nothing else!
I continue to look for the angel within me, and I will set him free. I challenge everyone in search of Kalos Kagathos to join me in this noblest of quests. One by one, we find ourselves. One becomes two, then a thousand … To play on the words that Howard fast penned in Spartacus, “I am one and I will be millions!” Find the angel within you and set him free. Join us!
“We are stardust, we are golden,
and we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.”
Ah, dear Thomas Merton, ahead of his time, so timely now for those who hear his soul. A particularly profound piece, Gene.