"The hermit, all day and all night, beats his head against a wall of doubt. That is his contemplation.
"Do not mistake my meaning. It is not a question of intellectual doubt, and analytical investigation of theological, philosophical, or some other truth. It is something else, a kind of unknowing of his own self, a kind of doubt that questions the very roots of his existence, a doubt which undermines his very reasons for existing and for doing what he does. It is this doubt which reduces him finally to silence, and in the silence which ceases to ask questions, he receives the only certitude he knows: the presence of God in the midst of uncertainty and nothingness, as the only reality, but as a reality which cannot be placed or identified."
The Hermitage Within, translated by Alan Neames