The completely irreligious mind is, it seems to me, the unreal mind, the tense, void, abstracted mind that does not even see the things that grow out of the earth or feel glad about them: it knows the world only through prices and figures and statistics. For when the world is reduced to number and measure you can indeed be irreligious, unless your numbers turn out to be implicated in music or astronomy, and then the fatal drive to adoration begins again!
The numbers that are germane to music and astronomy are implicated in the magic of seasons and harvests. And there, in spite of yourself, you recapture something of the hidden and forgotten atavistic joy of those Neolithic peoples who, for whole millennia, were quiet and human. Thomas Merton