Clean = pure ?

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ThomasK

Senior Member
Belgium, Dutch
I came across 'a clean peace' in a book by Thomas Merton ['a clean peace of a will united in God becomes the complacency of a will that loves its own excellence'], and wondered whether one could simply substitute the word 'pure' for 'clean', which, I suppose, is a more common word in this spiritual context.

I really wonder as on the one hand I do find 'pure' as a synonym of 'clean', whereas 'clean' has this very practical (?) ring, or so I thought, as an antonym of 'dirty'. Is it just pre-Vatican language perhaps, where these metaphors were quite common?
 
  • ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    It is about the hidden ambition, that "perverts" good works into performance aiming at gaining prestige, etc. So I then understand the will of that person is no long pure/ clean, more complacent, aiming at self-gratification, etc.
     
    There's apparently a book by that name, referring to British aims in WWI:

    http://books.google.ca/books/about/A_Clean_Peace.html?id=-wTPAAAAMAAJ&redir_esc=y

    A Clean Peace: The War Aims of British Labour, Complete Text of the Official War Aims Memorandum of the Inter-Allied Labour and Socialist Conference, Held in London, February 23, 1918


    Charles Albert McCurdy
    George H. Doran Company, 1918 - World War, 1914-1918 - 26 pages

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    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    I have tried to in #1 (the sentence) and 3 (the idea based on the context), but all of a sudden I notice that you can find the whole chapter here (the sentence is at the end of the paragraph starting with 'This sickness...').

    However, strictly speaking a general consideration/ feeling about the difference between the two is sufficient: do you consider them interchangeable, etc.? And how about this combination: do you feel that 'a clean peace' is a different concept than 'a pure peace'?
     
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    For other readers, here is the passage from ThomasK's link:

    And now I am thinking of the disease which is spiritual pride.[...]This sickness is most dangerous when it succeeds in looking like humility. When a proud man thinks he is humble his case is hopeless. Here is a man who has done many things that were hard for his flesh to accept. He has come through difficult trials [...] and by God's grace he has come to possess a habit of fortitude and self-sacrifice .... [...] his conscience should be at peace. But before he realizes it, the clean peace of a will united to God becomes the complacency of a will that loves its own excellence.
    I think 'clean' here means 'unsullied.' Yes, 'without impurites' or, in that sense, 'pure.'
     
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