Thomas Merton

…Like everyone else I live under the bomb. But unlike most people I live in the woods. Do not ask me to explain this. I am embarrassed to describe it.

…I live in the woods out of necessity. I get out of bed in the middle of the night because it is imperative that I hear the silence of the night, alone, and, with my face on the floor, say psalms, alone, in the silence of the night.
It is necessary for me to live here alone without a woman, for the silence of the forest is my bride and the sweet dark warmth of the whole world is my love and out of the heart of that dark warmth comes the secret that is heard only in silence, but it is the root of all the secrets that are whispered by all the lovers in their beds all over the world.
Dancing in the Water of Life: The Journals of Thomas Merton (a Cistercian monk) Vol.V p 239 – 240

Richard Dawkins

Unweaving the Rainbow (subtitled "Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder") is a 1998 book by Richard Dawkins, discussing the relationship between science and the arts from the perspective of a scientist. In this book Dawkins addresses the misperception that science and art are at odds. Driven by the responses to his books The Selfish Gene and The Blind Watchmaker wherein readers resented his world view, seeing it as depriving life of meaning, Dawkins felt the need to explain that, as a scientist, he saw the world as full of wonders and a source of pleasure. This pleasure was not in spite of, but rather because he does not assume as cause the inexplicable actions of a deity but rather the laws of nature made understandable through science.