In 1958 Thomas Merton wrote an admiring letter to Czeslaw Milosz about his seminal work The Captive Mind. Milosz replied and thus began an animated correspondence which lasted until Merton's death in 1968. During this highly productive decade, Merton continued, a Trappist, to write about nonviolence and the monastic life. Milosz, meanwhile, was writing influential essays and translating the poetry of Aleksander Wat and Anna Swir. In this dynamic correspondence, Milosz and Merton differ in their views of the role of Communism, share thoughts about the power of literature, and contrast their views on the natural world. As different as Milosz and Merton were, they found common ground in their spiritual search and in a desire to understand the human race. A memorial to a great friendship between two of this century's celebrated men of letter, Striving Towards Being is a testament to the examined life.