Seeing and Hearing. I believe this has to do with the need to see and hear well consistently. (Continued from yesterday’s Journal entry)
Continuing with a quote from David Brooks, New York Times journalist who recently wrote a new book called ‘How to Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen.’
Brooks later quotes the famous remark by Simone Weil (1909-1943) who died for being a Jew in a Nazi Germany prison camp: “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” It is the act of directing your whole being outward, turning away from self and opening oneself up to the experience of others. It is a willingness to not demand recognition from the world, but to give recognition. It is an intention to notice everything, appreciate everything. It is not imposing yourself on another person, but a willingness to subordinate oneself to another person, a willingness to follow their agenda, a willingness, she wrote, to see others “as they are related to themselves, and not to me.” Proper attention is the ability, she continued, to contemplate what cannot be contemplated—the suffering of another. It is the ability to absorb the beauty of another without trying to appropriate that beauty. It is the ability to simply behold another with a quality of reverence and awe, sympathy and fellowship. Prayer, Weil wrote, is “absolutely unmixed attention.”
Perhaps what I am trying to recognize is that careful Seeing and Hearing is ‘prayer that is absolutely unmixed attention.’ If this can happen then maybe we can give attention to each other, nature and even to ourselves.
“But you are blessed, because you see with your eyes and hear with your ears.” Jesus