Simone Weil: Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity

 

Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.

– Simone Weil

It is certainly a form of generosity.

Attention determines what’s in focus for us in the moment, so choosing to bring something into focus in that way – whether it’s an experience, someone else, or awareness itself – is a form of generosity.

All sins are attempts to fill voids

 

All sins are attempts to fill voids.
Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace

When I take a story as true, I sin. I sin by clouding over reality and what I am and everything is. I sin by acting as if the story is true, and placing myself (what I take myself to be) in opposition to life and reality. I sin through feeling I need to defend the story and its viewpoint and identity. And when I sin in the conventional ways, it comes from all of the above.

Why do I take a story as true? To fill a void.

I take a story as true to avoid recognizing that I really don’t know.

I take a story as true to avoid recognizing what I really am, which has no center, no location, no identity, no viewpoint, no ground. And yet allows for the play of all of these.

Our imaginary position as the center

 

We live in a world of unreality and dreams. To give up our imaginary position as the center, to renounce it, not only intellectually but in the imaginative part of our soul, that means to awaken to what is real and eternal, to see the true light and hear the true silence. A transformation then takes place at the very roots of our sensibility, in our immediate reception of sense impressions.
– Simone WeilWaiting for God (1942)

The interesting thing about these type of pointers is how precise they are, especially in this quote from Simone Weil. What seems poetic points to something very specific. And we can find it in our own experience and explore its dynamics and mechanisms in very concrete and detailed ways.

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