Absolute attention is prayer

“I suppose that the only prayer – reached only after all pleas for grace or for some specific gift have been uttered and laid aside – is, ‘Give me to be in your presence.’…. Simone Weil says, ‘Absolute attention is prayer.’ And the more I have thought about this over the years, the truer it is for me. I have used the sentence often in talking about poetry to students, to suggest that if one looks long enough at almost anything, looks with absolute attention at a flower, a stone, the bark of a tree, grass, snow, a cloud, something like revelation takes place. Something is “given,” and perhaps that something is always a reality outside the self. We are aware of God only when we cease to be aware of ourselves, not in the negative sense of denying the self, but in the sense of losing self in admiration and joy.” (May Sarton)

Just a passage I wanted to share with you all, from Sarton’s wonderful Journal of Solitude. This is in many ways the heart of devotional polytheism (and perhaps mysticism too) as I see it, and something that it seems hard for many people to grasp. I have said over and over “it is not about us” but this shows why – only in fully devoting our attention to the Other can we truly apprehend it.

~ by Dver on August 3, 2016.

4 Responses to “Absolute attention is prayer”

  1. ❤❤❤

  2. I couldn’t agree more. Every time I put myself in a position to give intense focus on one of the gods I find that there are always revelations to be had. It is quite rewarding that giving absolute attention regardless of prayer or rite can be such a powerful experience that can totally change ones perception and relationship with said deity.

  3. […] found it in May Sarton’s Journal of Solitude, which also contains the […]

  4. […] Read the full piece here: Absolute attention is prayer […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s