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.