How We Destroy Contemplative Immersion

From page 78 Byung-Chul Han’s latest book:

Stillness emanates from what is unavailable. What is not available stabilizes and deepens our attention; it brings forth a contemplative gaze. The gaze has the patience needed to see the long-lasting and slow. When everything is available and accessible, attention remains shallow. The gaze does not linger. Like that of a hunter, it wanders.

For Nicolas Malebranche, attentiveness is the natural prayer of the soul. Today, the soul no longer prays. It produces itself. Extensive communication distracts the soul. Only those activities that resemble prayer go together with stillness. Contemplation, however, is opposed to production. The compulsion of production and communication destroys contemplative immersion.

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