Attention

For Weil, attention (attention) means to suspend thinking, leaving one’s mind detached, empty, ready to be entered by the other.  Attention means not always trying to know, not categorizing, but waiting, as though the other could participate in forming the idea we have of it.  “Attention is the highest and purest form of generosity.”  Attention is the opposite of a thought that has seized upon some idea too hastily, and thinks it knows (Weil, Reflections, pp 48-49).  For Weil, attention requires self-emptying.  

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