Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Ponder: "a welcome look away from self-focus"

"This dynamic of being watched, of having a sense of always being on display, is a significant "block" to joy since joy is found in an experience of losing oneself, of being caught up in something bigger, something beyond.  Such experiences of joy do not require the dissolution of consciousness, but they do seem to require a release from self-consciousness.  Joy is a mode of receptivity wherein one is most aware of others, of an Other, even a Giver.  It might include awareness of the "blessings" one enjoys, of a reality that one re-appreciates.  But that recognition and awareness seems linked with a welcome look away from self-focus and narcissistic fixation.  Insofar as our society seems bent on fostering (if not fomenting) the latter, it seems we shouldn't be surprised by the absence of the former, i.e. joy."
James K. A. Smith, Diagnosing our Joylessness: Some Hypotheses," (2014).

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