The meaning of Leisure.

The meaning of Leisure.

Leisure, then, as a condition of the soul – (and we must firmly keep to this assumption, since leisure is not necessarily present in all the external things like “breaks” “time off,” “weekend,” “vacation,” and so on – it is a condition of the soul) – leisure is precisely the counterpoise to the image of the “worker,” and we can now see how this pertains to all three aspects we have dealt with: work as activity, work as effort, work as social function.

Against the exclusiveness of the paradigm of work as activity, first of all, there is leisure as “non-activity” – an inner absence of preoccupation, a calm, an ability to let things go, to be quiet.

Leisure is a form of that stillness that is the necessary preparation for accepting reality; only the person who is still can hear, and whoever is not still, cannot hear. Such stillness as this is not mere soundlessness or a dead muteness; it means, rather, that the soul’s power, as real, of responding to the real – a co-respondence, eternally established in nature has not yet descended into words. Leisure is the disposition of receptive understanding, of contemplative beholding, and immersion – in the real.

Leisure: The Basis of Culture  by  Josef Pieper

(page 30-31)

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