24 February 2011

A relation of audition

"Man is only a privileged listener and respondent to existence. The vital relation to otherness is not, as for Cartesian and positivist rationalism, one of 'grasping' and pragmatic use. It is a relation of audition. We are trying 'to listen to the voice of Being'. It is, or ought to be, a relation of extreme responsibility, custodianship, answerability to and for. " (The Master and His Emissary, Iain McGilchrist, 2009; page 152, quoting George Steiner). 
To listen is to adopt 
"a patient, respectful nurturing of something into disclosure, in which we need already to have some idea of what it is that will be. George Steiner compares it to 'that "bending toward" of spirit and intellect and ear' to be seen in Fra Angelico's Annuncation in San Marco. A highly active passivity, in other words." (Ibid). 

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