“Not the least cause for today’s temporal crisis is the absolute value attached to the vita activa. This leads to an imperative to work, which degrades the human being into an animal laborans. The hyperkinesia of everyday life deprives human existence of all contemplative elements and of any capacity for lingering. It leads to a loss of world and time. So-called strategies of deceleration do not overcome this temporal crisis; they even cover up the actual problem. What is necessary is the revitalisation of the vita contemplativa. The temporal crisis will only be overcome once the vita activa, in the midst of its crisis, again incorporates the vita contemplativa.”

—Byung-Chul Han. preface to The scent of time (trans. Daniel Steuer)

6 thoughts on “The vita contemplativa

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