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Title: Meditation
Original Title: Méditation
Volume and Page: Vol. 10 (1765), p. 299
Author: Denis Diderot (possibly) (biography)
Translator: Alexandra Wills [University of Michigan, willsam@umich.edu]
Subject terms:
Grammar
Original Version (ARTFL): Link
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URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.did2222.0002.661
Citation (MLA): Diderot, Denis (possibly). "Meditation → ." The Encyclopedia of Diderot & d'Alembert Collaborative Translation Project. Translated by Alexandra Wills. Ann Arbor: Michigan Publishing, University of Michigan Library, 2011. Web. [fill in today's date in the form 18 Apr. 2009 and remove square brackets]. <http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.did2222.0002.661>. Trans. of "Méditation → ," Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, vol. 10. Paris, 1765.
Citation (Chicago): Diderot, Denis (possibly). "Meditation → ." The Encyclopedia of Diderot & d'Alembert Collaborative Translation Project. Translated by Alexandra Wills. Ann Arbor: Michigan Publishing, University of Michigan Library, 2011. http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.did2222.0002.661 (accessed [fill in today's date in the form April 18, 2009 and remove square brackets]). Originally published as "Méditation → ," Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, 10:299 (Paris, 1765).
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Meditation → , operation of the mind that strongly applies itself to some object. In deep meditation → , the exercise of the outer senses is suspended and there is little difference between the man entirely occupied by one sole object and the man who is dreaming or the man who has lost consciousness. If meditation → could be a state such that nothing could distract him from it, the meditating man would not perceive anything, would not respond to anything, would only pronounce a few disjointed words related only to the different facets through which he regards his object, related by remote links that others can only occasionally follow; certainly, others will take him for a fool. We are not made only to meditate, but meditation → must predispose us to act or it is a contemptible exercise. It is said, “That's a perplexing question; it requires a long meditation → .” The study of morality, which teaches us to know and to fulfill our duties, is worth more than meditation → in regards to some abstract things. It is the self-professed idlers who have claimed that a meditative life is more perfect than an active life. Humors and melancholy are the companions of habitual meditation → : we are too miserable to obtain happiness through meditating: the best thing we can do is pass over the drawbacks of an existence such as ours. For the devout, to meditate is to keep oneself occupied with some important point of religion. The devout distinguish meditation → from contemplation, but this very distinction proves the futility of their life. They claim that meditation → is a discursive state and that contemplation is a simple, constant act through which we see everything in God, as the eye discerns objects in a mirror. To stick to this distinction, I find that a meditation → practitioner is often quite useless and that a contemplation practitioner is always insane. There is this distinction to make between considering a project and meditating on a project: he who considers a project, a good or bad action, looks for means of implementation, whereas he who meditates on this same thing; he only tries to understand it, in order to make a sound judgment about it.

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