activity that distracts the mind
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- People come home after a day's work, from which they derive little satisfaction, and feel the need for diversion and amusement. The word diversion itself is already very significant. When Pascal uses the word diversion he means that people ... deviate from the path which leads them to God. ... Instead of thinking of God, they amuse themselves. So, instead of thinking about the problems which have been created by technology and our work we want to amuse ourselves.
- Jacques Ellul, The Betrayal by Technology (1993 film), 30:50
- The one thing which consoles us for our miseries is diversion, yet this itself is the greatest of our miseries. For this it is which mainly hinders us from thinking of ourselves, and which insensibly destroys us. Without this we should be weary, and weariness would drive us to seek a more abiding way out of it. But diversion ... is a miserable consolation, since it does not serve for the cure of the evil, but simply for the concealment of it for a short time, and its very concealment prevents the thought of any true cure. Thus by a strange inversion of man's nature he finds that the weariness which is his most sensible evil, is in some measure his greatest good, because more than anything else it contributes to make him seek his true healing, and that the diversion which he regards as his greatest good is in fact his greatest evil, because more than any thing else it prevents his seeking the remedy for his evils.
- Blaise Pascal, Thoughts, as translated by Auguste Molinier