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Simone's Spirit: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

5 flashes of Weil

1. Why God is hiding?

"God could only create by hiding himself. Otherwise there would be nothing but himself."

-- Gravity and Grace

2. Waiting for God

"To believe in God is not a decision we can make. All we can do is decide not to give our love to false gods. In the first place, we can decide not to believe that the future contains for us an all-sufficient good. The future is made of the same stuff as the present....

"...It is not for man to seek, or even to believe in God. He has only to refuse to believe in everything that is not God. This refusal does not presuppose belief. It is enough to recognize, what is obvious to any mind, that all the goods of this world, past, present, or future, real or imaginary, are finite and limited and radically incapable of satisfying the desire which burns perpetually with in us for an infinite and perfect good... It is not a matter of self-questioning or searching. A man has only to persist in his refusal, and one day or another God will come to him."
-- Weil, Simone, ON SCIENCE, NECESSITY, AND THE LOVE OF GOD, edited by Richard Rees, London, Oxford University Press, 1968.- ©

3. How a little imagination protects us from God

"Grace fills empty spaces, but it can only enter where there is a void to receive it We must continually suspend the work of the imagination in filling the void within ourselves."
"In no matter what circumstances, if the imagination is stopped from pouring itself out, we have a void (the poor in spirit). In no matter what circumstances... imagination can fill the void. This is why the average human beings can become prisoners, slaves, prostitutes, and pass thru no matter what suffering without being purified."

"That is why we fly from the inner void, since God might steal into it. It is not the pursuit of pleasure and the aversion for effort which causes sin, but fear of God. We know that we cannot see him face to face without dying, and we do not want to die."
-- Gravity and Grace

4. Evil is bad because it is boring

"Monotony of evil: never anything new, everything about it is equivalent. Never anything real, everything about it is imaginary. It is because of this monotony that quantity plays so great a part. A host of women (Don Juan) or of men (Celimene) etc. One is condemned to false infinity. That is hell itself."
-- Gravity and Grace

5. What is real

"A test of what is real is that it is hard and rough. Joys are found in it, not pleasure. What is pleasant belongs to dreams."
-- Gravity and Grace

excerpts as noted from GRAVITY AND GRACE by Simone Weil, New York, G. P. Putnam & Sons, 1952. edited and arranged by Gustave Thibon, translated by Emma Craufurd

French © Libraire Plon 1947
English © G.P.Putnam's & Sons 1956
All Rights Reserved

Next page: Weil's big decision

Simone Weil in Marseilles, France, 1942

Simone Weil in Marseilles, France, 1942

(I don't think it is any big deal that I removed in PhotoShop the priest (?) that was walking behind Simone Weil at the moment this picture was taken. I'm an artist, not a historian. I wasn't trying to make a point about Weil's refusal to join the church or her being what some people call a Christian anarchist. I just thought that the individual walking behind her, whoever he was, spoiled the picture. I only mention it now because people keep "borrowing" this image file and I'd like them to know what they're borrowing. Most recently this image appeared, despite its low resolution and small size, on the cover of the audio edition of Francine Du Plessix Gray's biography of Simone Weil..)