two moral essays simone weil

Stars and blossoming fruit- trees : utter permanence and extreme fragility give an equal sense of eternity. Indeed, Christ is the religious solution to Weils principal contradiction, that between the necessary and the good. Elisabeth Chas Geissbuhler trans. (SWA 242) Further, Weil desired a kind of equilibrium, a balance between forces instead of an endless pursuit of an illusion of absolute stability. The same is true, and in exemplary fashion, for Simone Weil. Lettre à un religieux, 1951; as Letter to a Priest, translated by Arthur Wills, 1954.

2001., Skylight Paths Publishing. The syllogism is, to put it briefly, nothing but a rule of language to avoid contradiction: at bottom the principle of non-contradiction is a principle of grammar. The protagonist of the Iliad, Weil writes in an original reading, is not Achilles or Hector, but force itself.

What gets added to it is of a piece with the rest. Weil wrote throughout her life, though most of her writings did not attract much attention until after her death. We have not rights, but duties and needs. Liberty is the power of choice within the latitude left between the direct constraint of natural forces and the authority accepted as legitimate. The simplicity which makes the fictional good something insipid and unable to hold the attention becomes, in the real good, an unfathomable marvel. From this time on, her writings take on a more mystical and spiritual content, while retaining their focus on social and political issues. In her essay Reflections on the Right use of School Studies with a View to the Love of God (1942 in WFG 5765 Weil takes prayer, defined as the orientation of all the attention of which the soul is capable toward God, as her point. Thus, in regard to contradiction and mediation, just as the intelligence must grapple with mystery in Weils epistemology, so too love must be vulnerable and defenseless in the face of evil in her metaphysical and religious philosophy. Attention consists of suspending our thought, leaving it detached, empty, and ready to be penetrated by the object; it means holding in our minds, within reach of this thought, but on a lower level and not in contact with it, the diverse knowledge we have. Seeking to embody a truly incarnated Christianity, she rejects membership in a Church whose anathema sit aligns it with totalitarian forces threatening to engulf her world.