Waiting for God



My Dear Father, I Have Made Up My Mind To Write To YouI Have Been Wondering Lately About The Will Of God, What It Means, And How We Can Reach The Point Of Conforming Ourselves To It Completely I Will Tell You What I Think About This SIMONE WEIL, LETTER I, WAITING FOR GODEmerging From The Thought Provoking Discussions And Correspondence Simone Weil Had With The Reverend Father Perrin, This Classic Collection Of Essays Contains The Renowned Philosopher And Social Activist S Most Profound Meditations On The Relationship Of Human Life To The Realm Of The Transcendent An Enduring Masterwork And One Of The Most Neglected Resources Of Our Century Adrienne Rich , Waiting For God Will Continue To Influence Spiritual And Political Thought For Centuries To Come Simone Weil Has Become A Legend, And Her Writings Are Regarded As A Classic Document Of Our Period THE NEW YORKER Her Example, Her Achievements, Her Frustrations, Her Intellectual Or Moral Or Religious Impasses, And Her Failures, Self Described Or Apparent To Us From Hindsight, All Can Serve To Focus The Mind, Enlarge The Heart, And Stir The Soul ROBERT COLESWaiting for God

Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Waiting for God book, this is one of the most wanted Simone Weil author readers around the world.

[BOOKS] ⚡ Waiting for God  ✯ Simone Weil – Tiffanydaniels.co.uk
  • Paperback
  • 192 pages
  • Waiting for God
  • Simone Weil
  • English
  • 06 December 2018
  • 0060959703

10 thoughts on “Waiting for God

  1. says:

    Simone Weil s Waiting for God was a Christmas gift for me in 2013, but one I received in time for Advent As any serious reader knows, when one encounters a significant book author much like when you meet the right person can be almost as important as the book itself Waiting for God is an unlikely but apt Advent read It is improbable in the sense Weil lived avibrant Christianity than most who claim to be ardent members of any known Christian denomination and yet she stopped short of recei Simone Weil s Waiting for God was a Christmas gift for me in 2013, but one I received in time for Advent As any serious reader knows, when one encounters a significant book author much like when you meet the right person can be almost as important as the book itself Waiting for God is an unlikely but apt Advent read It is improbable in the sense Weil lived avibrant Christianity than most who claim to be ardent members of any known Christian denomination and yet she stopped short of receiving the sacrament of Baptism It is pertinent as in the first word of the title waiting is a function of Advent.As the arrival of something anticipated , the Christian liturgical season of Advent is necessarily a waiting time Weil was by nature as well as choice a lifelong wait er She was waiting literately on God, on His guidance and His instructions as she perceived them This is a difficult concept for most of us to grasp We get up in the morning and do what we ve always done, what s required by the day s schedule or for those without benefit of discipline, whatever strikes the fancy For the rest, if the routine varies it s usually due to input from others, circumstances beyond our control such as accidents, emergencies, and other major events, good and bad, major or minor.Weil s approach to life and the writing she shares in this book is completely different First of all, there s intensity to everything she says and does It s as if she can never forget, not even for a second, the temporary nature of our earthly existence She s in a race with time and while you are with her so are you And yet, at the same time, she is deeply contemplative Nothing is superficial or insignificant to or about her She s completely real and yet an enigma because as she continues to learn and grow, she constantly changes I could sense these things about her in my reading but it was so intuitive that as I would go back over what I d just covered, I d often find it almost impossible to put my finger on exactly what it was that led me to these conclusions Also, I felt protective of her Perhaps I am wrong in this, but I found myself reluctant to share her writings with certain individuals who would dismiss her ideas outright simply because of her choices, especially her choice not to be baptized Or maybe what I mean is that I lament my own inability to defend her choices because although instinctively I agree with her, I don t understand her writings well enough to defend her against critics And I couldn t bear the thought of her being criticized Let them make fun of or insult me, but not her Waiting for God is a collection of writings which are only loosely related There are her six letters to Father Perrin, apparently a devout priest, friend and spiritual confidant who she entrusts with her reasons for loving yet refusing to join the Church These all too brief letters read like the most unusual and deeply moving love story I can imagine Sometimes the situation reminded me of an arranged marriage between God and Simone, where she was only waiting to hear her dearly Beloved tell her He loved her and that would be enough for her to go ahead with Baptism Other times I had the feeling she really saw herself as God s Missionary to those outside organized religion Either way, she was content to be what He wanted her to be, because she belonged to Him and Him alone The second part of the book is a collection of essays These left me spellbound and changed me at every encounter At some point in time I want to go back and try to summarize my notes on them but after I have had some time to let the ideas Weil proposed gestate As I was reading these essays, I would read for a while, then pause, reflect, pray or jot something in the margins or highlight a section If pressed to say which was my favorite essay I would reluctantly choose Forms of the Implicit Love of God looking back wistfully at Concerning the Our Father, only because the former contained so many divine no pun intended mini essays I am thoroughly frustrated with this review, but then I know I would be disappointed with anything I could write about Weil s work But eventually I have to finish it and let it go As to the book, well this is just an introductory read God willing, I ll be back Subsequent thoughts although not a final review December 7, 2013 Have been reading Simone Weil s Waiting for God in bits and pieces Interestingly enough as I was typing those words Oklahoma experienced a 4.5 earthquake We also happen to be in the middle of the biggest college football game of the season OU v OSU which my daughter is watching in the other room while our state is under a blanket of snow and temperatures below 20 degrees Weil is both frustrating and deeply satisfying She is frustrating in the sense that her extreme intelligence enables her to be so far ahead it s not easy to keep up with her or know where you are when you get there and yet as when her meanings come into focus, I enjoy that addicting ahah and resulting tremendous kinship with the one who gifts insight So often I wanted her to be here so I could ask, What do you mean by this or, Where have you gone now So far I ve read and reread the Introduction, her letters to Father Perrin, her essay, The Love of God and Affliction which is totally amazing and prayed Concerning the Our Father I ve also skimmed the other two essays but not actually sat and read them as the writing merits I don t believe it s possible to do Ms Weil s philosophy justice in one perusal, well at least not for me Her thoughts are not organized in any conventional sort of way On refection I believe this to be because of her proximity to the Infinite, her total surrender in humble obedience to the God she is waiting for How can our little words ever articulate the vastness of Eternity Find clarity in a funnel cloud or a hurricane Rather wait She is telling us there will be total clarity tomorrow Now there is only the whirlwind His Power Waiting for God.But then I m not finished either Actually this is so powerful I haven t even managed to get all the way through praying the entire meditation at one time, so I m working on just one phrase each day This book is a gift from a friend here on GR and I cannot thank the kindness of that dear friend enough Initial Impressions November 2013 Waiting for God begins with Weil s letters I have found it necessary to read and reread parts of these a number of times, her mind and thoughts being so muchsubtle than mine Clumsily my eyes follow along her words on the page but she has escaped me So I go painstakingly back over the sentences again Perhaps I have grasped her concept Perhaps not Still reading

  2. says:

    After reading her books, you have to ask, is Simone Weil a saint or is she crazy After all, when she was ill with pneumonia, she allowed herself to eat just the amount she thought would be available to residents of German occupied France in the early 1940s and starved herself at age 34.Why should we read Weil Susan Sontag tells us we often measure truth in terms of the suffering of the author Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Dostoevsky, Kafka, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Genet and Simone Weil have their au After reading her books, you have to ask, is Simone Weil a saint or is she crazy After all, when she was ill with pneumonia, she allowed herself to eat just the amount she thought would be available to residents of German occupied France in the early 1940s and starved herself at age 34.Why should we read Weil Susan Sontag tells us we often measure truth in terms of the suffering of the author Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Dostoevsky, Kafka, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Genet and Simone Weil have their authority with us partly because of their conviction, their self martyrdom Modern readers could not embrace the life choices or ideas of Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, but we read them for their scathing originality, for their personal authority, for the example of their seriousness, and for their willingness to sacrifice themselves for their truths Simone Weil belongs in this category, one of the most uncompromising and troubling witnesses to the modern travail of the spirit Simone Weil was born into a family of wealthy, intellectual, secular Parisian Jews In her early twenties she had a spiritual birth when in a Portuguese village she heard the wives of fishermen singing religious hymns She felt Christianity was the true religion of the oppressed Later she was moved by a chapel where St Frances served, and by poem from Herbert Although she accepted Jesus as truth and beauty, she would never be baptized because she believed the same truth and beauty existed in the Greek philosophers, in Taoism, in Buddhism, in the Bhagavad Gita and in ancient Egypt She also believed The Church has borne too many evil fruits for there not to have been some mistake at the beginning Europe has been spiritually uprooted, cut off from that antiquity in which all the elements of our civilization have their origin It would be strange, indeed, that the word of Christ should have produced such results if it had been properly understood She was also appalled by what organized religion could do when it became powerful, citing the Catholic Church s record of the crusades, banning, and inquisition She was similarly suspicious of Protestantism, which she felt to be too closely linked with individual nations Plus, she felt too many parishioners assign importance to the rituals instead of striving to attain a personal understanding with God.Weil saw Jesus as the perfect model of suffering Weil believed that God s love becomes born or personified in us when we pay attention to others This requires emptying ourselves of our own our interests and projections in order to be truly present to another person similar to the kenosis of the early Gnostics.She left her position as a philosophy professor where she was constantly in trouble with school administrators because of her involvement with the unemployed, her participation in labor protests and her difficulty dealing with authority She worked in an auto factory, then in the fields working a farm Simone Weil tells us that the first principle of helping another is not action It is to see and respect the other She repeatedly notes that the greater the suffering of the other person, the harder it is truly to see and hear that person.Weil reminds us how glibly we can talk about compassion, as if it were an easy thing, sometimes making it sound like littlethan pity However, true compassion requires us to allow suffering to disturb us and even sometimes to take us over.Weil wrote There should not be the slightest discrepancy between one s thoughts and one s way of life Sontag responds that sanity requires some compromising, some evasions and even lies Maybe that why Weil s relentless searching makes us uncomfortable.T.S Eliot wrote A potential saint can be a very difficult person One is struck, here and there, by contrast between Weil s almost superhuman humility and what appears to be an almost outrageous arrogance Kenneth Rexroth wrote Simone Weil was one of the most remarkable women of the twentieth, or indeed of any other century She could interject all the ill of the world into her own heart Her letters read like thedistraught signals of John of the Cross in the dark night Pope Paul VI who corresponded with Weil and tried to get her baptized said that Weil was one of his three greatest influences, and Albert Camus said Weil was the only great spirit of our time I believe Sontag, Eliot and Rexroth are right We may disagree with parts of what Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Dostoyevsky and Weil said, but we can t help but be struck by their searing insights Waiting for God is a collection of Weil s letters and essays that were compiled after her death, and it is a full array of Weil s thinking from baptism to friendship and from school studies to the nature of love It doesn t flow well because she never wrote a book in her lifetime her books are all compilations of her letters.I like one of Weil s spiritual insights An atheist may be simply one whose faith and love are concentrated on the impersonal aspects of God I initially rated this book lower due to the lack of cohesiveness among the essays, but after time and reflecting on today s reactions against immigrants, and with Brexit and Trump, I felt perhaps the world needs to hearfrom someone who truly understood compassion and actually lived with genuine empathy for those less fortunate

  3. says:

    The Truth I have given it five stars and I have included it in my favorites shelf and surely I will add her to the list of my favourite authors The truth is I have read only this book and even in this book I have not understood many of the passages Let me explain or at least try to explain.Simone Weil The Person There was a short biographical sketch at the end of this book It was really short and yet it was a life story that moved me She was born in France in 1909 and she died in 1943 S The Truth I have given it five stars and I have included it in my favorites shelf and surely I will add her to the list of my favourite authors The truth is I have read only this book and even in this book I have not understood many of the passages Let me explain or at least try to explain.Simone Weil The Person There was a short biographical sketch at the end of this book It was really short and yet it was a life story that moved me She was born in France in 1909 and she died in 1943 She had a short life She was a student of philosophy and studied along with Simone de Beauvoir She was attracted to both Marxism and Catholicism She was blessed with lot of mystical visions A leftist mystic She was attracted to Catholicism and interestingly she never became a Catholic For becoming a Catholic would mean that she will be excluded from the groups that are in opposition to the Church She wanted to be a member of the universal humanity She did not want herself excluded from any group and that would have been her greatest suffering She took a voluntary annual leave from her teaching job to become an ordinary factory worker and lived in the condition a factory worker lived She was convinced that to know the struggles of a factory worker one needs to be a factory worker She gave up extra rations though it was advised to her by the doctors and ate what was permissible to the French soldiers in the occupied France during the Second World War As soon as she heard of a famine in China she could not contain herself she wept for them.Her Writings The book contains six letters that she wrote to a Catholic priest regarding her reason why she did not want to enter into the Catholic Church and there are three essays and a reflection on the Lord s Prayer On these I am not sure how to make my reviewIt is better that I let Weil speak her mind.1 Her reason for not entering the Church What frightens me is the Church as a social structure..I feel that it is necessary and ordained that I should be alone, a stranger and an exile in relation to every human circle without exception..To be lost to view in it is not to form part of it, and my capacity to mix with all of them implies that I belong to none In another place she writes The love of those things that are outside visible Christianity keeps me outside the Church 2 On the Way to reach Salvation.desire directed toward God is the only power capable of raising the soul Or rather, it is God alone who comes down and possesses the soul, but desire alone draws God down She advocates that the most important part a soul can do to reach God is to wait with its complete attention turned towards God She writes We do not obtain the most precious gifts by going in search of them but by waiting for them In another place she writes The infinity of space and time separates us from God How are we to seek for him How are we to go toward him Even if we were to walk for hundreds of years, we should do nothan go round and round the world..We are incapable of progressing vertically We cannot take a step toward the heavens God crosses the universe and comes to us In another place she writes One of the principal truths of Christianity, a truth that goes almost unrecognized today, is that looking is what saves usTo long for God and to renounce all the rest, that alone can save us.Seeking leads us astray.This waiting for goodness and truth is, however, somethingintense than any searching How such attention is possible She has an interesting reflection on school education that aids in preparing us in such process To be fully attentive in dealing with a mathematical sum or to be attentive in dealing with the grammatical nuances in Latin is in fact a preparation for a person to have a complete attention only on one Being in his later stage She writes Every school exercise, thought of in this way, is like a sacrament 3 Biblical Reflections There are some Biblical passages that get reflected upon by Simone Weil and they are superb Some examples It is true that we have to love our neighbor, but, in the example that Christ gave as an illustration of this commandment, the neighbor is a being of whom nothing is known, lying naked, bleeding, and unconscious on the road It is a question of completely anonymous, and for that reason, completely universal love Christ did not however prescribe the abolition of penal justice He allowed stoning to continue Wherever it is done with justice, it is therefore he who throws the first stone Concluding Remarks There are also some interesting reflections on Love of Neighbour, Eucharist, School Exercises, Conversion, Atheism, Human Suffering, Friendship, Importance of Religious Practices Rites, etc.

  4. says:

    How does one offer an opinion much less a critique of a classic book A number of my mentors, thoughtful friends, and respected teachers have noted Simon Weil s influence and have urged me to read her essays but I resisted I confess now my reluctance sprang from suspicion, an unfounded suspicion as it turns out that Simone Weil was simply another spiritual fad It was the admonition by a respected friend to not buy the book unless I was prepared to be seriously challenged that, of course, wa How does one offer an opinion much less a critique of a classic book A number of my mentors, thoughtful friends, and respected teachers have noted Simon Weil s influence and have urged me to read her essays but I resisted I confess now my reluctance sprang from suspicion, an unfounded suspicion as it turns out that Simone Weil was simply another spiritual fad It was the admonition by a respected friend to not buy the book unless I was prepared to be seriously challenged that, of course, was bait needed to spur this contrarian into a purchase Warren Farha, the wise owner of Eighth Day Books, smiled as he handed me Waiting for God and said, an all time read And so it was My first reading occurred during a long day of air travel This long and uninterrupted time to read was fortuitous This is a book reading that cannot be digested quickly, needs frequent review and pondering of sentences and paragraphs, and does not tolerate interruption The irony of reading a starving young aesthetic s painful and honest thoughts about wholly loving God while cruising at 30,000 feet was not lost, Weil s thoughts about beauty seemed prophetic as we flew over the Rockies at sunset The love we feel for the splendor of the heavens, the plains, the sea, and the mountains, for the silence of nature which is borne in upon us by thousands of tiny sounds, for the breath of the winds or the warmth of the sun, this love of which every human being has at least and inkling, is an incomplete, painful love, because it is felt for things incapable of responding,Men want to turn this same love toward a being who is like themselves and capable of answering to their love, of saying yes, of surrendering The longing to love the beauty of the world in a human being is essentially the longing for the Incarnation The Incarnation alone can satisfy it As a teacher, I think the essay Reflections on the Right Use of School Studies with a View to the Love of God should be required reading for all students and teachers However, be forewarned Weil would not be a fan of No child left behind or for that matter, much else on our contemporary educational scene For instance these politically incorrect words, Quite apart from explicit religious belief, every time that a human being succeeds in making an effort of attention with the sole idea of increasing his grasp of truth, he acquires a greater aptitude for grasping it, even if his effort produces no visible fruit Weil was no Thomas Dewey oid utilitarian educator.Weil is much quoted but I suspect like many thoughtful writers exploring difficult topics is less often read In addition, to quote her thoughts on education or art without including her clear call for expanded compassion and service and suffering is to misconstrue by omission Her prose is of an old fashioned and slightly inhospitable academic style, an odd combination of rigorous philosophic rationalism combined with an unapologetic mystical sensibility Perhaps, some of the lumpy sentences would becomelyrical if read in the original French To be clear, I view this review as a first pass on Weil s thought I hold my first two readings of Waiting for God as insufficient to understand all of what this thin volume holds Yet, there is a thick and compelling force in Weil s words, a wisdom beyond what is possible to say and a palpable presence encrusting her printed words Weil does not treat easy subjects and offers no pat bullet point answers The faith she describes speaks of sufferingthan certainty and acts of contrition rather than acts of assertion Like Flannery O Connor, Weil the artist uses her reason to discover an answering reason in everything she sees to find truth in the object, in the situation, in the sequence Weil treats her words as art rather than utility And as she points out, Every true artist has had real, direct, and immediate contact with the beauty of the world, contact that is of the nature of a sacrament Sacraments are visible rites that signify and make present the grace of God How like the God who favored children, the dispossessed, and the lowly to use a young woman s words in the midst of war as a vehicle for grace A woman who had virtually no impact while alive and did not feel worthy to partake of God s sacraments has become the means by which others, and I am in that number, have found a far richer and larger available stock of reality

  5. says:

    Is mystic a polite way of saying unintelligible I first encountered Simone Weil while reading The Long Loneliness, the autobiography of Dorothy Day Weil came recommended to me as another Catholic woman writer and social activist Like Day, she is intellectually rigorous and contemplative about the nature of faith and its relationship with the world militant However, there similarities drop off Day is grounded in the mechanics of the physical world, the demands and oversights of its play Is mystic a polite way of saying unintelligible I first encountered Simone Weil while reading The Long Loneliness, the autobiography of Dorothy Day Weil came recommended to me as another Catholic woman writer and social activist Like Day, she is intellectually rigorous and contemplative about the nature of faith and its relationship with the world militant However, there similarities drop off Day is grounded in the mechanics of the physical world, the demands and oversights of its players, and remains driven and active against the prevailing injustices Weil shutters herself away, playing ascetic and writing an awful lot about it That Weil, de Beauvoir Weil s contemporary at the Sorbonne , and Day are lumped into the same category speaks to a fundamental misunderstanding of the three women s contributions and outlooks and an intellectually lazy glossing over of what each represents they are grandly divergent individuals, only their sex and religious affiliation are common Waiting for God left me underwhelmed it fell squarely into the category of literature that, for the life of me, I can t figure out how or why it s earned the attention and accolades of so many It is unevenly written a collection of letters to a Priest and confident and essays on faith that while dense are occasionally so circuitous as to be unintelligible I don t subscribe to the common notion that to be difficult to understand is equivalent to brilliance, nor am I especially inclined to believe I m incapable of understanding Weil s work It s an emotionally and intellectually immature work, thrumming with ambition, but failing to find focus.Her naivet is exasperating, which sporadically crept into delusion, about the nature of faith and her slavish devotion to the Church She is dramatic, overwrought and even maudlin, lamenting her status and constantly delving into exhaustive, verbose bouts of spiritual introspection Even if private, to make such a show of her faith and the ecstasy contained therein is contrived the lady, as it were, doth protest too much I don t doubt her faith or its sincerity, nor do I understand the compulsion to write at such great lengths about it It seemed contradictory to chronically harping on Christ and divinity while writing excessively about oneself For an individual so obsessively passionate about the suffering of others, perhaps I have little patience for her choice to rather than contribute actively in charity or outreach self inflict similar suffering in solidarity with the oppressed Certainly, theology especially personal theology lends itself to doublespeak and ambiguity, because the nature of the spirit and of sanctity itself often eludes the confines of language There are throngs of worthwhile 20th century apologists, individuals who thoughtfully and incisively delve into spiritual matters without becoming weighted down with solipsistic dirges about their internalized beliefs Waiting for God creates the distinct impression that Weil was psychologically unwell, if not experiencing bouts of psychosis or mania I m also likely not the right reader for this book it s steeped so heavily in excessive self involvement and examination that I found it oftentimes difficult to find where, in fact, God comes into play other than as a vessel for her to delve deeper into her own psyche and proclamations of enduring faith

  6. says:

    Divided into a bio intro, a series of letters to a Catholic priest though not the replies , and several essays, Waiting for God is a very uneven and choppy book, and not at all easy to get through it s taken me 6 attempts in the past year to finally read it The introduction is unsatisfactory because it only serves to describe the life of Simone Weil, rather than explain it, and she most definitely longs to be explained The collection of letters are filled with some interesting conundrums Divided into a bio intro, a series of letters to a Catholic priest though not the replies , and several essays, Waiting for God is a very uneven and choppy book, and not at all easy to get through it s taken me 6 attempts in the past year to finally read it The introduction is unsatisfactory because it only serves to describe the life of Simone Weil, rather than explain it, and she most definitely longs to be explained The collection of letters are filled with some interesting conundrums and thoughts but served to only frustrate this reader even further as they leave questions unanswered about both the author and the topics covered To be fair, they were personal letters and were not expected or intended by Weil to be included in this posthumously collected work She remains as much of a mystery at the end of the book as she did at the beginning.The essays are the real heart of the book though they too can be very difficult to follow as Weil not only had trouble keeping organized in her presentation, often drifting back and forth between ideas, but she also had such a complete grasp of literature and history, she would wander on a single page quoting through Pythagoras, Socrates, Aeschylus, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Life of the Buddha in order to make a minor point on a perennial perspective of the Christian God before moving on However, Weil is eminently quotable and I often found myself drifting through a paragraph before stopping abruptly over a beautiful sentence to go back and reread it again and again.Her Reflections on the Right Use of School Studies with a View to the Love of God a very surprising position from a politically leftist philosopher and her Forms of the Implicit Love of God give much food for thought in contemplating the relationship between man and Creator The final chapter, Concerning the Our Father, breaks down each line of the Lord s prayer with a mature insight that dissects and reassembles it into a cohesive spiritual whole.The most brilliant section of the book though is a 20 page essay tucked right in the middle, The Love of God and Affliction It is a profound attempt at explaining the plight of so many people that lived through horrific and inhuman wars of the early 20th century She herself practiced such extreme forms of self denial in sympathy for their suffering that she greatly damaged her own health so much both physical and mental that she died at only 34 years of age But her thrust was that this affliction was the most powerful force in the universe to experiencing the love of God if understood in the proper way Affliction is a marvel of divine technique It is a simple and ingenious device which introduces into the soul of a finite creature the immensity of force, blind, brutal, and cold The infinite distance separating God from the creature is entirely concentrated into one point to pierce the soul in its center.The man to whom such a thing happens has no part in the operation He struggles like a butterfly pinned alive into an album But through all the horror he can continue to want to love There is nothing impossible in that, no obstacle, one might almost say no difficulty For the greatest suffering, so long as it does not cause the soul to faint, does not touch the acquiescent part of the soul, consenting to a right direction And it is through understanding this that man, through his gaze, can cross time and space and meet his Creator This is a chapter I will be going back to over and over again and I have no doubt I ll gain new insight with each reading Waiting for God is mystical and frustrating I wantIt deserves to be reintroduced to a spiritually starved world.Edited to add, after several re readings The short chapter on The Love of God and Affliction is still the most profound piece ever written on suffering and affliction Also, upon the reread, I found the Introduction by Leslie Fiedler muchinsightful and well written than during my first read Though Weil in later life retained socialist sympathies and toyed with naive political theories unrelated to her spiritual and moral explorations, it came as a surprise to me that Fiedler, a vocal Marxist, could capture her thought so well

  7. says:

    A few years ago I encountered Weil and she had an immense effect on me I try and revisit her periodically and am still very far from coming to any definite views on her life and thought If she were fictional she d probably be the greatest literary character of the twentieth century The fact that she literally existed is endlessly haunting and strange I go back and forth about whether she was serious philosopher Her thought is violent and often shudders on the verge of utter incoherence At A few years ago I encountered Weil and she had an immense effect on me I try and revisit her periodically and am still very far from coming to any definite views on her life and thought If she were fictional she d probably be the greatest literary character of the twentieth century The fact that she literally existed is endlessly haunting and strange I go back and forth about whether she was serious philosopher Her thought is violent and often shudders on the verge of utter incoherence At the same time, real wisdom is apparent in almost every line It s possible to read this book as a confession of madness as no doubt modern psychiatrists would have a field day diagnosing Weil and giving her drugs all the same I think she ultimately resists any efforts to dismiss her or explain her away.Weil emphatically agrees with Nietzsche that Christianity is a religion for slaves From there the two of them went in radically different directions Reading Nietzsche one gets the impression he s frantically trying to convince himself he s not a slave Weil came to accept the truth of Christianity after recognizing herself as one Where Nietzsche would hysterically assert his own freedom and strength, Weil s self loathing at times borders on a kind of megalomania.I appreciate Nietzsche but find his rants tiresome at times The absolute need to be an individual can lead to a lot of romantic clich s By contrast, Weil s intense focus on what is anonymous, impersonal, uncreated in herself results in a stunningly unique self portrait It s clear Weil was not opposed to food itself, only the act of eating somehow she knew that was not part of her earthly vocationThe relation of hunger to food is far less complete, to be sure, but just as real as is that of the act of eating.It is perhaps not inconceivable that in a being with certain natural propensities, a particular temperament, a given past, a certain vocation, and so on, the desire for and deprivation of the sacraments might constitute a contactpure than actual participation.She d always justify her extreme asceticism in terms of a need to mingle with all of humanity Even after coming to believe the Gospel, she refused herself the comfort of entering the Church on the grounds that it was not truly universal She did not want to limit herself in any way or exclude non Christians from her understanding Her final self starvation was meant as an act of solidarity She literally could not live with herself being separate from the masses suffering through war Friendship is a miracle by which a person consents to view from a certain distance, and without coming any nearer, the very being who is necessary to him as food It is impossible for two human beings to be one while scrupulously respecting the distance that separates them, unless God is present in each of them The point at which parallels meet is infinity For future study compare Weil s affliction malheur to Paul Ricoeur on the servile will, the involuntary at the heart of freedom

  8. says:

    I was not the right reader for this book Friends had recommended Weil knowing that I m interested in theology even though I m a non theist It s true I was impressed with Weil s intelligence and strong sense of what is right for her like her explanation for why she doesn t get baptized , also her honesty about injustices committed through the church if the Catholic church ever wants to be relevant, she suggests, it will have to say they ve changed since the Inquisition But this is coupled w I was not the right reader for this book Friends had recommended Weil knowing that I m interested in theology even though I m a non theist It s true I was impressed with Weil s intelligence and strong sense of what is right for her like her explanation for why she doesn t get baptized , also her honesty about injustices committed through the church if the Catholic church ever wants to be relevant, she suggests, it will have to say they ve changed since the Inquisition But this is coupled withwell, what comes across as some severe psychoses Maybe scrupulosity is the technical term For instance Her rabid desire to uncompromisingly obey a master This isn t just a willingness to obey when commanded That would be suspicious enough in itself, but this is worse Weil has a positive desire to be commanded to do painful and unpleasant things Every time I think of the crucifixion of Christ, she confesses, I commit the sin of envy Nobody said you had to be psychologically healthy to write a book But knowing the damage that the martyrdom drive within religion has done to people particularly women well, I stopped being much interested in Weil s explanation of the world

  9. says:

    In places Simone Weil s writings indeed have a wondrous mystical quality there I found myself captivated in the realm of the deeply spiritual and personal Her reflections on experiencing God s love through the forsaken, the value of deemphasizing will, and adopting a stance of waiting for God intrigued me I want to consider these further after having read this book.At other times, her writings seem shaped by the metric of the logical, mathematical proof perhaps reflecting how she idealized In places Simone Weil s writings indeed have a wondrous mystical quality there I found myself captivated in the realm of the deeply spiritual and personal Her reflections on experiencing God s love through the forsaken, the value of deemphasizing will, and adopting a stance of waiting for God intrigued me I want to consider these further after having read this book.At other times, her writings seem shaped by the metric of the logical, mathematical proof perhaps reflecting how she idealized her older brother, who was a brilliant mathematician My many, many personal hangups with mathematical proofs aside, there were numerous places where I found myself lost in excessively dense abstraction that created distance when I was seeking immediacy Not fully grasping the meaning of those parts, I slogged through anyway And before long I discovered yet another gem.Given the philosophical nature of this book, I want to reread it to glean the mystical elementsfully

  10. says:

    Reread in 2014 2016, 2107 Original review HEREThe short chapter on The Love of God and Affliction is still the most profound piece ever written on suffering and affliction Also, upon the reread, I found the Introduction by Leslie Fiedler muchinsightful and well written than during my first read Though Weil in later life retained socialist sympathies and toyed with naive political theories unrelated to her spiritual and moral explorations, it came as a surprise to me that Fiedler, a Reread in 2014 2016, 2107 Original review HEREThe short chapter on The Love of God and Affliction is still the most profound piece ever written on suffering and affliction Also, upon the reread, I found the Introduction by Leslie Fiedler muchinsightful and well written than during my first read Though Weil in later life retained socialist sympathies and toyed with naive political theories unrelated to her spiritual and moral explorations, it came as a surprise to me that Fiedler, a vocal Marxist, could capture her thought so well

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *