Simone Weil

Waiting patiently in expectation is the foundation of the spiritual life’

“Attachment is the great fabricator of illusions; reality can be attained only by someone who is detached”

“Compassion directed toward oneself is true humility.”

“There is something else which has the power to awaken us to the truth. It is the works of writers of genius. They give us, in the guise of fiction, something equivalent to the actual density of the real, that density which life offers us every day but which we are unable to grasp because we are amusing ourselves with lies.”

Simone Weil (1909-1943) was a French philosopher, social activist, teacher and Christian mystic. A brilliant student she was proficient in ancient Greek by the age of 12. She later learned Sanskrit after reading the Bhagavad-Gita 1919. At 10 years of age, she declared herself a Bolshevik. In her late teens, she became involved in the workers’ movement. She wrote political tracts, marched in demonstrations, and advocated workers’ rights. At this time, she was a Marxist, pacifist, and trade unionist In 1936, despite her pacifism, she fought in the Spanish Civil War on the Republican side and later aided the French Resistance from London. Following mystical experiences she had in Assisi which led her to pray for the first time in her life her writings from 1938 on became more mystical and spiritual. After a lifetime of battling illness and frailty,Weil died in August 1943 from cardiac failure brought on by self-imposed starvation undertaken out of sympathy for those suffering in occupied France. She was 34.

 

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