Simone Weil Quotes

“Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.”
― Simone Weil

 

“Imaginary evil is romantic and varied; real evil is gloomy, monotonous, barren, boring. Imaginary good is boring; real good is always new, marvelous, intoxicating.”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“All sins are attempts to fill voids.”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“Attachment is the great fabricator of illusions; reality can be obtained only by someone who is detached. ”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“A beautiful woman looking at her image in the mirror may very well believe the image is herself. An ugly woman knows it is not.”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“Love is not consolation. It is light.”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“Human existence is so fragile a thing and exposed to such dangers that I cannot love without trembling.”
― Simone Weil

 

“To be rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul.”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“Whether the mask is labeled fascism, democracy, or dictatorship of the proletariat, our great adversary remains the apparatus—the bureaucracy, the police, the military. Not the one facing us across the frontier of the battle lines, which is not so much our enemy as our brothers’ enemy, but the one that calls itself our protector and makes us its slaves. No matter what the circumstances, the worst betrayal will always be to subordinate ourselves to this apparatus and to trample underfoot, in its service, all human values in ourselves and in others.”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“If we go down into ourselves, we find that we possess exactly what we desire.”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“All the natural movements of the soul are controlled by laws analogous to those of physical gravity. Grace is the only exception. Grace fills empty spaces, but it can only enter where there is a void to receive it, and it is grace itself which makes this void. The imagination is continually at work filling up all the fissures through which grace might pass.”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“Everything beautiful has a mark of eternity.”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“The sea is not less beautiful in our eyes because we know that sometimes ships are wrecked by it.”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“Human beings are so made that the ones who do the crushing feel nothing; it is the person crushed who feels what is happening. Unless one has placed oneself on the side of the oppressed, to feel with them, one cannot understand.”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“Love of God is pure when joy and suffering inspire an equal degree of gratitude.”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“We have to endure the discordance between imagination and fact. It is better to say, “I am suffering,” than to say, “This landscape is ugly.”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“Absolutely unmixed attention is prayer.”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“We must not wish for the disappearance of our troubles but for the grace to transform them.”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“Do not allow yourself to be imprisoned by any affection. Keep your solitude. The day, if it ever comes, when you are given true affection, there will be no opposition between interior solitude and friendship, quite the reverse. It is even by this infallible sigh that you will recognize it.”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“Compassion directed toward oneself is true humility.”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“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

 

 

“Every sin is an attempt to fly from emptiness. ”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“True definition of science: the study of the beauty of the world.”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“Imagination and fiction make up more than three quarters of our real life.”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“The love of our neighbor in all its fullness simply means being able to say, “What are you going through?”
― Simone Weil

 

 

 

“The world is the closed door. It is a barrier. And at the same time it is the way through.

Two prisoners whose cells adjoin communicate with each other by knocking on the wall. The wall is the thing which separates them but it is also their means of communication. … Every separation is a link.”
― Simone Weil

 

“The intelligent man who is proud of his intelligence is like the condemned man who is proud of his large cell.”
― Simone Weil

 

 

 

“Justice. To be ever ready to admit that another person is something quite different from what we read when he is there (or when we think about him). Or rather, to read in him that he is certainly something different, perhaps something completely different from what we read in him.
Every being cries out silently to be read differently.”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“I can, therefore I am.”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“He who has not God in himself cannot feel His absence.”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“The capacity to pay attention to an afflicted person is something very rare, very difficult; it is nearly a miracle. It is a miracle. Nearly all those who believe they have this capacity do not. Warmth, movements of the heart, and pity are not sufficient.”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“Humility is attentive patience.”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“You could not be born at a better period than the present, when we have lost everything.”
― Simone Weil

 

“Even if our efforts of attention seem for years to be producing no result, one day a light that is in exact proportion to them will flood the soul.”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“In struggling against anguish one never produces serenity; the struggle against anguish only produces new forms of anguish.


― Simone Weil

 

 

“A mind enclosed in language is in prison.”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“Art is the symbol of the two noblest human efforts: to construct and to refrain from destruction.”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“A science which does not bring us nearer to God is worthless. ”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“Stars and blossoming fruit trees: Utter permanence and extreme fragility give an equal sense of eternity.”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“It seemed to me certain, and I still think so today, that one can never wrestle enough with God if one does so out of pure regard for the truth. Christ likes us to prefer truth to him because, before being Christ, he is truth. If one turns aside from him to go toward the truth, one will not go far before falling into his arms. ”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“To give up our imaginary position as the center, to renounce it, not only intellectually but in the imaginative part of our soul, that means to awaken to what is real and eternal, to see the true light and hear the true silence.”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“The beauty of the world is the mouth of a labyrinth. The unwary individual who on entering takes a few steps is soon unable to find the opening. Worn out, with nothing to eat or drink, in the dark, separated from his dear ones, and from everything he loves and is accustomed to, he walks on without knowing anything or hoping anything, incapable even of discovering whether he is really going forward or merly turning round on the same spot. But this affliction is as nothing compared with the danger threatening him. For if he does not lose courage, if he goes on walking, it is absolutely certain that he will finally arrive at the center of the labyrinth. And there God is waiting to eat him. Later he will go out again, but he will be changed, he will have become different, after being eaten and digested by God. Afterward he will stay near the entrance so that he can gently push all those who come near into the opening.”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“Sin is not a distance, it is a turning of our gaze in the wrong direction.”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“God created through love and for love. God did not create anything except love itself, and the means to love. He created love in all its forms. He created beings capable of love from all possible distances. Because no other could do it, he himself went to the greatest possible distance, the infinite distance. This infinite distance between God and God, this supreme tearing apart, this agony beyond all others, this marvel of love, is the crucifixion. Nothing can be further from God than that which has been made accursed.”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“Evil when we are in its power is not felt as evil but as a necessity, or even a duty. ”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“We cannot take a step toward the heavens. God crosses the universe and comes to us.”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“Two forces rule the universe: light and gravity.”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“We want to get behind the beauty, but it is only a surface. It is like a mirror that reflects to us our own desire for good. It is a sphinx, an enigma, a sorrowfully irritating mystery. We want to feed on it, but it is only an object we can look on; it appears to us from a certain distance. The great sorrow of human life is knowing that to look and to eat are two different operations. Only on the other side of heaven, where God lives, are they one and the same operation. Children already experience this sorrow when they look at a cake for a long time and nearly regret eating it, but are powerless to help themselves. Maybe the vices, depravities and crimes are nearly always or even always in their essence attempts to eat beauty, to eat what one can only look at. Eve initiated this. If she lost our humanity by eating a fruit, the reverse attitude— looking at a fruit without eating it— must be what saves.”
― Simone Weil

 

“The most important part of teaching is to teach what it is to know. ”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“Attention, taken to its highest degree, is the same thing as prayer. It presupposes faith and love. Absolutely unmixed attention is prayer.”
― Simone Weil

 

“Electra weeping for the dead Orestes. If we love God while thinking that he does not exist, he will manifest his existence.”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“One can never really give a proof of the reality of anything; reality is not something open to proof, it is something established. It is established just because proof is not enough. It is this characteristic of language, at once indispensable and inadequate, which shows the reality of the external world. Most people hardly ever realize this, because it is rare that the very same man thinks and puts his thought into action.”
― Simone Weil

 

 

“The joy of learning is as indispensable in study as breathing is to running.”
― Simone Weil

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