simone weil – chance

simone weil gravity and graceThe beings I love are creatures. They were born by chance. My meeting with them was also by chance. They will die. What they think, do and say is limited and is a mixture of good and evil.
I have to know this with all my soul and not love them the less.
I have to imitate God who infinitely loves finite things in that they are finite things.

We want everything which has a value to be eternal. Now everything which has a value is the product of a meeting, lasts throughout this meeting and ceases when those things which met are separated. That is the central idea of Buddhism (the thought of Heraclitus). It leads straight to God.

Meditation on chance which led to the meeting of my father and mother is even more salutary than meditation on death.
Is there a single thing in me of which the origin is not to be found in that meeting? Only God. And yet again, my thought of God had its origin in that meeting.

Stars and blossoming fruit-trees: utter permanence and extreme fragility give an equal sense of eternity.

The theories about progress and the ‘genius which always pierces through’, arise from the fact that it is intolerable to suppose that what is most precious in the world should be given over to chance. It is because it is intolerable that it ought to be contemplated.
Creation is this very thing.
The only good which is not subject to chance is that which is outside the world.

The vulnerability of precious things is beautiful because vulnerability is a mark of existence.

The destruction of Troy. The fall of the petals from fruit trees in blossom. To know that what is most precious is not rooted in existence—that is beautiful. Why? It projects the soul beyond time.
The woman who wishes for a child white as snow and red as blood gets it, but she dies and the child is given over to a stepmother.

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Excerpted from Simone Weil‘s Gravity and Grace. First French edition 1947. Translated by Emma Crawford. English language edition 1963. Routledge and Kegan Paul, London.

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