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Book Title: Greutatea și harul|
The author of the book: Simone Weil
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 5.19 MB
Date of issue: 2003
Read full description of the books:10 metaphors Weil uses that I want to remember:
1. the chlorophyll metaphor (p. 47): God, as the source of humankind’s moral energy, is likened by Weil to sunlight; she then expresses a longing for a “chlorophyll” that would enable her to feed directly on this sunlight.
2. the screen metaphor (p. 78): Harkening back to the myth of Semele, Weil compares suffering to a “screen” standing between humankind and God. If this screen did not exist, Weil argues, direct exposure to God’s radiance would cause humankind to instantly evaporate “like water in the sun.” I don’t see how anyone could buy this one.
3. the shadow metaphor (p. 87): Philosophers, especially those of the Buddhist ilk, frequently liken the self to a substanceless “shadow”; no less frequently, they enjoy comparing God to sunlight. Weil seamlessly melds those two metaphors, creating this breathtaking sentence: “The self is only the shadow which sin and error cast by stopping the light of God.”
4. the balance metaphor (p. 97): Weil argues that people’s actions should be driven by attention toward the impulsion of divine necessity, rather than by will/intention toward an ego-chosen object or goal. Then comes this cryptic metaphor: “Action is the pointer of the balance. We must not touch the pointer, but the weight.”
5. the walking-stick metaphor (p. 111): Like a blind man’s walking stick, “the only organ of contact with existence is love. That is why beauty and reality are identical. That is why joy and the sense of reality are identical.”
Like the Buddhists, Weil rejects all attachments; nevertheless, she is able to conceive of a definition of love that is independent of attachment. For Weil, pure love is simply recognition of the existence of, and the inherent value of, a person other than oneself. Pure love is when you are grateful to someone simply for existing and have no desire to possess them or change them: “To love purely is to consent to distance, it is to adore the distance between ourselves and that which we love” (p. 115).
6. the mountain metaphor (p. 152): Someone standing on a mountain’s slope can only see the part of the mountain they are standing on, but someone standing on the mountain’s peak can see the entire mountain. Weil uses this as a metaphor for the path to sainthood and the acquisition of virtues along the way.
7. the pincers metaphor (p. 155): For Weil, logical contradiction is a pincers for “catching” the divine.
8. the window-washing metaphor (p. 186): Wiping the dust off of a windowpane makes the windowpane transparent; likewise, science “wipes the dust off of” the natural world. The danger, Weil cautions us, lies in forgetting that the purpose of window-washing is not to make the window more visible, but to make the landscape beyond the window more visible. I.e., the ultimate purpose of science ought not to be illumination of the natural world, but of the divinity that lies beyond it.
9. the wall-between-two-prison-cells metaphor (p. 200): Paraphrasing this one would only do it injustice. “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. It is the same with us and God. Every separation is a link.”
10. the tangent metaphor (p. 223): Weil conceives of humanity as a line (one-dimensional), God as a circle (two-dimensional, a “higher order” of being), and Christ as the point of tangency where the two meet. “It is impossible for an order which is higher [than another] to be represented in it except by something infinitely small. A grain of mustard seed, etc.”
Read information about the authorSimone Weil was a French philosopher, Christian mystic, and social activist. Weil was born in Paris to Alsatian agnostic Jewish parents who fled the annexation of Alsace-Lorraine to Germany. Her brilliance, ascetic lifestyle, introversion, and eccentricity limited her ability to mix with others, but not to teach and participate in political movements of her time. She wrote extensively with both insight and breadth about political movements of which she was a part and later about spiritual mysticism. Weil biographer Gabriella Fiori writes that Weil was "a moral genius in the orbit of ethics, a genius of immense revolutionary range".
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