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Simone Weil, The Last Cathar?

“The good is… the motion by which we break away from ourselves as individuals… to affirm ourselves as true men, that is, as sharers in God…”  -- Simone Weil

“God is proven and posited by right action, and in no other way… One must deserve to believe in God.” -- Simone Weil.

Simone Weil, The Last Cathar | Tsem Rinpoche

If any man thinks he slays. and if another thinks he is slain, neither knows the way of truth.  The eternal in man cannot kill.  The Eternal in man cannot die - The Bhagavad Gita 2:19 (Juan Mascaro, translation)

I encountered Dorothy Day through reading The Catholic Worker in the mid-1950s  As a very provincial Prorestant and until recently a fundmentalist i could not figure out how she became a Roman Catholic, but i could not help admiring her.  Fifteen years later, now  married to a Roman Catholic, i read Simone Weil's writings on power and violence and found her thoughts most true and her words most compelling.  I could not figure out why she felt so close to Christianity and to the Catholic Church.  She never joined the Catholic Church but whe insisted on hanging around just outside its doors.  My reasoning went something like this:  People are inclined to  join enterprises whose values and actions they admire and avoid those organizations that went against their values and beliefs.  I liked Dorothy Day and Simone Weil.  I did not like the Catholic Church.  This caused me cognitive dissonance.  Eitherr i was wrong about these two women or i was wrong about the institution they both admired.  I did not see that either was the case.

As for Simone Weil, the crux of my dilemma and the probable solution to it was the Cathari.  The massacre of these gentle gnostic Christians by the same authorities that had just okayed the Fransiscans seemed to me the Unforgivable Sin..  This genocide was one of the worst offenses of the Church and it was a topic of special interest to Simone Weil.  To join the party of their murderers seemed to me to be a betrayal; and i (perhaps because of my undiagnosed autism) simply could not understand it.  I forgot one minor detail.

Simone Weil was becoming a mystic.  Perhaps it is a gift to those who are going  to die young, Simone Weil seemed to have entered upon the "second half" of life while still in her teens,  She had lived a full life and her wisdom was rapidly increasing.  She had made some clear choices about which battles are worth fighting. and they were not the same ones she fought in her twenties.

I have not yet made that choice.  I have not yet concluded that ego is a waste of time and energy, that economics and politics are not giants, but windmills; that whether one man thinks he slays another may lose relevance in the Eternal scheme of  things.  But this must be balanced by the fact that we are temporarily stranded in this illusion.  And, as Krshna told Arjuna we must play out our roles in it.  Simone cared about WWII and she cared about France (The Need For Roots was a guide for post-war reconstruction) right up to the very end of her life.

When i have learned the perennial philosophy as well as she had, i know i will better appreciate the choices she made.


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