Saturday, November 22, 2014

Never sully anything

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Weil captures, again with unnerving clarity, the internal struggle not to give ourselves over to our baser desires; in this case, not to unload our frustrations and anger on to others.  Such moments can only be addressed by this kind of radical honesty.  To harm another, is to seek to raise ourselves up in importance, to expand or repair our own ego at the expense of another, to fill our emptiness by creating it in another.  May God grant us deliverance from a force which is like gravity itself.

The tendency to spread evil beyond oneself: I still have it!  Beings and things are not sacred enough for me.  May I never sully anything, even though I be utterly transformed into mud.  To sully nothing, even in thought.  Even in my worst moments I would not destroy a Greek statue or a fresco by Giotto.  Why anything else then?  Why, for example, a moment in the life of a human being who could have been happy for a moment.

To harm a person is to receive something from him.  What?  What have we gained (and what will have to be repaid) when we have done harm?  We have gained importance.  We have expanded.  We have filled an emptiness in ourselves by creating one in somebody else.
 
Simone Weil
"Gravity and Grace"