simone weil

In Paris a new edition of waiting on godbook that, with supernatural knowledgeconstitute two works of a theological nature written by Simone Weil between 1950 and 1951. In them the author explains how her religious evolution took place, without giving up her constant denunciations of capitalism.

Simone Weil was born in Paris on February 3, 1909 and died in London on August 24, 1943, aged 34. Despite such a brief existence, she had a very intense life. She belonged to a very wealthy family of Jewish origin that gave her a completely agnostic early education. According to Kant, the intelligent woman is superior to the man, because hers is a beautiful intelligence. Since she was a child, Simone Weil showed signs of possessing an extraordinary intelligence. At the Víctor Duruy high school, in the French capital, she was an outstanding student. After taking philosophy courses as a teenager she went to the Henry IV Institute, where for three years she had brilliant teachers. In 1928 she was admitted to the prestigious Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. Three years later, at just 22, we see her as an assistant professor of philosophy at the same institution.

During those years, the young woman became passionate about Greek thought, studied Carlos Marx, and became involved in revolutionary unionism. Her sympathies go to Trotsky, the anarcho-syndicalists and the militants of the proletarian revolution.

His political ideas went hand in hand with his interest in the working class. Upon being appointed professor of philosophy in Auxerre, a municipality in France on the banks of the Yonne River, she founded a circle of studies to which she gave her entire salary, reserving five francs a day to live, which was the subsidy assigned to unemployed workers in the city. . Since her adolescence, Simone felt that misery can only be truly known through an experience, a participation that affects eternal life.

During the third year of her teaching career in Roanne, in the Loire department, she made the decision to work in a factory as a voluntary test to support her actions as a revolutionary militant. Following this conviction, for a year and a half, December 1934 to August 1935 the young Weil worked in the Renault factory in drudgery operating presses and drills. She left the factory with very poor health, but her experience led her to write the book The worker condition.

Declared the Spanish civil war, In August 1936 Simone Weil went to Barcelona to enlist in the ranks of the anarchists.. An accident of which there is no concrete news forces her to return to France two months later. But her brief contact with the war was enough to verify with horror that the opposition between dictatorship and democracy tends to be erased. In all ideological fields, modern man is crushed by the social and political machine.

From that moment begins the religious evolution of Simone Weil. It all starts with a trip to the city of Assisi, in Italian Umbria, where according to Catholic history Saint Francis founded the Franciscan order in 1208. His biographers say that “for the first time in her life Simone fell to her knees before a crucifix”. This happened in 1937. A year later, during Holy Week in Solesmes, a French town on the banks of the Sarthe, with only about 1,000 inhabitants at the time, he confirmed that brutal encounter with God. “Christ himself came down and took me”notes the ancient agnostic. As the French journalist André Frossard, ex-communist and ex-atheist, said in a book that revolutionized many consciences, God exists because I found him, such a statement came from the lips of the young Jewess. The Gospels become her bedside books. She no longer reads Marx, now she reads Georges Bernanos, a Catholic author. She feels identified with two works by this author, The great cemeteries under the moon Y dialogues of carmelites.

From these readings Simone Weil is dedicated to a frenetic religious writing. Nine of his books are known of this genre: Supernatural knowledge, God’s attention, Letter to a religious, Disorderly thoughts concerning the love of God, Clumsiness and grace, Pre-Christian institution, Opposition and freedom Y God’s waiting.

She, always in search of God, did not take the step of baptism because she could not accept either the dogmas of the Catholic Church or its claim to have the exclusive truth. This rejection of Catholicism was exposed in Letter to a religious.

On May 17, 1942, in the midst of the World War, she embarked for the United States, requested to give lectures in various cities. There she continues her spiritual meditation, which she recreates in the book supernatural knowledge. Months later, in November, she returns to Europe. He does not want to enter France. He settles in London, his health, already broken, worsens due to the voluntary restrictions that he continues to impose on himself with increasing rigor. In April 1943 she was admitted to Middesex Hospital and she died a few months later at Ashford Sanitarium. Sad death of this great woman when her thought was still in full evolution.

One of the great intellectual admirers of Simone Weil was the Nobel Prize for Literature Alberto Camus, of whom I have written many pages. Shortly before going to Sweden to receive the Nobel Prize, he spent an afternoon at the home of Simone Weil’s parents, whom he begged to allow him to spend time in the philosopher’s room, like someone who goes to a religious chapel to meditate. Camus described Weil’s work as “treaty of civilization”because he found in her “a thought focused on rescuing European civilization from its collapse”.

His deep admiration for the young philosopher led him to edit several of her works in the Espair collection of the Gallimard Publishing House.

Carmen Hernando writes that “Simone Weil, radical and contradictory, did not seem called to shine with her own light in the intellectual firmament of the 20th century. But a great one of hers, Albert Camus saw in her a diamond in the rough, he protected her and, by publishing her in her prestigious collection, he allowed the world to know her and reach us…. The tragic journey of the 20th century would not be understood without the life and work of intellectuals such as Simone Weil and Albert Camus. The history of humanity united to the tree of the cross”.

simone weil