Sunday, September 2, 2007

Religion: Gravity and Grace

On page 304 of the Notebooks, Simone Weil presents this other aspect of duality:

“God gives himself to Man under the aspect of power or under that of perfection: the choice is left to Man.
[Krishna’s army – is it not the Prince of This World?]”

Later on (p. 436), she writes:

Timaeus. God cuts in two the Soul of the World. This represents duality (in the Hindu sense). The Cross is this duality. In order to find the One, we have to exhaust duality, go to the very extreme of duality. This means crucifixion. We cannot arrive at this extreme without paying the price in full.”

Paying the price in full means personal crucifixion; the death of the guna-entangled Self. On page 502, she merges this Christian concept of the ultimate sacrifice with the message of the Bhagavad Gîtâ:

“God making evil pure – that is the idea behind the Gîtâ.”

It is also that which makes the Crucifixion a Necessity.

On page 388, Weil describes this mechanism:

“Creation is made up of the descending movement of gravity, the ascending movement of grace, and the descending movement of grace raised to the second power (is it this perhaps which lies beyond the gunas, and therefore sattva itself, in the Gîtâ?”

Thus, we see how Weil synthesizes Christian theology with the Platonism of the Timaeus and the religious philosophy of the Bhagavad Gîtâ.

In what I find to be the most beautiful of all passages in Gravity and Grace, the extraordinary compilation of Simone Weil’s writings, gleaned by her friend, Gustave Thibon, from manuscripts left in his possession after her death, Weil describes this “descending movement of grace raised to the second power”:

“God wears himself out through the infinite thickness of time and space in order to reach the soul and to captivate it. If it allows a pure and utter consent (though brief as a lightening flash) to be torn from it, then God conquers that soul. And when it has come entirely his he abandons it. He leaves it completely alone and it has in its turn, but gropingly, to cross the infinite thickness of time and space in search of him whom it loves. It is thus that the soul, starting from the opposite end, makes the same journey that God made towards it. And that is the cross.”

On the next page we have this:

“I have to be like God, but like God crucified.
Like God almighty in so far as he is bound by necessity.”

Paradox. Contradictories. Beyond sattva.