English French German Greek Hebrew Hindi Italian Portuguese Russian Spanish
Decrease font size Default font size Increase font size

Weil, Simone

  • When science, art, literature, and philosophy are simply the manifestation of personality they are on a level where glorious and dazzling achievements are possible, which can make a man's name live for thousands of years. But above this level, far above, separated by an abyss, is the level where the highest things are achieved. These things are essentially anonymous.

  • The needs of a human being are sacred. Their satisfaction cannot be subordinated either to reasons of state, or to any consideration of money, nationality, race, or color, or to the moral or other value attributed to the human being in question, or to any consideration whatsoever.

  • Art is the symbol of the two noblest human efforts: to construct and to refrain from destruction.

  • An atheist may be simply one whose faith and love are concentrated on the impersonal aspects of God.

  • Beauty always promises, but never gives anything.

  • To write the lives of the great in separating them from their works necessarily ends by above all stressing their pettiness, because it is in their work that they have put the best of themselves.

  • Charity. To love human beings in so far as they are nothing. That is to love them as God does.

  • In the Church, considered as a social organism, the mysteries inevitably degenerate into beliefs.

  • Two prisoners whose cells adjoin communicate with each other by knocking on the wall. The wall is the thing which separates them but is also their means of communication. It is the same with us and God. Separation is a link.

  • Culture is an instrument wielded by teachers to manufacture teachers, who, in their turn, will manufacture still more teachers.

  • Nothing can have as its destination anything other than its origin. The contrary idea, the idea of progress, is an illusion.

  • If we are suffering illness, poverty, or misfortune, we think we shall be satisfied on the day it ceases. But there too, we know it is false; so soon as one has got used to not suffering one wants something else.

  • A doctrine serves no purpose in itself, but it is indispensable to have one if only to avoid being deceived by false doctrines.

  • Equality is the public recognition, effectively expressed in institutions and manners, of the principle that an equal degree of attention is due to the needs of all human beings.

  • Evil is neither suffering nor sin; it is both at the same time, it is something common to them both. For they are linked together; sin makes us suffer and suffering makes us evil, and this indissoluble complex of suffering and sin is the evil in which we are submerged against our will, and to our horror.

  • The mysteries of faith are degraded if they are made into an object of affirmation and negation, when in reality they should be an object of contemplation.

  • The future is made of the same stuff as the present.

  • Real genius is nothing else but the supernatural virtue of humility in the domain of thought.

  • It is only the impossible that is possible for God. He has given over the possible to the mechanics of matter and the autonomy of his creatures.