When Friends Are Far Apart (Book: “Love in the Void”, by Simone Weil
I promise all my readers at least one good book recommendation per week, and this is it!
Today’s book is called Love in the Void, by Simone Weil.
For starters: Simone Weil is one of my favorite people ever.
Albert Camus called her “the only great spirit of our time”, and he’s not too far off the mark.
Why do I love this woman so much that I’ve never even met (she starved herself to death in 1943, protesting the Nazi occupation of France)?
First off, she actually listened when you spoke to her.
Everything else dropped away when she was talking to you, and you became the single most important person in the universe for the entire time that your conversation with Simone Weil lasted.
Everyone who’s ever met her has pretty much said the same thing, that when she was with you, she was actually *with* you. Deeply.
That kind of attention is exceptionally rare in any day and age, but in ours it’s almost unheard of.
But it’s her commitment to moral ideals, and the fact that she followed through with what she said was important to her, regardless of the personal cost, that is one of the reasons that she has been one of my biggest intellectual influences.
Some of her religious thinking is interesting as well, no matter *what* you believe. So I’ve added some of her thoughts in that area as well.
Lots of great stuff here.
So, let’s get started!
Today’s Book on Amazon: Love in the Void, by Simone Weil
FROM MY NOTES:
According to Albert Camus, Simone Weil was “the only great spirit of our time.”
Since we are all ultimately powerless against death, there is a certain point at which all we can do is wait and observe
“Christ makes himself known not through dogma or obedience to religious authorities, but to those who follow the deepest desires of their hearts.”
The supernatural virtue of justice consists of behaving exactly as though there were equality when one is the stronger in an unequal relationship
To explain the existence of things that are “not God”, when God is supposed to be “everything”, Simone Weil suggests that God emptied himself completely, out of love for life and for his creation, in order to create everything that is outside of Him.
As long as “the afflicted” are seen, not as people, but merely as an occasion for doing good, unconditional love is not present
“Only beauty is not the means to anything else.”
“Physical work is a specific contact with the beauty of the world.”
“Beauty is eternity here below.”
“Beauty is always a miracle.”
By harming someone, we are trying to fill an emptiness in ourselves by creating one in someone else
“God created through love and for love. God did not create anything except love itself, and the means to love. He created love in all its forms. He created beings capable of love from all possible distances. Because no other could do it, he himself went to the greatest possible distance, the infinite distance.”
“When two beings who are not friends are near each other there is no meeting, and when friends are far apart there is no separation.”
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
For the last three months, I’ve been researching my first book.
Well, the planning started long before that, but the research stage is where I’ll be taking on one of Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life, one rule per month, for an entire year and recording my experience.
From my 29th birthday to my 30th birthday, I’ll be “Standing Up Straight with My Shoulders Back”, “Comparing Myself to Where I Was Yesterday, Not to Where Someone Else is Today”, and “Surrounding Myself with Friends Who Want the Best for Me”, among other things.
Next month is Rule #4.
Last month was all about making (and keeping) friends who want the best for you:
Friends you can call up with bad news and who won’t secretly be happy about it.
Friends you can call up with *good* news, and who won’t start immediately trying to tell you something good that happened to *them*, or anything like that.
You know, real friends! People you can rise with, together.
Simone Weil knew that when you have friends like that, no matter the distance, there is no separation.
I felt that intensely this past month as I was reconnecting with old friends, making new ones, and shedding the people who were found to be a negative influence on my life.
For instance, I dropped the number of FB “friends” I have from 816, all the way down to 353! That was huge for me.
What I’m giving up in possibilities for 500 extra people to “like” my posts, I gain in stronger connections with the few friends I can actually keep up with.
And you know what?
Those 353 people *felt* closer. It was literally as if the people I am lucky enough to call my friends drew themselves nearer to me as I reached out to them.
I even plan on visiting a few of them in other cities this month, next month, and next summer, etc. You know, living according to what I say is important to me, just like Simone Weil.
Even though many of my friends live in other cities, we’re closer than we’ve been in a long time.
All the best,
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