courage to be – Quote

“There is a reality outside the world…That reality is the unique source of all the good that can exist in this world: that is to say, all beauty, all truth, all justice, all legitimacy, all order, and all human behaviour that is mindful of obligations.”

by Simone Weil

There is a reality outside the world, that is to say, outside space and time, outside (wo)man’s mental universe, outside any sphere whatsoever that is accessible to human faculties.

Corresponding to this reality, at the centre of the human heart, is the longing for an absolute good, a longing which is always there and is never appeased by any object in this world.

Another terrestrial manifestation of this reality lies in the absurd and insoluble contradictions which are always the terminus of human thought when it moves exclusively in this world.

Just as the reality of this world is the sole foundation of facts, so that other reality is the sole foundation of good.

That reality is the unique source of all the good that can exist in this world: that is to say, all beauty, all truth, all justice, all legitimacy, all order, and all human behaviour that is mindful of obligations.

Those minds whose attention and love are turned towards that reality are the sole intermediary through which good can descend from there and come among (wo)men.

Although it is beyond the reach of any human faculties, (wo)man has the power of turning his/her attention and love towards it.

Nothing can ever justify the assumption that any (wo)man, whoever (s)he may be, has been deprived of this power.

It is a power which is only real in this world in so far as it is exercised. The sole condition for exercising it is consent.


Draft for a Statement of Human Obligation by Simone Weil

Disclaimer: I took the liberty to insert “(wo)” from “man” to include “woman”, insert “(s)” from “he” include “she”.