Friday, August 03, 2007

Weil; Letter 2

In her second letter concerning hesitations regarding baptism, Weil

"I think that with very important things we do not overcome our
obstacles. We look at them fixedly for as long as is necessary
until, if they are due to the powers of illusion, they disappear.
What I call an obstacle is quite a different thing from the kind of
inertia we have to overcome at every step we take in the direction
of what is good. I have experience of this inertia. Obstacles are
quite another matter. If we want to get over them before they have
disappeared, we are in danger of those phenomena of compensation,
referred to I think by the Gospel passage about the man from whom
one devil had gone out and into whom seven others entered forthwith"

This was a powerful way of describing a tendency that I have both
seen and experienced; the assumption that we must "do something" in
the face of any problem or obstacle. Sometimes God calls on us to
wait, and the illusion is that the problem is of a nature that what
is called for is not necessarily activity. There are times when a
conflict or problem can SEEM unbearable, and we think that we must
do something not because we think it will be effectual but b/c we
want the illusion of progress that comes with activity.

A good letter with much to ponder.

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