The Distance Between The Necessary And The Good
by Simone Weil

Necessity is God's veil.

God has committed all phenomena without exception to the mechanism of the world.

As there is in God the analogy of every human virtue, so there is obedience. This is the free play he allows necessity in this world.

Necessity - an image by which the mind can conceive of the indifference, the impartiality of God.

Thus the ordinary notion of miracles is a kind of impiety (a miracle being thought of as something which has no secondary cause but only a first cause).

The distance between the necessary and the good is the distance between the creature and the creator.

The distance between the necessary and the good: this is a subject for endless contemplation. It was the great discovery of Greece. No doubt the fall of Troy taught it them.

Every attempt to justify evil by anything other than the fact that that which is is, is an offence against this truth.

We aspire only to get rid of the intolerable burden of the good-evil cycle - a burden assumed by Adam and Eve.

In order to do that it is necessary either to confuse 'the essence of the necessary with that of the good' or to depart from this world.

Evil can only be purified by God or by the Social Beast. Purity purifies evil - so does force in quite another way. In the case of one who is able to do all things, all things are permitted. He who serves an all-powerful master can do all things through him. Force delivers us from the good-evil cycle. It delivers him who exercises it and even him also who submits to it. A master has every licence, so has a slave. The sword affords deliverance (whether through its handle or its point) from the intolerable weight of our obligation. Grace also delivers us from the burden but we only go towards it through obligation.

We only escape limitation by rising up towards unity or going down towards the limitless.

Limitation is the evidence that God loves us.

The idea that the end of the world was near, coloured the outlook of the early Christians. This belief produced in them a 'forgetfulness of the immense distance which divides the necessary from the good.'

The absence of God is the most marvellous testimony of perfect love, and that is why pure necessity, necessity which is manifestly different from good, is so beautiful.

The limitless is the test of the one: time, of eternity: the possible, of necessity: variety, of the unvarying.

The value of a system of knowledge, a work of art, a moral code or a soul is measured by the degree of its resistance to this test.

End of The Distance Between The Necessary And The Good by Simone Weil