Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Simone Weil on 'Forgive us our debts' - trans. Brad Jersak

‘And remit us our debts, in the same way that we also have remitted our debtors.’

In the moment that we say these words, we must already have remitted all debts. This includes not only letting go of the reparation of any offences we think we have suffered; but also any recognition and gratitude for the good we think we have done. And in a completely general way, anything that we expect from people or things, everything we believe is our due, the absence of which has made us feel frustrated.

Forgiveness is letting go of every right we believe is ours in the past or in the future. First, this includes the right to a certain permanence. When we have enjoyed something for a long time, we believe it is ours, and that fate must allow us to keep enjoying it. Second, we let go of the right to compensation for all of our efforts, regardless of the nature of our effort, work, suffering or desire.