28 February 2018
Simone Weil’s Decreation
Even after reading Little’s essay several times, it is still difficult to fully grasp Simone Weil’s term of decreation. This idea directly sheds much light onto all of humanity in terms of how people should be or not be. It is supposedly the only way that people should exist if they want to experience what it means to be truly happy. Even Little says that for Simone Weil, it was a “profoundly liberating experience”.[footnoteRef:1] In this essay, I will try to describe my own understanding of what it means to decreate, along with the other ideas associated with this concept according to Simone Weil. [1: Little, Simone Weil’s concept of decreation, 26.]
Trying to understand Weil’s decreation can be difficult without also knowing her idea of God’s process of creation. Through the process of creation, God is essentially inserting himself into his own creations, in doing so is becoming no longer the absolute creator, and is therefore relinquishing his status as such. It is then up to humanity as creations, to begin to decreate as a direct response to its own creation. Decreation is almost a direct reflection of the act of creation itself[footnoteRef:2], as God refuses to be by creating me, I must then also refuse to be by destroying my ‘created’ self so that I may be allowed to experience God’s full existence once again. This idea is so important to Weil because it is this process that she believes allows one to exist properly and gain a complete understanding of the world. [2: Little, Simone Weil’s concept of decreation, 27.]
When one wishes to begin their process of decreation, the next step is then to start destroying the ‘autonomous self.’ This ‘autonomous self’ is supposedly the part of a person that has given them the ability to refer to themselves as an individual, in other words, the ability to call oneself ‘I’. It is then that one has achieved decreation. Little brings in a very interesting point to Simone Weil’s concept. The kind of ultimate goal of decreation is to restore one’s unity with God, which is non-positional, and is pre-creation and post-decreation. This presents the dilemma as to why it is difficult to even try to explain what exactly decreation is, because it leads to obtaining a perspective in which has no perspective at all.[footnoteRef:3] The reading was easier to understand because of Little’s inclusion of his adopted terms such as ‘non-perspective’. This idea of ‘non-perspective’ leads to me to believe that the goal of decreation is something that exists outside of language, and thus is something that we as people cannot fully understand. [3: Little, Simone Weil’s concept of decreation, 28.]
From Simone Weil’s understanding, one’s life and their view on the world is a lie until they achieve decreation. Once decreation is achieved, one is in ‘the most desirable state’, and is finally experiencing truth. When one is seeing the truth, t...