|Simone Weil [Wikipedia]|
we must do nothing more than we are irresistibly impelled to do, not even in the way of goodness . . .
I have the essential need, and I think I can say the vocation, to move among men of every class and complexion, mixing with them and sharing their life and outlook, so far that is to say as conscience allows, merging into the crowd and disappearing among them, so that they show themselves as they are, putting off all disguises with me. It is because I long to know them so as to love them just as they are. For if I do not love them as they are, it will not be they whom I love . . .
the social is irremediably the domain of the devil . . . By social I do not mean everything connected with citizenship, but only collective emotions . . . I do not want to be adopted into a circle, to live among people who say “we” and to be part of an “us” . . . I feel that it is necessary and ordained that I should be alone, a stranger and an exile in relation to every human circle without exception. . . .
my greatest desire is to lose not only all will but all personal being . . .
As I worked in the factory, indistinguishable to all eyes, including my own, from the anonymous mass, the affliction of others entered into my flesh and my soul. Nothing separated me from it, for I had really forgotten my past and I looked forward to no future, finding it difficult to imagine the possibility of surviving all the fatigue. What I went through there marked me in so lasting a manner that still today when any human being, whoever he may be and in whatever circumstances, speaks to me without brutality, I cannot help having the impression that there must be a mistake and that unfortunately the mistake will in all probability disappear. There I received forever the mark of a slave, like the branding of the red-hot iron the Romans put on the foreheads of their most despised slaves. Since then I have always regarded myself as a slave. . . .
The special function of the intelligence requires total liberty, implying the right to deny everything, and allowing of no domination. Wherever it usurps control there is an excess of individualism. Wherever it is hampered or uneasy there is an oppressive collectivism, or several of them. . . .
the natural tendency of every form of collectivism, without exception, to abuse power. . . .
the development of the faculty of attention forms the real object and almost the sole interest of studies. . . .
If there is a real desire, if the thing desired is really light, the desire for light produces it.
highly recommend Weil's essay, "The Love of God and Affliction"