Simone Weil on False Gods
The Quest begins in earnest when we withhold our love from what does not deserve it.
Despite her infuriating extremism, Simone Weil may well be the purest incarnation of religious sensibility in the twentieth century. "It's not up to us to believe in God, but only not to grant our love to false gods." As Weil understands, essential to genuine religion, though not exhaustive of it, is the realization that nothing here below can satisfy us, and that the things we zealously pursue as if they could satisfy us are false gods. The following statement of Weil's is exactly right:
First, not to believe that the future is a place capable of fulfilling us. The future is made of the same stuff as the present. We well know that what we have that is good, wealth, power, esteem, knowledge, love of those we love, prosperity of those we love, and so on, does not suffice to satisfy us. But we believe that the day when we will have a little more, we will be satisfied. We believe it because we are lying to ourselves. For if we really think about it for a while we know it's false. Or again if we are suffering affliction, we believe that the day when this suffering will cease, we will be satisfied. There again we know it's untrue; as soon as we have gotten used to the cessation of suffering we want something else.