*Read-in* Existential Dilemmas & Mysticism: Reframing the Negative and Diving Deep Into Suffering
For this read-in, we’ll be looking at The Love of God and Affliction, an essay by Simone Weil.
“The sea is not less beautiful in our eyes because we know that sometimes ships are wrecked on it.” Simone Weil
Anxiety and depression have become markers of contemporary society. Simone Weil’s exploration of affliction as an intense form of suffering led to some of her most important ideas of mysticism and the nature of our common existential dilemmas. We tend to think of suffering as something that comes from the outside, that is a result of our actions or brain chemistry. Weil posits an alternate view: these factors, while real, do not create human misery, they reveal it. In this revelation we find an opportunity to reframe the so-called negative afflictions of life into what they really are: an opportunity to break through the everyday into a broader and deeper imagining of life as it is really lived.
Michael Prettyman is a graduate of the CUNY BA program, completing his final semester at the Harvard Divinity School with a Master’s Degree in Theology. He has been a visual artist for twenty years and teaches Mysticism, Asian Religions and Approaches to Religion at Hunter College.
Drawing on the tradition of radical teach-ins, Think Olio is making a call to intellectual arms with read-in’s on Sunday afternoons ($10).
In this spirit, we invite you to join us for Think Olio’s radical read-ins. Read-ins are meant to be practical, participatory, and oriented toward action. We’ll ask our professors to take a complex piece of scholarship and make it accessible and usable.
As a community of socially engaged thinkers, we will focus on thoughtful solutions to the problems that are dividing us.