Inspired by Lorenzo Barberis Canonico. Sections II.2A and II.2B of II.1 (“Coming to Terms with Childhood”).

Giving Attention to “The Meta-Crisis” of Affliction

O.G. Rose
10 min readOct 26, 2023

The Game Theoretic Significance of Simone Weil


Belonging Again (Part I) discussed the topic of Absolute Knowers, Deleuzian Individuals, and Nietzschean Children, all phrases and terms meant to refer to the same kind of subject who can live according to values which are not socially supported, lack “givens,” and yet still have authority over the subject. They are created by the subject, and thus run the risk of being arbitrary, and yet manage to prove empowering. The question of Belonging Again was if “created givens” could being and orient the average person, and on this dilemma the question of “character” was explored. Here, we will focus the life and thinking of Simone Weil, who I believe provides and important piece of the puzzle, though this will also lead into considering Nietzsche. We will consider Weil’s life in the context of “The Meta-Crisis,” and suggest that we should focus on neurodivergence to address it.

Lorenzo Barberis Canonico works and thinks to defend neurodivergence, and brilliantly argues that society is almost doomed to fall into Nash Equilibria situations from which we will struggle to recover if we do not incorporate neurodivergence into our “collective intelligence.” The details of this argument are explored in “O.G. Rose Conversation Episode #10,” but basically where those of the Rationalist Community may look to address “The Meta-Crisis” through “evolving consciousness” or “improving rationality,” Lorenzo places the emphasis on “making space for neurodivergence,” as seen in Asperger’s, Autism, Downs Syndrome, and the like. Lorenzo explores numerous social problems in which “greater rationality” only made the problem worse, and suggests that if we are to avoid these “Rational Impasses,” it will not prove sufficient to employ a “collective consciousness” that is only in the business of greater rationality (this could lead to the terrors of “autonomous rationality” discussed throughout O.G. Rose). If the “collective consciousness” does not Incorporate neurodivergent, there are numerous Game Theory problems we will not be able to escape, which is to say the social order will devolve. For more, please see Lorenzo’s excellent TedTalk, “Diversity: The Key to Collective Intelligence in the Age of AI, ” and also see our conversation about “Conspiracies and Pandora’s Rationality” (Ep #37) for how neurodivergence could also help us avoid “internally consistent systems” from which we cannot escape (it is perhaps only with neurodivergence that we might address the problem regarding how “the map is indestructible”).

Perhaps rationality can advance to such a point that it becomes “practically neurodivergent,” as perhaps something similar applies to “evolving personality” and consciousness. I don’t know, but I much prefer emphasizing the language of neurodivergence over rationality, consciousness, and personality. I am skeptical of all language we are comfortable with, and I fear that when we tell people to “be rational” or “evolve their consciousness,” people nod and are excited, but if you tell them to “work to be more neurodivergent,” they will likely stare back, uncertain. I also like language that suggests those often outcast by society are who we need to be more like: we as a society are often cold to those who are not like us, and the neurodivergent have suffered.

It’s not possible for those who aren’t born neurodivergent to ever fully be neurodivergent, and so that too is humbling. Furthermore, the Shaman Class which Alexander Bard discusses seems neurodivergent, and there is an emphasis in Liberal thought to incorporate diversity into society today. I am not proposing an idea in this paper which isn’t present at all in the works of others, but I am suggesting that the language of neurodivergence is closer to “The Absolute Knower” than is the language of “greater rationality” or “advancing consciousness.” Sure, this can lead to something like neurodivergence, but I think the emphasis matters. Also, I think it is good to place our model as those often rejected by society, and who we can perhaps never be fully like due to our birth, while if the goal is “evolving consciousness,” we have all the tools we need. The language of “rationality” and “consciousness” might become egocentric, tribal, and even elitist.

Ivan Illich and Simone Weil Will Be Considered Together

I do not know if Simone Weil was neurodivergent, but she “practically” was in her radical uniqueness and sainthood. The same might be said of Nietzsche, but regardless the point is that Lorenzo’s work suggests that we should not be so focused on “evolving our consciousness” to overcome “The Meta-Crisis” and should instead look to make space for “the neurodivergent.” This means we need to learn how to be “open to the other,” and this means we need to learn how to live like Simone Weil. We need to develop the power of Attention she proposed, and we need to be deeply part of the world we live in (it’s “common life,” to allude to Hume). In my view, Simone Weil is far closer to being “The Absolute Knower” and imperceptible “Deleuzian Individual” we need to become like than say some intellectual genius, and I think the thought of Nietzsche against “Bestow Centrism” also suggest neurodivergence. I will associate Nietzsche’s Childhood with neurodivergence as well.

Please note: I don’t mean to say at all that people today discussing “The Meaning Crisis” or “Meta-Crisis” are supporting a life of intellectualism which is uninvolved in the work (Dr. Vervaeke, for example, clearing opposes such a life in favor of “serious play,” deep embodiment, and the like). However, I’m not sure if emphasizing embodiment is the same as emphasizing neurodivergence, as I’m not sure if emphasizing phenomenology is the same as emphasizing Simone Weil. Though please note I in my work emphasizing embodiment and phenomenology, so this is not a critique of others; rather, my point is that reading Simone Weil always feels like a “wake up.” She aligns with the Child in that she certainly made her Christianity her own after a very long road from the religion of her family through Marxism and the like: even if she embedded herself in a tradition, it was her tradition. And ultimately the author of The Need for Roots had to embed herself in a tradition (it would be a logical contradiction otherwise), but please note how she refused to be baptized and formally join the Church. She kept herself an outside; she believed but did not let this belief bring her comfort. In this way, Weil can be associated with Nietzsche.

What is needed to address the problems of Belonging Again is for us to try to incorporate more “otherness” and “neurodivergence” (A/B) into ourselves, but at the same time I realize that neurodivergence refers to a group of people who are biologically and neurologically born a certain way, so I am concerned that saying we need to “become more neurodivergent” might sound like a kind of appropriation. To avoid this, from this point on, I am going to refer to “practical neurodivergence” as “mentidivergence” (I also considered “animdivergence,” seeing as “anim” means “spirit” and/or “mind”). For those not genetically neurodivergent, we cannot technically be neurodivergent, but I do think we can implement something like it, which I will call “mentidivergence” (at least here). We can say that mentidivergence seeks to share an image and likeness with neurodivergence, while aware that this cannot be perfectly achieved, and hence the neurodivergent can never be replaced. We will always need to be open to “the other.”


I will touch on Weil’s life to suggest why it is not easy to say she is just “more rational” or entails an “evolved personality” (even if these describe her somehow), that rather the term “neurodivergent” seems more appropriate, and hence why “Absolute Knowing” might be closer to “neurodivergence” than other ways by which we could describe it. I do not know if Weil was neurodivergent, so I will refer to her as “mentidivergent” (though please note I might be misrepresenting her). Albert Camus considered Simone Weil ‘[t]he only great spirit of our time,’ while Flannery O’Connor thought ‘Weil’s is the most comical life I have ever read about, [but also] the most truly tragic and terrible.’¹ Many consider her a saint, but many also consider her life wasted due to foolish and even prideful ideals: when Simone was suffering from tuberculosis, she refused to eat more food than those suffering during the war, and in 1943 died because of ‘cardiac failure due to the degeneration through starvation and not through pulmonary tuberculosis’ (though please note this account is sometimes disputed).² To resist the German, she proposed parachuting nurses straight into conflict, which was suicidal, yet she proposed the idea precisely because it was suicidal and the Allies needed “higher ideals” to fight for and have a chance against the Nazis; to know what it was like to be a member of the working class, she gave up all academic and teaching posts to work in a factory; and so on — the life and thinking of Simone Weil cannot be readily categorized, and it certainly cannot be encountered with catching our Attention. She lived what she believed, perhaps to a fault, but perhaps only because the world couldn’t handle her. Her faults might really be the world’s.

We cannot discuss Simone Weil without discussing her mystical experiences (which suggests that a profound Alterology, to use language from (Re)constructing “A Is A,” informed her thinking). This creates a break between “the true” and “the rational,” and indeed grasping this division goes a long way to making a person more mentidivergent. ‘[H]er role as a mystic was so unintended, one for which she had not in any sense prepared,’ and we might say she experienced a break between “the true” and “the rational.”³ In this, we see thinking which is free of the mistake of “autonomous rationality,” as the neurodivergent are often, and further suggests mentidivergence is how her mystical encounters became evidence to her of a distinction between ‘the visible Church and the invisible congregation of saints [which] are never one.’⁴

Weil believed that it was ‘easier for a non-Christian to become a Christian, than for a ‘Christian’ to become one,’ which sounds as if she supports an individual lifestyle which avoids socialization and is able to think outside the consensus (like Michael Burry according to Lorenzo).⁵ She famously refused baptism and formally joining the Church, and arguably ‘she was [not] even troubled by the question of formally becoming a Christian,’ which seems impossible unless she indeed simply didn’t have a mind like the rest of us (she enjoyed and dwelt in “shadow work”).⁶ She was concerned by ‘the Church patriotism [which] exist[ed] in Catholic circles,’ and believed that the Church had to be ‘a social structure,’ but that meant ‘it belong[ed] to the Prince of this world.’⁷ She did not believe it was ‘the will of God [for her] to enter the Church at present,’ and she was clearly worried about “the temptation” of the warmth and belonging she would find in the Church.⁸ ‘Undoubtedly there is real intoxication in being a member of the Mystical Body of Christ,’ she wrote, suggesting an awareness of Arendt’s “banality of evil,” and Weil did not see herself as able to resist that intoxication, thus keeping her outside the Church.⁹ And yet she respected and cherished the Church, suggesting a Nietzschean Child who was rooted, a notion only further suggested in her writing:

‘The children of God should not have any other country here below but the universe itself, with the totality of all the reasoning creatures it ever has contained, contains, or ever will contain. This is the native city to which we own our love.’¹⁰

She sounds like Zarathustra, yes? Amid his animals, loving the earth…‘[I]t is supernatural to die for something weak,’ Weil tells us, which is to say that it is easy to die for a great political movement supported by the masses, but dying for the animals of Zarathustra?¹¹ This is weak, and thus requires incredible power to die for it. Dying for the irrelevant takes a saint. It takes someone mentidivergent…




For the rest of this piece, please see Substack, which couldn’t be posted here due to formatting issues:





¹Weil, Simone. Waiting for God. Translated by Emma Craufurd. New York, NY: First Harper Perennial Modern Classics Edition, 2009: 11 (P.S. Section).

²Weil, Simone. An Anthology. Edited and Introduced by Siân Miles. New York, NY: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1986: 31.

³Weil, Simone. Waiting for God. Translated by Emma Craufurd. New York, NY: First Harper Perennial Modern Classics Edition, 2009: viii.

⁴Weil, Simone. Waiting for God. Translated by Emma Craufurd. New York, NY: First Harper Perennial Modern Classics Edition, 2009: xii.

⁵Weil, Simone. Waiting for God. Translated by Emma Craufurd. New York, NY: First Harper Perennial Modern Classics Edition, 2009: ix.

⁶Weil, Simone. Waiting for God. Translated by Emma Craufurd. New York, NY: First Harper Perennial Modern Classics Edition, 2009: xi.

⁷Weil, Simone. Waiting for God. Translated by Emma Craufurd. New York, NY: First Harper Perennial Modern Classics Edition, 2009: 12.

⁸Weil, Simone. Waiting for God. Translated by Emma Craufurd. New York, NY: First Harper Perennial Modern Classics Edition, 2009: 6.

⁹Weil, Simone. Waiting for God. Translated by Emma Craufurd. New York, NY: First Harper Perennial Modern Classics Edition, 2009: 36.

¹⁰Weil, Simone. Waiting for God. Translated by Emma Craufurd. New York, NY: First Harper Perennial Modern Classics Edition, 2009: 49.

¹¹Weil, Simone. Gravity and Grace. Translated by Emma Craufurd. New York, NY: Routledge, 1997: xxii.




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