Archive for the ‘Blaise Pascal’ Category

Anyone who does not see the vanity of the world is very vain himself. And so who does not see it, apart from the young who are preoccupied with bustle, distractions, and plans for the future?

November 17, 2009

Anyone who does not see the vanity of the world is very vain himself. And so who does not see it, apart from the young who are preoccupied with bustle, distractions, and plans for the future? But take away their distractions and you will see them wither from boredom. Then they feel their hollowness without understanding it, because it is indeed depressing to be in a state of unbearable sadness as soon as you are reduced to contemplating yourself, and without distraction from doing so.

Pascal

Truth lies within our grasp, and yet it is not our prey. It does not dwell on earth, but has its home in heaven. it lies in the bosom of God, and so can only be known insofar as it pleases Him to reveal it

November 14, 2009

Truth lies within our grasp, and yet it is not our prey. It does not dwell on earth, but has its home in heaven. it lies in the bosom of God, and so can only be known insofar as it pleases Him to reveal it. So let us learn about our true nature from the uncreated and incarnate truth…We have a vision of happiness that we are unable to attain. We are aware of the reality of truth, and yet possess only the shadow. We are alike incapable of complete ignorance or of sure knowledge, and so it is obvious that we once possessed a high degree of greatness.

Pascal

To be insensitive to the point of despising things of interest and to become insensitive to what interests us most, is absurd

November 11, 2009

To be insensitive to the point of despising things of interest and to become insensitive to what interests us most, is absurd.

Pascal

hmm – guess he wouldn’t be a fan of, ‘I’m a B-list celebrity get me out of strictly come X-Factor.’

Thought constitutes man’s greatness…Man is a thinking reed

November 9, 2009

Thought constitutes man’s greatness…Man is a thinking reed. It is not from space that I seek my dignity, but from the government of my thought. I shall have no more if I possess worlds. By space the universe encompasses and swallows me up like an atom; by thought I comprehend the world. So man’s greatness comes from knowing that he is wretched, for a tree does not know it is wretched.

Blaise Pascal

If my heart has been in love with the world when I was in robost health, destroy my vigour to promote my salvation

October 16, 2009

If my heart has been in love with the world when I was in robust health, destroy my vigour to promote my salvation.

Pascal

Can you pray that yet?

The sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room

October 7, 2009

The sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room.

…in busyness we have a narcotic to keep us from brooding and to take our mine off these things. That is why we prefer the hunt to the kill. That is why men are so fond of noise and bustle…That is why the pleasures of solitude are considered incomprehensible. We seek repose by battling against difficulties, and once they are overcome, repose becomes unbearable because of the boredom it engenders. We have to get away from it all, and so we then go around begging for new excitement.

Pascal, Pensées

Even babies stop crying when they start to move in a car. I’s as if they can’t stand to be still.

We never live only in the present. We remember the past and look forward to the future. If we find it too slow in coming we try to speed it up; or we recall the past to slow it down if it runs too fast

October 7, 2009

We never live only in the present. We remember the past and look forward to the future. If we find it too slow in coming we try to speed it up; or we recall the past to slow it down if it runs too fast. We are so unwise that we wander through ages which are not our own and never give a thought to the one thing that belongs to us. We are so frivolous that we think of those that are nothing and thoughtlessly overlook the one thing that exists. It is because the present moment is usually a painful one. We repress it because it hurts us. And if we find it pleasurable, we are sorry to see it pass away…With this way of thinking we can never actually live, but instead live in hope.

Pascal

In case you didn’t know it, Pascal was a genius.

You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you

October 7, 2009

The human heart is never satisfied.

Chinese saying

There is a god-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man.

Pascal

You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.

St. Augustine, Confessions, Bk.1.1.1

The hypothesis that the Apostles were knaves is quite absurd. Follow it out to the end, and imagine these twelve men meeting after Jesus’ death and conspiring to say that he has risen from the dead

October 2, 2009

The hypothesis that the Apostles were knaves is quite absurd. Follow it out to the end, and imagine these twelve men meeting after Jesus’ death and conspiring to say that he has risen from the dead. This means attacking all the powers that be. The human heart is singularly susceptible to fickleness, to change, to promises, to bribery. One of them had only to deny his story under these inducements, or still more because of possible imprisonment, tortures and death, and they would all have been lost. Follow that out.

Pascal, Pensees

Those who indulge in perversion tell those who are living normal lives that it is they who are deviating from what is natural

September 26, 2009

Those who indulge in perversion tell those who are living normal lives that it is they who are deviating from what is natural. They think they are following a natural life themselves. They are like people on a ship who think it is those on shore who are moving away. Language is relative everywhere. But we need a fixed point for those who are moving aboard ship. But in morality, where are we going to find a harbor?

Pascal