Archive for the ‘distractions’ 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

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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.

playing out the game without reason

September 8, 2009

Also man now realizes that he is an accident, that he is a completely futile being, that he has to play out the game without reason. I think that even when Velasquez was painting, even when Rembrandt was painting, they were still , whatever their attitude to life, slightly conditioned by certain types of religious possibilities (prejudices) which man now, you could say had cancelled out for him. Man now can only attempt to beguile himself for a time, by prolonging his life- by buying a kind of immortality through the doctors. You see, painting has become – all art has become- a game by which man distracts himself.

Francis Bacon, 1971

Yet in the same place he speaks of  ‘a selective process’ and ‘part of the accident one chooses to preserve’. Bu what does choice and selection mean if he is a futile accident? Doesn’t his art deny (his) modern philosophy?

Distractions

August 6, 2009

Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for our miseries. Yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries. For above all, it is that which keeps us from thinking about ourselves and so leads us imperceptibly to our destruction.

I have often felt that the sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his own room…(the human condition)…is one of inconsistency, of boredom, and of anxiety.

Men spend their time chasing a ball or a hare. Such is the very sport of kings.

Pascal