Choose your own change
Published 10:29 am Monday, January 21, 2013
Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) began life as a mathematician and scientist, inventing an early calculating machine, but eventually turned his thinking to basic issues of life, spiritual things. Of the many books this French philosopher published, he is best known and is most remembered for “Pensees” (“Thoughts”). Historian Sarah Bakewell describes this as “a collection of disorderly notes for a more systematic theological treatise which he never managed to write. Had he completed this work, it would probably have become less interesting.” What he left us with, she observes, is “one of the most mysterious texts in literature.”
I’m glad Pascal wrote “Thoughts,” and I am grateful Bakewell characterized them. This is rather much what I have attempted a few times here, and I do again now. Not completed essays these times, but what I have termed “occasional thoughts.” They do seem “disorderly notes,” and “a more systematic theological treatise” has crossed my mind. But as was with Pascal, I probably will never manage to write it. I can but hope these thoughts will be somewhat more interesting than a book and that this will not be a mysterious text.
We are going to change, and we have already changed. We can either choose the change that will strengthen us, or suffer the change that will destroy us.
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