Blaise Pascal


French Catholic Philosopher, Scientist, Mathematician, Inventor, Writer

Author Quotes

We arrive at truth, not by reason only, but also by the heart.

To go beyond the bounds of moderation is to outrage humanity. The greatness of the human soul is shown by knowing how to keep within proper bounds. So far from greatness consisting in going beyond its limits, it really consists in keeping within it.

To go beyond the bounds of moderation is to outrage humanity.

To find recreation in amusements is not happiness; for this joy springs from alien and extrinsic sources, and is therefore dependent upon and subject to interruption by a thousand accidents, which may minister inevitable affliction.

To eternity itself there is no other handle than the present moment. Let any man examine his thoughts and he will find them ever occupied with the past or the future. We scarcely think at all of the present; or if we do, it is only to borrow the light which it gives for regulating the future. The present is never our object; the past and the present we use as means; the future only is our end. Thus, we never live, we only hope to live; and always hoping to be happy, it is inevitable that we will never be so. All the miseries of mankind come from one thing, not knowing how to remain alone.

Thought... is the essence of man, and without this we cannot conceive of him.

Time cures sorrows and squabbles because we all change, and are no longer the same persons. Neither the offender nor the offended is the same.

Those whom we call ancients were in truth new in every respect, and actually formed the childhood of man; and since we have added to their knowledge the experience of the succeeding centuries, it is in ourselves that that antiquity can be found which we revere in others.

This letter is long because I didn't have time to write a short one.

There is nothing so insupportable to man as to be in entire repose, without passion, occupation, amusement, or application. Then it is that he feels his own nothingness, isolations, insignificance, dependent nature, powerlessness, emptiness. Immediately there issue from his soul ennui, sadness, chagrin, vexation, despair.

There would be too great darkness, if truth had not visible signs.

There is nothing man cannot make natural; there is nothing natural which he cannot lose.

The whole visible world is only an imperceptible atom in the ample bosom of nature. No idea approaches it.

The world is content with words; few think of searching into the nature of things.

The statements of atheists ought to be perfectly clear of doubt. Now it is not perfectly clear that the soul is material.

The serene, silent beauty of a holy life is the most powerful influence in the world, next to the might of God.

The state of man: inconstancy, weariness, unrest.

The sensibility of man to trifles, and his insensibility to great things indicates a strange inversion.

The sensibility of man to trifles, and his insensibility to great things, are the marks of a strange inversion.

The multitude which is not brought to act as unity, is confusion. That unity which has not its origin in the multitude is tyranny.

The most powerful cause of error is the war existing between the senses and reason.

The mind naturally makes progress, and the will naturally clings to objects; so that for want of right objects, it will attach itself to wrong ones.

The mind of the greatest man on earth is not so independent of circumstances as not to feel inconvenienced by the merest buzzing noise about him; it does not need the report of a cannon to disturb his thoughts. The creaking of a vane or a pulley is quite enough. Do not wonder that he reasons ill just now; a fly is buzzing by his ear; it is quite enough to unfit him for giving good counsel.

The mind has its arrangement; it proceeds from principles to demonstrations. The heart has a different mode of proceeding.

The majority is the best way, because it is visible, and has strength to make itself obeyed. Yet it is the opinion of the least able.

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French Catholic Philosopher, Scientist, Mathematician, Inventor, Writer