Sunday, June 08, 2008

MORE ON HISTORY BOOK, PASCAL

This will be in the book somewhere.

To me, what amazes me about the last 500 years or the era after the Renaissance is Pascal and the birth of existentialism.

I don't know if birth is the right word though.

I don't think it is advent or invention.

I think it is when people starting seeing they were pretending, they were in bad faith. Maybe the word is realization.

Pascal wrote these lines in the Pensees:

"weariness- Nothing is so insufferable to man as to e completely at rest, without passions, without study. He then feels his nothingness, his forlornness, his insufficiency, his dependence, his weakness, his emptiness. There will immediately arise from the depth of his weariness, gloom, sadness, fretfulness, vexation, despair. "

"He no longer loves the person whom he loved ten years ago. I quite believe it. She is no longer the same, nor is he. He was young, and she also; she is quite different. He would perhaps love her yet, if she were what she was then."

"The greatness of man is great in that he knows himself to be miserable. A tree does not know itself to be miserable. It is then being miserable to know oneself to be miserable; but it is also being great to know that one is miserable."

"Pride- Curiosity is only vanity. Most frequently we wish to know but to talk. Otherwise we would not take a sea voyage in order never to talk of it, and for the sole pleasure of seeing without hope of ever communicating it."

It should be noted that these lines are a defence of Christianity, how they defend Christianity I have no fucking idea.

No one had ever said things like that, and that way. Buddhism and the bible have some simple existentialism or accidental existentialism. Jesus being condemned even though he is innocent is weird and existential. But it doesn't go as far as pascal.

I think it should be noted somewhere. After the year fifteen hundred mankind invented and noticed electricity, the power of oil, coal, and natural gas. They learned how to make several good transportation devices, made it to the moon. And at the same time was conscious of their own wretched shittiness the whole time.

Maybe that is the cause of all those time saving, higher standard of living inventions. Mankind started going away from viewing themselves as sinners. They were damned and shitty because Adam ate an apple. Which means God made them and their lives that way, which means they had a fate of shittiness. But for some reason mankind started to become conscious that they were creating their own shittiness. Which meant they had power over their shittiness. Which leads to the protestant concept of, "Man controls nature."

I don't think Pascal invented existentialism. I think he just said things out loud that everyone was thinking.