Short summary - Pensées - Blaise Pascal

French literature summaries - 2021

Short summary - Pensées
Blaise Pascal

“Let the man know what he is worth. Let him love himself, for he is capable of good "," let him despise himself, for the ability for good remains in him in vain "...
" A purely mathematical mind will work correctly only if he knows in advance all the definitions and beginnings, otherwise he gets lost confused and becomes unbearable. " “The mind that cognizes directly is not able to patiently seek out the primary principles underlying purely speculative, abstract concepts, which it does not encounter in everyday life and is“ unfamiliar to it ”. "It so happens that a person who reasonably discusses phenomena of a certain order bears nonsense when the question concerns phenomena of a different order." “Those who are accustomed to judging and evaluating by the prompting of feelings do not understand anything in logical inferences, because they seeks to penetrate the subject of research at first glance and does not want to explore the principles on which it is based. On the contrary, those who are accustomed to studying principles do not understand anything about the arguments of feeling, because they are looking for what they are based on, and are not able to grasp the subject with a single glance. " "Feeling is as easy to corrupt as the mind." “The smarter a person is, the more originality he finds in everyone with whom he communicates. For an ordinary person, all people are alike. "
"Eloquence is the art of speaking in such a way that those to whom we are addressing listened not only without difficulty, but also with pleasure." "We must keep simplicity and naturalness, not exaggerate the little things, not underestimate the significant." "The form must be elegant", "correspond to the content and contain everything necessary." "Otherwise, the spaced words take on a different meaning, otherwise the spaced thoughts make a different impression."
"One should distract the mind from the work begun only to give it rest, and even then not when it pleases, but when it is necessary": "rest at the wrong time tires, and fatigue distracts from work."
"When you read a work written in a simple, natural style, you involuntarily rejoice."
"It's good when someone is called" just a decent person. "
"We are incapable of either all-encompassing knowledge or complete ignorance." "The middle, given to us for our lot, is equally remote from both extremes, so does it matter whether a person knows a little more or less?"
"Imagination" is "a human ability that deceives, sows errors and delusions." “Put the wisest philosopher on a wide board above the abyss; no matter how much the mind tells him that he is safe, all the same imagination will prevail. " "Imagination controls everything - beauty, justice, happiness, everything that is valued in this world."
"When a person is healthy, he does not understand how sick people live, and when he gets sick," "he has other passions and desires." "By our very nature, we are unhappy always and under all circumstances." "A person is so unhappy that he languishes in melancholy even without any reason, simply because of his special position in the world." "The human condition: inconstancy, melancholy, anxiety." “The essence of human nature is movement. Complete rest means death. " "We are comforted by any trifle, because any trifle makes us disheartened." "We will understand the meaning of all human activities if we understand the essence of entertainment."
"Of all the positions" "the position of the monarch is the most enviable." "He is gratified in all his desires, but try to deprive him of entertainment, leave him to thoughts and thoughts about what he is" - "and this happiness will collapse", "he will involuntarily plunge into thoughts about threats to fate, about possible rebellions", " about death and inevitable ailments. " "And it turns out that the monarch deprived of entertainment" is "more unhappy than his most pitiful subject, who indulges in games and other entertainments." “This is why people value games and chatting with women so much, they are so eager to go to war or take a high position. The point is not that they expect to find happiness in this ":" we are looking for "worries that entertain us and lead us away from painful thoughts." "The advantage of the monarch is that they are trying to entertain him and give him all the pleasures that exist in the world."
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"Entertainment is our only joy in sorrow." "A person from childhood" is "burdened with studies, language learning, bodily exercises, tirelessly suggesting that he will not be happy if he" fails to maintain "health, good name, property", and "the slightest need for something will make him unhappy. " "And so many deeds and responsibilities are falling upon him that from dawn to dawn he is in vanity and worries." "Take these worries away from him, and he will start to think what he is, where he came from, where he is going - that is why it is necessary to plunge him headlong into business, turning him away from thoughts."
"How empty is the human heart and how much filth is in this wilderness!"
“People live in such a complete misunderstanding of the vanity of all human life that they are completely bewildered when they are told about the futility of pursuing honors. Well, isn't it amazing! "
"We are so sorry that at first we rejoice in luck", and then "we are tormented when it cheats on us." "Whoever learned to rejoice at good luck and not grieve over failure would have made an amazing discovery - just like inventing a perpetual motion machine."
"We carelessly rush to the abyss, covering our eyes with anything, so as not to see where we are running." But even realizing "all the sorrow of our being, which brings us troubles," we "still do not lose some instinct that is ineradicable and elevates us."
“It's not good to be too free. It is not good not to know the need for anything. "
"Man is not an angel and not an animal," but his misfortune is that "the more he strives to become like an angel, the more he turns into an animal." "A person is so constructed that he cannot always go forward - he either goes, then comes back." "The greatness of man is in his ability to think." "Man is only a reed, the weakest of the creations of nature, but he is a thinking reed."
"The power of reason lies in the fact that it recognizes the existence of many phenomena." "Nothing agrees with reason as its distrust of itself." "We must obey reason more unquestioningly than any ruler, for whoever rereads reason is unhappy, and whoever rereads the ruler is only stupid." "Reason always and in everything resorts to the help of memory." "The soul does not hold on to the heights, which the mind sometimes reaches in a single impulse: it ascends there not as on a throne, not forever, but only for a short moment."
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“We comprehend the existence and nature of the finite, for we ourselves are finite and extended, as it is. We comprehend the existence of the infinite, but we do not know its nature, for it is extended, like we are, but has no boundaries. But we do not comprehend either the existence or the nature of God, for he has neither extension nor boundaries. Only faith reveals to us his existence, only grace - his nature. " “Faith speaks differently from our feelings, but never contradicts their testimony. She is above the senses, but does not oppose them. "
“It is fair to obey justice, one cannot disobey force. Justice, not supported by force, is weak, force not supported by justice is tyrannical. Powerless justice will always be opposed, because bad people are not translated, they will always be indignant at unjust power. It means that we need to combine strength with justice. " However, "the concept of justice is as fashionable as women's jewelry."
“Why do people follow the majority? Is it because it is right? No, because it is strong. " “Why are they following ancient laws and beliefs? Because they are healthy? No, because they are generally accepted and do not allow the seeds of discord to sprout. " "Those who know how to invent new things are few in number, and the majority want to follow only the generally accepted." "Do not boast about your ability to innovate, be content with the knowledge that you have it."
“He who does not love the truth turns away from it under the pretext that it is contested, that the majority deny it. This means that his delusion is conscious, it stems from a dislike for truth and goodness, and there is no forgiveness for this person. "
“People do not get bored with eating and sleeping every day, because the desire to eat and sleep is renewed every day, and if it were not for this, no doubt, it would be boring. Therefore, the one who does not experience hunger is burdened with spiritual food, the craving for truth: the highest bliss ”. "I am bothering myself for him" is the essence of respect for another person, and it is "deeply true."
"Human weakness is the source of many beautiful things."
“The greatness of man is so undoubted that it is confirmed even by his insignificance. For we call nothing in man what is considered to be nature in animals, thereby confirming that if now his nature is not much different from that of an animal, then once, while he was awake, it was blameless. "
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"Self-interest and strength are the source of all our actions: self-interest is the source of conscious actions, power is the source of unconscious ones." "A man is great even in his self-interest, because this property taught him to maintain an exemplary order in affairs."
“The greatness of man is so great because he is aware of his insignificance. The tree is not aware of its insignificance. "
"People are insane, and this is such a general rule that not being insane would also be a kind of insanity."
"The power of flies: they win battles, dull our souls, torment our bodies."