Man is Made to Think, Deeply

Man is obviously made to think. It is his whole dignity and whole merit; and his whole duty is to think as he ought. Now the order of thought is to begin with the self, and with it’s Author and its end.

Now, of what does the world think? Never of this, but of dancing, playing the lute, singing, making verses, running at the ring, fighting, making oneself king, without thinking what it is to be a king and what to be a man.

Pascal’s Pensées, #146

As I’ve read through Pensées, I have noticed that Pascal has a real gripe with the habit of humanity to never think deeply or clearly, only to endlessly distract itself from it’s inevitable demise.

Though I must protest: Art and play don’t need to always be a distraction from the deeper things of life. Indeed, we were made for beauty and adventure. There is no shame in following these inclinations. Personally I believe these desires find their fulfilment in Christ. Pascal would say the same, but I suppose the point he is making is that oftentimes amusements exist for their own sake and for the sake of distraction.

We must endlessly distract ourselves from the fear and loneliness we know is deep inside.

And so a man may whittle away his years playing games and fighting battles and never know what it means to be a man.


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