Blaise Pascal Quotes
Just as I do not know where I came from, so I do not know where I am going. All I know is that when I leave this world I shall fall forever into oblivion, or into the hands of an angry God, without knowing which of the two will be my lot for eternity. Such is my state of mind, full of weakness and uncertainty. The only conclusion I can draw from all this is that I must pass my days without a thought of trying to find out what is going to happen to me.
It is certain that those who have the living faith in their hearts see at once that all existence is none other than the work of the God whom they adore. But for those in whom this light is extinguished, [if we were to show them our proofs of the existence of God] nothing is more calculated to arouse their contempt. . . .
Nobody is publicly accepted as an expert on poetry unless he displays the sign of poet, mathematician, etc., but universal men want no sign and make hardly any distinction between the crafts of poet and embroiderer. Universal men are not called poets or mathematicians, etc. But they are all these things and judges of them too. No one could guess what they are, and they will talk about whatever was being talked about when they came in. One quality is not more noticeable in them than another, unless it becomes necessary to put it into practice, and then we remember it.
I do not admire a virtue like valour when it is pushed to excess, if I do not see at the same time the excess of the opposite virtue, as one does in Epaminondas, who displayed extreme valour and extreme benevolence. For otherwise it is not an ascent, but a fall. We do not display our greatness by placing ourselves at one extremity, but rather by being at both at the same time, and filling up the whole of the space between them.
Those who are accustomed to judge by feeling do not understand the process of reasoning, because they want to comprehend at a glance and are not used to seeking for first principles. Those, on the other hand, who are accustomed to reason from first principles do not understand matters of feeling at all, because they look for first principles and are unable to comprehend at a glance.