Pensees 2.0…

Why is it true our modern lives continue to get easier but life remains difficult?

We have comfort and convenience that Kings could not imagine a few hundred years ago. We can fill our lives as we like with an unprecedented array of choices. Why does it appear all our technological advances come with an unintended consequence of further dependence, not the feeling of freedom as promised? Why do I see self inflicted wounds of the very successful everyday in this practice? Why? Here’s an answer from Pascal back in the 1600’s.

“Being unable to cure death, wretchedness and ignorance, men have decided, in order to be happy, not to think about such things. I have often said that the sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room. The only good thing for men therefore is to be diverted from thinking of what they are, either by some occupation which takes their mind off it, or by some novel and agreeable passion which keeps them busy, like gambling, hunting, some absorbing show, in short by what is called diversion. That is why gaming and feminine society, war, and high office are so popular. It is not that they really bring happiness, nor that anyone imagines that true bliss comes from possessing the money to be won at gaming or the hare that is hunted; no one would take it as a gift. That is why we prefer the hunt to the capture. That is why men are so fond of hustle and bustle; that is why prison is such a fearful punishment; that is why the pleasures of solitude are so incomprehensible. That, in fact, is the main joy of being a king, because people are continually trying to divert him and procure him every kind of pleasure. A king is surrounded by people whose only thought is to divert him and stop him thinking about himself, because, king though he is, he becomes unhappy as soon as thinks about himself.”

Talk about a MOT (moment of truth). Slow down and re-read this dead, French doc. And, check out his further clarifying description and the good doc’s prescription too.

“What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since the infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite an immutable object; in other words by God himself.”

Translation.

We all have a God shaped hole or vacuum that only He can fill. God, help me take my tiny mustard seed of faith and allow your Spirit to fill me up as only You can. God, help me. And, God, thanks for sending Dr. Frenchie. His Pensees are kinda like your Word – still relevant after all this progress. Slow down and reflect, friend. Slow down and spend a moment quietly, alone. Good…

2 Comments

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2 responses to “Pensees 2.0…

  1. Rich

    Why Marcus Aurelius was so unique. Forced humility is rare among kings.

  2. Toto, as the frenchies would say as an AND to this pensee, thanks for the “Bon MOT” (lit. good word.)

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