Blaise Pascal - Mind Quotes
24 Sourced Quotes
All who say the same things do not possess them in the same manner; and hence the incomparable author of the Art of Conversation pauses with so much care to make it understood that we must not judge of the capacity of a man by the excellence of a happy remark that we heard him make.... let us penetrate, says he, the mind from which it proceeds... it will oftenest be seen that he will be made to disavow it on the spot, and will be drawn very far from this better thought in which he does not believe, to plunge himself into another, quite base and ridiculous.
The mind of the greatest man on earth is not so independent of circumstances as not to feel inconvenienced by the merest buzzing noise about him; it does not need the report of a cannon to disturb his thoughts. The creaking of a vane or a pully is quite enough. Do not wonder that he reasons ill just now; a fly is buzzing by his ear; it is quite enough to unfit him for giving good counsel.
I do not speak here of divine truths... because they are infinitely superior to nature: God alone can place them in the soul... I know that he has desired that they should enter from the heart into the mind, and not from the mind into the heart, to humiliate that proud power of reasoning that pretends to the right to be the judge of the things that the will chooses; and to cure this infirm will which is wholly corrupted by its filthy attachments.
When we do not know the truth of a thing, it is good that there should exist a common error which determines the mind of man, as, for example, the moon, to which is attributed the change of seasons, the progress of diseases, etc. For the chief malady of man is a restless curiosity about things which he cannot understand; and it is not so bad for him to be in error as to be curious to no purpose.