Tuesday, 2 October 2012

The modern condition in a nutshell - Pascal

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The only things that consoles us for our miseries is diversion.

And yet it is the greatest of our miseries.

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For it is diversion above all which prevents us from thinking about ourselves and leads us imperceptibly to our destruction.

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But for diversion we should be bored, and boredom would drive us to seek some more solid means of escape.

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But diversion passes our time and brings us insensibly to our death.

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Blaise Pascal, Pensees - translated and arranged by A.J Krailsheimer. This is AJK number 414, page 148 in the Penguin edition. I have re-punctuated, re-paragraphed, in a few places replaced the word 'it' with 'diversion' for the sake of clarity, and replaced a second usage of 'imperceptibl'y with 'insensibly' for the punchline.

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