Saturday, August 22, 2009

Lessons From Blaise Pascal

Blaise Pascal was a French mathematician and a genius who made tremendous contributions in the area of mathematics.
He had a dramatic encounter with the Lord at the age of 31 which he expressed on a piece of parchment and sewed into his coat where it was found eight years later when he died as a young man. It read:
"Year of grace 1654, Monday, 23 November, feast of St. Clement. From about half past ten at night to just about half an hour after midnight, fire. God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, not of philosophers and scholars. Certitude. Heartfelt joy. Peace. God of Jesus Christ, God of Jesus Christ, my God and your God. Joy, joy, joy, tears of joy! Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ, may I never be separated from him."
Later in one of his writings, he made this observation: "All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war and others avoiding it is the same desire in both. This is the motive of every action of every man. Even of those who hang themselves."
Another time he wrote: "If God does not exist, one will lose nothing by believing in Him, while if He does exist, one will lose everything by not believing."
I never really liked math. I prefer words. But I think I would have liked Blaise Pascal.

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