Fishing With Pascal

While fly fishing this last week I couldn’t stop thinking about a quote by the French mathematician, physicist and religious philosopher Blase Pascal. He said:

“In a word man knows he is wretched. Thus he is wretched because he is so, but he is truly great because he knows it.” Blaise Pascal

His words got me thinking – if I seek the truth and refuse to admit how far I am from it, I become arrogant or religious. If I accept how far I am from it, but then do not seek it I become cynical. However, if I seek the truth while accepting how far I am from it, wisdom is my servant.

So what is it that most hinders me from truth? It isn’t ignorance, social conditioning or weakness of reason; it seems to be my passions. Like an addict I cannot see truly or realistically that my mind is blinded by my passions. My mind is scrambled and confused – not by a drug, but by my addiction to the drug!

“A man is a slave to whatever he cannot part with that is less than himself.” George McDonald