Monday, April 25, 2011


I'm currently picking through the book of that title written by Blaise Pascal, who is the inventor of the mechanical calculator and probability theory. A very clever man, in short. This book is mostly a collection of snippets he jotted down on bits of paper that were his thoughts about life. It's his blog! I want to quote it here because something especially stood out today as I read it on the bus to Guelph. So here you are.

We never keep to the present.We recall the past; we anticipate the future as if we found it too slow in coming and were trying to hurry it up, or we recall the past as if to stay its too rapid flight. We are so unwise as to wander about in times that do not belong to us, and do not think of the only one that does... The fact is that the present usually hurts. We thrust it out of sight because it usually distresses us... The past and present are our means, the future alone our ends. Thus we never actually live, but hope to live, and since we are always planning how to be happy, it is inevitable that we should never be so.

I like this idea, and the book fleshes it out a bit more. I don't necessarily understand how one is really supposed to live in the present. Always being preoccupied with the things right here and right now seems pretty impossible. As a general rule, the present cannot take up all my brain power. Example: driving a car requires like 5% of my brain, and the rest is off doing whatever it likes.

I want to make something of an effort to be more mindful in that sense though. It will help me worry less if I'm not constantly in another place with my mind. So that's a nice goal.


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