Quotation by Blaise Pascal:
They know not that it is only the chase and not the taking of the game, that they seek. ... They believe they are sincerely seeking repose, and are seeking in reality only agitation. They have a secret instinct that leads them to seek external distraction and occupation, which springs from the sense of their continual miseries; and they have another secret instinct, ... which tells them that hapiness is, in fact, only in repose, and not in tumult; and of these two contrary instincts there is formed in them a confused project, which is concealed from their view in the depths of their soul, which leads them to seek repose through agitation, and always to imagine that the satisfaction which they have not will come to them, if surmounting a few difficulties that they face, they can thereby open for themselves the gate to repose.
Thus glides all life away. We seek repose in combatting a few obstacles; and if we have surmounted them, the repose becomes insupportable; for, we either think on the miseries that we have, or on those that threaten us. An even were we sufficiently protected on all sides, ennui. deprived of its authority, would not fail to come out from the depths of the heart, where it has natural roots, and fill the mind with its venom.
Thus man is so unhappy, that he is even wearied without any cause of weariness... and so vain that, filled with a thousand essential causes of weariness, the least thing, as a game of billiards, suffices to divert him.
1623-1662 (Age at death: 39 approx.)
Blaise Pascal (June 19, 1623, in Clermont-Ferrand, France - August 19, 1662, in Paris) was a French mathematician, physicist, and religious philosopher. He was a child prodigy who was educated by his father, a civil servant. Pascal's earliest work was in the natural and applied sciences where he made important contributions to the construction of mechanical calculators, the study of fluids, and clarified the concepts of pressure and vacuum by generalizing the work of Evangelista Torricelli. Pascal also wrote in defense of the scientific method.
Pascal was a mathematician of the first order. He helped create two major new areas of research. He wrote a significant treatise on the subject of projective geometry at the age of sixteen, and later corresponded with Pierre de Fermat on probability theory, strongly influencing the development of modern economics and social science. Following Galileo and Torricelli, in 1646 he refuted Aristotle's followers who insisted that nature abhors a vacuum. His results caused many disputes before being accepted.