Blaise Pascal, born June 19, 1623 in Clermont (now Clermont-Ferrand) in Auvergne and died August 19, 1662 in Paris, is a French mathematician, physicist, inventor, philosopher, moralist and theologian.
“Isn’t it unworthy to treat human reason to put it in parallel with the instinct of animals, since we take away the main difference, which consists in the fact that the effects of reasoning increase ceaselessly? instead of instinct always remaining in an even state? Bee hives were as well measured a thousand years ago as they are today, and each of them forms this hexagon as exactly the first time as the last. The same is true of all that animals produce by this occult movement.  Nature instructs them as necessity presses them; but this fragile science is lost with the needs they have of it: as they receive it without study they do not have the happiness of preserving it; and whenever it is given to them, it is new to them, since, nature having for object only to maintain animals in an order of limited perfection inspires them with this necessary science, always equal, lest they die, and do not allow them to add to it, lest they exceed the limits that it has prescribed for them. It is not the same with the man who is produced only for infinity. He is in ignorance in the first Age of his life; but he learns constantly in his progress: because he takes advantage not only of his own experience, but also of that of his predecessors, because he always keeps in his memory the knowledge which he once acquired , and that those of the old ones are always present to him in the books which they left of it. And since he retains this knowledge, he can also increase it easily. “
According to Pascal, man is not an animal like the others, it is to treat him unworthily to compare human intelligence and the instinct of animals. Man is endowed with reason, with language.
Animals are able to make artificial things, but they do it out of instinct and not out of reason. Bees, for example, make beehives which are a model of perfection, but, as Marx says: “What distinguishes from the outset the worst architect from the most expert bee is that he builds the cell in his head before building it in the hive. “
The bee acts by instinct. There is no architectural history in bees, they have always built their hives the same way. Bees do not use tools, they make their hives directly, instinctively using their bodies without the mediation of tools. Animals are driven by instinct, men by reason which requires learning and transmission through language.
“Nature instructs them as necessity presses them, but this fragile science is lost with the needs which they have of it”: in other words, the nature which takes care of the conservation of animals can, if the need s ‘in fact, to modify the behavior of animals in order to adapt it to new situations.
But this science is fragile, it is lost with the need, it is not preserved once the need is no longer felt, because it is linked to momentary modification in the environment. On the other hand, animals receive it without study. Animals do not have language and therefore cannot retain their new knowledge. This is why animals do not make progress.
God watches over the conservation of animals, but keeps them in an order of limited perfection. We can compare this idea to that of “continued creation” of Descartes. The idea of continued creation appears just as well in the Discourse on Method as well as in the Metaphysical Meditations. According to Descartes, nature is a mechanism, a machine devoid of any internal dynamism which cannot exist by itself. The act of creation must not be reduced to the origin of the world; God did not create nature to let it be and exist. Being incapable of being by itself, nature is therefore suspended from “continued creation”; in other words, it is continually renewed.
God not only created animals (and man), but he allows them to subsist, to keep being. However, the means he gave to animals are different from those he gave to man. To animals he gave instinct, to man intelligence and reason.
Instinct is limited, it does not allow you to go beyond certain well-defined limits. The bee, for example, builds its hives in the same way, the scout always signals the presence of a source of honey in the same way. If the experimenter places the source of honey vertically, on a telegraph pole for example, the Girl Scouts are able to locate the source of honey, but not transmit the information to the hive because the flowers do not grow vertically. in nature.
“Man, on the contrary, is produced for infinity” says Pascal. According to Descartes our will is infinite while our understanding is limited, but thanks to the good use of understanding and memory, we can increase our knowledge to infinity. Moreover, for Descartes, we have the idea of the infinite which is God and we can become more and more like him by the development of our knowledge.
Note: for Anselm of Canterbury, the designer of the famous “ontological proof” from which Descartes is inspired in the Metaphysical Meditations, there is an intrinsic relationship between intelligence and faith. Faith is possible because the intelligence is able to understand the nature of God. God understands himself and understands his creatures. The relationship, of course, is not reciprocal: the creature, by its light alone, cannot understand God because its nature is radically different from ours. But God can give us the power to know him by a special grace. Moreover, when we think of the infinite nature of God and that for this purpose we have received a particular grace, we participate in the infinite nature of God and it is as if God were thinking of himself through us.
When we think of God as an infinite being, it is not possible that we are mistaken, because it is not possible that a finite understanding can think something infinite of itself. It is because our idea of God comes from God that it is true. This is why Descartes will say that God is both the cause of my idea and the cause of my being.
Infinity in Descartes as here in Pascal is therefore a model of perfection to which man is called. Christian theology of history, unlike ancient conceptions is not cyclical, the resurrection of Christ allowed the victory of mankind over death: God became man so that man could become God. The booming science at the time of Descartes and then of Pascal makes it possible to rationalize Christian belief. Christian theology of history is now embodied in the idea of progress.
For Pascal, modern science makes it possible to arbitrate what was debated among the Ancients. Pascal writes a preface to a treatise on emptiness. The experimental evidence he brings arbitrated a philosophical debate that had lasted until Descartes: against the scientific and philosophical tradition, scientific experience shows that there is a vacuum.
However, the knowledge of the moderns could not have been formed without the knowledge of the ancients. Epicurus asserted the void against Aristotle. Without this debate, the moderns would not have been able to move forward on this issue. Progress does not consist either in rejecting the knowledge of the Ancients, nor in reproducing it without questioning it.
a) The effects of reasoning increase constantly, while the instinct always remains in an equal state.
b) Bees always build their hives the same way (there is no architectural history in bees).
“In the end, the perfect worker decided that he who could not receive anything of his own would be common all that had been given that was particular to each individual being. So he took the man, this indistinctly pictorial work, and l ‘having placed himself in the midst of the world, he addressed him in these terms:’ If we have not given you, Adam, neither a determined place, nor an aspect which is proper to you, nor any particular gift, it is in order to that the place, the aspect, the gifts that you yourself would have wished, you have them and possess them according to your wish, with your idea. For the others, their definite nature is held in check by laws which we have prescribed: you, no restriction restricts you, it is your own judgment, to which I have entrusted you, which will allow you to define your nature. If I put you in the world in an intermediate position, it is so that from there you examine more at your ease all that is in the world around. If we have made you neither celestial nor terrestrial, neither mortal nor imm ortel, it is so that, endowed so to speak with the arbitral and honorary power to model you and to shape yourself, you give yourself the form which would have had your preference. You will be able to degenerate into lower forms, which are bestial; you will be able, by decision of your mind, to regenerate yourself into higher forms, which are divine … “
The “perfect worker” referred to at the beginning of the text is the God of the Old Testament (Book of Genesis), of whom it is said “that he created the heavens and the earth”. Pic de la Mirandole assimilates the Creator God of the Old Testament to the “Demiurge” (Demiourgos) who shapes the world from matter, his eyes fixed on the Eternal Ideas, of which Plato speaks at the beginning of Timaeus.
These two conceptions that Pic de la Mirandole assimilates syncretically are not really compatible because for the Greeks, matter is eternal (it exists from all eternity), while for the Hebrews, God (Yavhé-Elohims) created the world from nothing, by his word (God says: “let there be light …”). We cannot therefore qualify him as a “worker”.
The beginning of the text alludes to the myth of Prometheus and Epimetheus, as reported by Plato in the Protagoras …
The gods order Prometheus and Epimetheus to distribute qualities to the “mortal races”. Epimetheus fulfills this task, but forgets the man who remains naked and without “equipment”.
Epimetheus does not give the same qualities to animals, he gives some speed (hares for example), strength (elephants), weapons (lions and tigers), a shell, venom etc.
Man is distinguished from other species by the fact that he has no particular natural quality: he is neither particularly agile, nor particularly strong, nor particularly armed. Man is the most destitute, the weakest, the least favored of all animals. To note that man is “naked” is not only to note his weakness, it is also to note his incompleteness.
Pic de la Mirandole places man in the middle of the world, and not in the middle of earthly paradise, and there is no question of disobedience and fall.
Man, according to Pic de la Mirandole, holds an “intermediate” position, between the animal world and the celestial world. Man is a “microcosm”, an image of the world; he is not “at the top”, but “in the middle” of creation and he possesses in him the “germs” of all other species: a vegetative soul like plants, a sensitive soul like animals and a spirit like heavenly (and hellish) hierarchies and like God.
It is essentially characterized by freedom: “the defined nature (of animals) is held in check by the laws that we have prescribed: you, no restriction restricts you, it is your own judgment, to which I have entrusted you, which will allow you to define your nature. “
Man is an incomplete being, unlike animals which have a specific place, an aspect of their own and special gifts. In modern terms, there is no “human nature”, one is not born a man, one becomes one, both individually (ontogeny) and collectively (phylogenesis), man creates himself through culture . We can therefore say, without being too afraid of distorting the thought of Pic de la Mirandole, that God did not create man, but that he left man the freedom to “create” himself, to be the craftsman of his own future. Man is accomplished in action.
Unlike the heavenly hierarchies, beasts, plants and stones, man was not created “once and for all”. God gave him the “arbitral and honorary power to model and shape himself”: Pic compares man to an artist, to a sculptor who would be both the creator and his work.
It is up to man to become this “perfect worker” who qualified the Creator God at the beginning of the text. Man can “fall” and in this case he “will degenerate into lower forms”, but he can also rise up to “regenerate himself in higher forms”, since he has in him, indiscriminately the germs of the plant and of the plant. animal and was created in the image of God. Pic de la Mirandole once again emphasizes the plasticity and perfectibility of man.
This text is a perfect testimony of the spirit of the Renaissance, of the optimism which animated its most eminent representatives and of the faith which they placed in the creative capacities of the human being.
However, we can see that “forgetting” the notions of sin and fall, but also of grace, redemption and mediation between man and the creator could worry the Church.
According to Emile Durkheim, if man has been able to go beyond the stage at which animals have stopped, it is on the one hand because he cooperates with his fellows and on the other hand because the accumulated knowledge is transmitted from generation to generation. generation.
Society plays an essential role in the process of hominization, both individually and collectively. Man is a social animal, he only exists in and through society. If we took away from man everything that pertains to society: he would fall to the rank of animals.
We know, from the example of “wild children” analyzed by Lucien Malson that man in the wild is neither an animal nor a man, but a “monster”.
Animals, from birth, have the capacity to adapt quickly to their environment. The little man, on the contrary, is an “unfinished animal”; he does almost nothing out of instinct. He is completely dependent on his parents, especially his mother, for many years and needs a long apprenticeship.
Man has managed to get past the point at which animals have stopped thanks to cooperation with his fellows. This cooperation also exists in certain animal societies, for example among ants and bees, which allows them to produce “artefacts” (beehives, anthills); it is this same spirit of cooperation that allows people to create artificial objects (buildings, roads, etc.) that no human being taken in isolation would be able to produce.
At birth, animals have in their body constitution almost everything they need to adapt to their environment. Learning takes place by imitation and relates to very specific behaviors.
The main difference between humans and animals is that the human experience is passed down from generation to generation. This transmission is made possible by the fact that man has invented means to transmit this experience: oral and written tradition, monuments bearing inscriptions, tools, instruments of all kinds …
What these different means of transmission have in common is the fact that they are closely related to articulated language (the tool being a kind of materialized sign); it is language, an eminently social phenomenon, which allows transmission within the human species. As Ferdinand de Saussure explained (Cours de Linguistique générale, 1916), language, as a faculty or aptitude for constituting a system of signs, establishes language whose collective dimension preexists individual speech and makes it possible.
Language allows man to add knowledge and skills to nature and to transmit them from one generation to the next in a cumulative manner.
Human knowledge, unlike animal know-how “is constantly growing”. According to Marx, what distinguishes the most skillful bee from the most clumsy architect is the fact that the bee always builds its hive in the same way. There is no architectural history of bees. There is indeed a certain invariance in the behavior of animals. Animals have no history, while man is constantly inventing new techniques, producing new works of art, constantly making new discoveries.
Technical and scientific knowledge is passed on from generation to generation, but people are constantly changing it. They do not content themselves with reproducing pre-existing objects identically, they transform them, adapt them, improve them constantly, like these extensions of the human hand that are the tools that have only evolved. since the Stone Age and the time of “homo faber”.
According to Aristotle’s definition, man is a “talking animal” (zoon logikon), an animal endowed with reason, speech, thought. Language is a human faculty. Conversely, as Descartes showed in The Discourse on Method, animals which have phonatory organs like parrots reproduce the sounds of human language, but without understanding them. They just mimic the sounds they hear. They therefore have a language, but no thought.
Animal language is innate, while human language is learned. Animals do not need to learn to communicate with their peers. They do it spontaneously, naturally, from an early age, by instinct. According to Emile Benveniste, a natural language, that of animals, is closely linked to needs: in bees, the scout can only transmit information concerning the direction, height and distance of a source of honey, while an artificial language, like human language, is transmitted through education and culture and is not riveted to needs and instinct: human language is capable of transmitting all kinds of ideas. The child learns to speak thanks to the education transmitted by his relatives, his parents, his educators. As the example of the wild children shows, an uneducated child will never know how to speak.
There is a relationship between language, culture and the idea of progress: people make progress because they have a conventional language that they can modify at will, by inventing new words. There is a history of thought, for there are always new words appearing. Mathematical language has enabled man to “make himself the master and owner of nature”.
Language is not specifically tied to a specialized organ. Unlike animal language, human language is not innate, but acquired. The cultural dimension of language refers to a properly human faculty: consciousness, the mind and explains that man has a History.
Renan said that humanity was made up of more dead than living “and Bernard de Chartres that we were” dwarves perched on the shoulders of giants. “The experience of the men who preceded us does not end with their death, it subsists in the form of tools, oral or written words, monuments and it accumulates “without term”, there are no limits to the accumulation of knowledge and human know-how. Scientists will always make new discoveries, observe new planets, unravel new mysteries.
Even more than cooperation and transmission, it is this indefinite accumulation that elevates man above the beast.
This accumulation is only possible in and by society. Man is above all a social animal, a “being of relationship”, says Saint-Exupéry. It is life in society that allows the implementation of the three main factors of hominization: cooperation, transmission and accumulation.
The one who thinks that “evolution created woman” is Pascal Picq (link), not Blaise: who would have been a creationist if he hadn’t thought it was a bit anachronistic.
When are you going to explain a text by François Hollande on the toothless, or one by Macron on people who are nothing?
In “text explanation” the author tells us: “flowers do not grow vertically”.
This excellent presentation is limited by its subject: knowledge is described as an accumulation. So much so that it is almost exclusively a question of cumulative effect: knowledge, techniques and even the number of dead more numerous than the living.
It seems to me that the word “judgment” only appears once. On the contrary, the words relating to accumulation, to quantity, are legion. However, alongside the principle of knowledge (1) (which owes its rise above all to the invention of writing: verbal and mathematical), there is the principle of judgment.
This is not really a criticism on my part as I understand that this is not the subject of this article on Pascal.
But if man wants to progress and maintain a society, he must also perfect his judgment. However, I have the feeling that he put this task on “pause”. Emotion has replaced judgment which, neglected, no longer evolves. So much so that, even living in society, man gradually returns to the animal state. I won’t talk about wildness because it is a much bigger problem than that.
The conversation of contemporaries with the Ancients through books, which strengthened our critical thinking and our judgment, is discarded in favor of surface discussions between increasingly uncultivated contemporaries. The controversy over the news item has replaced the great cause, the debate of ideas. Work on yourself to have better judgment? What good is it since my instinct, my emotion and my famous “good sense” make me an individual steeped in certainties. Principle of immediacy, responsiveness and visibility of my Self. Donald Trump is quite an archetype on this point. Judgment sets aside the truth and asserts its opinion by setting up another truth as a truth. Libraries, however, are full of books. But this accumulation is no longer worth anything. We must take the judgment in hand before it degenerates into the worst …
Human beings become animals again even though they are living in society. Society is no longer sufficient to guarantee its positive development. The cumulative effort no longer counts. The contemporary individual believes only in himself. Science without conscience …
What made man go from superstition to faith was not the cumulative effect of knowledge but his need for elevation. It is the written language that made this possible (sacred texts, philosophical texts, literary works: Odyssey, Aeneid, etc.). It was the heightened judgmental faculty that made this possible, not the accumulation and the quantitative transmission. If he had not gone from superstition to faith, man would still see spirits everywhere in nature.
Human beings must therefore pick up where they left off. I’m talking about perfecting your judgment. Judgment is not cumulative. Its nature is different.
Totally agree. I actually added two parts to the original article which only dealt with Pascal’s text: an article on a Pic de la Mirandole text and an article based on an Emile Durkheim text. The reason is that the subject was accompanied by questions and an essay topic: Is man an animal like any other? The cumulative aspect of knowledge is effectively privileged over the critical aspect. If I understand correctly, you regret that science does not criticize itself in its aims, but only in its procedures. It’s absolutely true.
@Robin Guilloux science cannot criticize itself in its aims, it is only in its procedures that it exists. She cannot have sights, she discovers, and cannot know in advance (that would be a real paradox!) What she is going to discover. Just look at the discovery (fortuitous, but essential) of penicillin.
@Taverne we come to an essential crossroads: yes, a normal man accumulates knowledge. Others, undoubtedly perverted, can only accumulate power and / or money, which when they die is lost. This is in a way selfish, they do not participate in the human chain, but have moved away from it probably because they did not discover its existence, or on purpose because “their values” do not include this concept. Even more, they will discover that they are not alone, very few others “benefit” (ahem) from the same anomaly, which will lead them to cooperate against the rest of humanity (or should I say, more simply, AGAINST HUMANITY? which they would not really be part of)
Diverting Blaise Pascal’s text to feed theses in total opposition to his words and his faith is the sign of regression and not of progress.
The word “progress” used by Blaise Pascal should be understood in a moral sense. And it reads as the moral progress a man can achieve during his lifetime. Blaise Pascal, despite his genius, never falls into rational drunkenness.
You use Blaise Pascal’s words to feed historical rationalism by throwing Christianity into it. The present shows you that the God-progress takes those who follow him to hell because he is simply a material idol. The dream of humanity 2.0 genetically modified in this delirium of progress is always the same fall of man who wants to make himself God: either by the forbidden fruit, or by his reason, or by his science.
I did not attribute to Pascal the idea that Christian theology was embodied in the idea of progress. It would be completely anachronistic. Pascal is not Hegel. I said because I believe it that Christianity has allowed, no doubt in spite of itself, the idea of progress insofar as it represents a linear and no longer cyclical conception of History: creation – redemption – parousia. Pascal is a Christian and a man of science. He sees no contradiction in being both at the same time, even though he thinks (he said so) that philosophy and science are not worth an hour of trouble beside the question of salvation. He is only interested in a limited area of science, physics, an area in which he has excelled (evidence and laws of atmospheric pressure and vacuum); for him, there is indeed progress in this field compared to the Ancients to Aristotle who did not believe it at least, because Democritus believed in emptiness. On the other hand, the new astronomical space inaugurated by Galileo and Giordano Bruno scares him : “The eternal silence of these infinite spaces frightens me. Perhaps because being confronted with an infinite space seemingly empty of God can give the temptation to atheism. Pascal was a man of the 17th century, concerned with limits, with measure. I think that the unbridled progress of science and technology (today transhumanism, the atomic weapon, genetic manipulations) and atheism or the axiological neutrality of science and technology would have frightened him as truly diabolical (“science without conscience …)
Blaise Pascal is also a genius in mathematics (demonstration of the 32nd axiom of Euclid then a child, treatise on conics then adolescent, calculus of probabilities, etc …). He invents the calculator not for technical pleasure or to enrich himself but to respect the Fourth Commandment. I have already mentioned in an article his correspondence with Pierre Fermat: https: //www.agoravox.fr/actualites/religions / article / savoir-crois-210724I recommend the film “Blaise Pascal” by Fellini published in 1972: https: //www.youtube.com/watch? v = RZkWjCdI5XI&ab_channel = Philosophie21
The term “progress” no longer has the same meaning between the 17th century and today. Today technical progress and the illusion of historical progress have misled the word.
Infinite spaces, whether mathematical or physical, were not to frighten Blaise Pascal so much. On the other hand, what frightened him was this spirit which he reproached René Descartes for always wanting to bring God out of his creation.
You’re welcome ! The film is by Rossellini and not Fellini as I said by mistake. It should be noted that for a long time it was difficult to access. “Blaise Pascal” is very successful while “Cartesius” by the same director is a failure. As for the “Socrate”, I had it only in original version with English subtitles and I see that the youtubeur put French subtitles this which will finally allow it to be read.
I just watched Rossellini’s remarkable Pascal film. Thank you once again for letting me know.
Pierre Arditi is a remarkable Pascal. I don’t know who they chose to play Descartes during his (unique?) Meeting with Pascal, but he is crying out for the truth.
At first the music may seem unpleasant but it is well chosen. It expresses the rigorous piety of the family which will lead them to Port-Royal. “The Night of Fire” is referred to with modesty. You absolutely have to know the faith of your sister Jacqueline and her niece Marguerite Perier to understand the spirit of this family. The film gently awakens the viewer to hear that this aspect takes precedence over the rest.
This film of its kind is in complete opposition to modern entertainment films where it is a question of dazzling the viewer with stunts, special effects and “punchlines”.
Infinite spaces, whether mathematical or physical, were not to frighten Blaise Pascal so much. On the other hand, what frightened him was this spirit that he reproached René Descartes for always wanting to bring God out of his creation. This one is very good. This is the direct consequence of monotheism as invented by the Hebrews.
God is absent from his creation in the mental universe in question, but in compensation he works the miracles he wants there.
I greatly prefer the pantheistic vision of a Spinoza where God is consubstantial with Creation and therefore has no need to work miracles there since everything is perfect from a global point of view (and only from this point of view ).
Well I understood that the whole presentation is Pascal’s point of view but it is quite wrong …
The notion of instinct has long since passed in the trash in ethology. Evolved animals (mammals) rely more on intelligence than instinct.
Lions, wild dogs, are capable of strategy and hunting tactics. Monkeys are capable of inventions which they pass on to their offspring.
As for the notion of progress, it should also be put into perspective. Civilizations are deadly and ours will sooner or later be forgotten with all that it has created …
On the other hand, I do not agree with Yann Esteveny above, the notion of progress is indeed a Christian notion, Christianity having broken following Judaism with the notion of cycles.
In a silly and false way since modern science keeps showing us cycles at all levels.
Christianity therefore has a heavy responsibility in this cult of progress – deadly – and which leads man to believe that he is fundamentally immortal … (in connection with this denial of death brought about by the perpetual immortality of life after death)
Yes, that’s Pascal’s point of view, Descartes’s point of view too. I know that we made important discoveries in the field of animal ethology which modified the point of view that we had on animals, but I did not mention them so as not to lengthen the ‘article which is already long enough like that! I think that despite all these discoveries, there is one point that does not change, and that is that animal behavior is regulated by instinct (there is a limit more or less large depending on the species, but a limit) while human behavior is not regulated by instinct, but by laws, taboos, prohibitions, etc. In other words, man is freer than animals, hence the ambivalent idea of progress. He has the option of destroying himself or trying to make himself immortal. Pic de la Mirandole already sees this double aspect (positive and negative), which he translates into theological terms.
@Robin Guilloux It’s all the same annoying, this way of being judge and party, to get on the top step of creation. An antinomic operation of intelligence, which also means “to be in harmony”. Man has completely cut himself off from nature, to the point of endangering himself, moreover, in these twilight days, when the general extinction of species risks dragging him into the same abyss … man would have intelligence, and animals instinct. At the time of the Valladolid controversy, Indians were considered animals. If major discoveries have been made about the intelligence of animals, it is because a new sensitivity allows it. In the same way that she was able to admit that women also had souls, at one time. It is true that we now realize that everything that seemed to be exclusive to man: language, funeral rites, complex mental operations, and even humor, were common to many animals. Should we take as negligible material those which lack one or more of these productions? We see that jellyfish have superior mental operations than humans. Let dolphins and whales exchange thousands of miles away. Hearing that man is freer than animal leaves me dreaming, when I see my neighbor mowing his lawn twice a week, a slave welded to his machine and to a program supported by the neighborhood. Fragile from birth, hairless but having like other apes a preceptor thumb, which will allow him to grasp and experience, the domination of man over nature has finally proved tragic. Because the megalomania and the certainty of being the Ouain de Dieu, a frank ineptitude, It is precisely this increased freedom, linked to the techniques which is at the origin of our current misfortunes, cutting us off from the intelligence of the world. This morning I read an article where it was about the return to favor of glyphosate, from 2024, which four European countries, including France, have cleared of any carcinogenic threat. Beyond this aberrant decision, it is stipulated that this investigation only concerned human health, and not animals or nature. It seems natural to want to deny it in order to continue our predations. We constantly use our intelligence to construct fallacies, justifications at worst, to accommodate ourselves to horror.
Very good post. We are in phase. This desired radical separation between man and animals (and nature in general) was an inept idea invented by biblical monotheism.
The sciences give off a new image of intelligent nature from the lowest manifestations of life.
The famous blob for example, unicellular capable of memory and anticipation and yet without any brain matter …
A pantheistic view of things would ultimately prove to be better than the old monotheistic view with a God completely separate from things, which ipso facto leads to a devaluation of the latter.
Do you know Blaise Pascal’s intuition? It was in the midst of general atheism that an extraordinary intuition came to shake Pascal’s brain and restore to him the ancient knowledge of the divine essence. Here are the circumstances: One day when he was walking in Neuilly, his horses got carried away and dragged him towards the Seine where they rushed, and they would have made him fall there himself if, fortunately, the tiller of his carriage would not have crashed against the bridge. Pascal escaped death, but the shock he received activated the intuitive region of his brain; a great truth appeared to him and from that day a new life began for him. He gave up secular studies, the world, and only occupied himself with thought. Throughout his life he kept the utmost secrecy as to the nature of the Truth revealed to him as a result of the accident which shook his brain, but, at his death, his family found sewn to the lining of his doublet a enigmatic paper, wrapped in parchment, which, according to its date, must have been there eight years. This paper bears the following lines, separated in a completely arbitrary fashion: “The year of grace 1654.” Monday, November 23, day of Saint Clement, pope and martyr. “From about half past ten in the evening, until ‘at about half past midnight, Fire. “God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, name of philosophers and scholars, certainty, certainty, feeling, joy, peace, forgetfulness of the world and of everything except God.” Joy , joy, joy, tears of joy, total and sweet renunciation. From that moment, Pascal completely severed his relations with society, he retired to Port-Royal des Champs and was so afraid of any contact with ignorant humanity that he went so far as to abuse his sister, Mme Périer, who left him. obsessed with maternal care.Why did Pascal keep so great a secret about what was revealed to him with certainty on that momentous night? Because the sex of the Godhead of the ancient Israelites, which he suddenly understood, was the great mystery which had been hidden in antiquity by the Jews, who no longer spoke his name. This Deity, Hevah, was completely concealed under the name Jehovah which modern exegetes had just given him (on this subject, see the article entitled From Israelism to Judaism). Pascal, on coming spontaneously to the discovery that the first Divinity of the Hebrews was a Goddess, was appalled at the distance that this certainty was going to create between him and other men; he condemned himself to silence rather than deliver to skepticism and sarcasm such a great truth. He felt the impossibility of making his contemporaries understand the theogonic origin of religions, feeling that, if he spoke, all the wrath of the Church would fall on him. , for him, a revelation of the same kind as that which made him know the name of the Divinity. He understood that the Homer, the Pythagoras, the Isaiah, the Jeremiah, etc., are the great women of antiquity who have been masculinized. This is all historical Truth that was revealed to Pascal by intuition. And this gave him such estrangement from the world of lies in which he had lived until then, that he now wanted to live in solitude and silence, so as not to alter the great interior joy that the possession of a certitude. As for this sentence: “total and gentle renunciation”, it is easily explained. It was male pride that created the error that he renounced. He published the Provincials in 1656-1657; his Thoughts were not published until after his death.
Do not make the “Night of Fire” a Kabbalistic revelation. It is a Christian revelation where he sees the continuity between the Old and New Testaments. The “Pensées” and “The Provincials” sufficiently show the fidelity of his faith.
@ Stretch have you read Rushdie’s Satanic Verses? We learn there that at a young age, like the other Bedouins, the one who later became Mohammed was a pantheist, and that even for him and the people of his corner four great goddesses stood out. No wonder, if the doctors of religion mistreated him so much it contradicted all their meticulously monotheistic teaching.
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@ Stretch have you read Rushdie’s Satanic Verses? We learn that at a young age, (…)
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Do not make the “Night of Fire” a Kabbalistic revelation. (…)
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