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Blaise Pascal: Reasons of the Heart (Library of Religious Biography)

by Marvin R. O'Connell, Allen C. Guelzo

Buy the book: Marvin R. O'Connell. Blaise Pascal: Reasons of the Heart (Library of Religious Biography)

Release Date: July, 1997

Edition: Paperback

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Buy the book: Marvin R. O'Connell. Blaise Pascal: Reasons of the Heart (Library of Religious Biography)


BlueJay54 on Blaise Pascal ??? Please

Bluejay54 You Had Me interested at the beginning with your comments. You sounded reasonably intelligent until I came to your comment:

Mind you, one should not expect to learn this from a Christian writer and a Christian publishing house, but Pascal's natal astrology chart clearly illustrates the problems and paradoxes that he faced in life: Venus in Cancer squaring the Moon's Nodes and opposing Mars in Capricorn, with healing Chiron in Taurus, and a Stellium (Jupiter conjunct Saturn conjunct Uranus) in Leo. No wonder Pascal felt so torn by fame-and-fortune seeking of his keen mind, yet was irresistibly drawn to a fiery fundamentalism and an ascetic life-style!

Christianity, Pascal--NO God Himself--can't be Viewed, Explained, argued Logically, or Intelligently from "ASTROLOGICAL" Premises.

I did however find your comments, amusing, and commical.

From Amazon.com



What reasons?

Make no mistake: this is *not* a book about Pascal the man, nor even a book about Pascal the (ascetic) Christian, but an excruciatingly painful book about the minutiae of Pasal's historical milieu and a long-winded discussion of the Jesuit/Jansenist dispute. I found the writing awkward in the extreme, with topical areas abstruse and singularly irrelevant to learning anything particularly useful about Pascal's life. (Well, given Pascal's later penchant for asceticism and renunciation of all pleasures--like enjoying steak dinners, the company of friends, or exercising his intellectual curiosity by inventing probability theory--at least that style was rhetorically appropriate!) Most of what *was" useful here can easily be found elsewhere. For example, when the converted Pascal visited his secular friends, he used to wear a belt studded with pins or nails on the inside so they poked him painfully in the waist, lest he enjoy their company too much. This fact I discovered in Guinness' introductory essay to Houston's "Mind on Fire" and *not* in the present book. In fact, I learned more about Pascal there and from on-line biographies that from this piece of work. Mind you, one should not expect to learn this from a Christian writer and a Christian publishing house, but Pascal's natal astrology chart clearly illustrates the problems and paradoxes that he faced in life: Venus in Cancer squaring the Moon's Nodes and opposing Mars in Capricorn, with healing Chiron in Taurus, and a Stellium (Jupiter conjunct Saturn conjunct Uranus) in Leo. No wonder Pascal felt so torn by fame-and-fortune seeking of his keen mind, yet was irresistibly drawn to a fiery fundamentalism and an ascetic life-style! But all Mr. O'Connell can do is muster up a bit of pity for poor Blaise's "restless heart [that] never quite purged itself of a lust for fame and worldly success [6]." Overall, the book did virtually nothing to illuminate the quote that inspired the title: "The heart has its reasons, of which Reason knows nothing," which was my reason for reading the book. Nor does it adequately explain other paradoxes: How could a genius like Pascal, fundamentalist or not, turn in a friend to the religious police for being a heretic? Why he was so bonded to his sister and why, with Cancer so prominent in his chart, did he never marry? Why his extremist embrace of original sin and human depravity? The book may have value or even be a big hit among believing Christians. But for a pagan neo-Vedantist yogi like me, this book shed absolutely no light at all on how a genius like Pascal wrestled with Ego to reconcile himself to Abstinence or (to paraphrase Kant) how he denied Reason in order to affirm Spirit. I'll have to find those reasons elsewhere....

From Amazon.com


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