An excerpt from Pascal’s Pensees:
666. Fascination. Somnum suum. Figura hujus mundi.
The Eucharist. Comedes panem tuum. Panem nostrum.
Inimici Dei terram lingent.122 Sinners lick the dust, that is to say, love earthly pleasures.
The Old Testament contains the types of future joy, and the New contains the means of arriving at it. The types were of joy; the means of penitence; and nevertheless the Paschal Lamb was eaten with bitter herbs, cum amaritudinibus.
Singularis sum ego donec transeam. Jesus Christ before His death was almost the only martyr.
Blaise Pascal was a philosopher who contributed to a variety of academic disciplines. I find that his fragmented writings in Pensees are the most fascinating artifact left of the man. It was compiled from a handful of notes and letters and scraps. It offers a glimpse into the innerworkings of a great man, a man of prodigious contribution and genius.
The passage in bold resonates with me. It describes those who, swept up in a world of self-indulgence, go about “licking the earth”. While I’m no religious advocate, I believe there is a lot of truth in the bible and other religious texts. I think that sometimes secular and biblical minds get caught up in the differences they share rather than their similarities. They often talk past each other when talking about the same thing.
Whether you’re a Christian or secularist doesn’t detract from the fact that preserving the self is important. Ravaging it with temporal self indulgences, material luxury, and cheap thrills won’t leave you any more of a person. While the Christian equates this life to that of a sinner, a secularist would just look at this man and think how empty his inner life must be if he feels the need to continually fill it with such vapid pursuits and possessions.