Blaise Pascal in his Pensées47–172, notes with coldness:
Thus we never live, but we hope to live, and, always disposing ourselves to be happy, it is inevitable that we will never be happy.
But what does Pascal mean by this? How does Blaise Pascal explain our difficulty to reach happiness, or even the total impossibility to be happy?
If Pascal arrives at such a result, it is at the end of an accomplished reflection on time and the present.
For Pascal, happiness depends on the quality of our thoughts. But our thoughts are inseparable from time. This is why Pascal declares,“Let everyone examine his thoughts. He will find them all occupied with the past or the future.”
The problem comes from the fact that we do not take the present as the end, that is, the goal of our thoughts and our lives. It is always the future, the future, which constitutes the end. From this it is possible to understand this statement of Pascal, we“hope to live”, we live for the future.
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