“Holocene” by Bon Iver – on humility, awe, and magnificence

Bon Iver (Justin Vernon) is a favorite musical artist of mine although I admit to having no idea what most of his songs are about. I find him more difficult in this regard than Andrew Bird who is also difficult but with work (and imagination?) I was able (I thought) to make some progress.

But the following repeated part of Holocene seemed to me to be a plain statement that possibly summarizes the point he was making in this song. The official video also seemed to confirm what I thought may have been his point. Continue reading

“The heart has its reasons, which reason does not know” – Blaise Pascal

blaise-pascal

277. The heart has its reasons, which reason does not know. We feel it
in a thousand things. I say that the heart naturally loves the
Universal Being, and also itself naturally, according as it gives
itself to them; and it hardens itself against one or the other at its
will. You have rejected the one and kept the other. Is it by reason
that you love yourself?

278. It is the heart which experiences God, and not the reason. This,
then, is faith: God felt by the heart, not by the reason.

345. Reason commands us far more imperiously than a master; for in disobeying the one we are unfortunate, and in disobeying the other we are fools.

346. Thought constitutes the greatness of man.

347. Man is but a reed, the most feeble thing in nature; but he is a thinking reed. The entire universe need not arm itself to crush him. A vapour, a drop of water suffices to kill him. But, if the universe were to crush him, man would still be more noble than that which killed him, because he knows that he dies and the advantage which the universe has over him; the universe knows nothing of this. All our dignity consists, then, in thought. By it we must elevate ourselves, and not by space and time which we cannot fill. Let us endeavour, then, to think well; this is the principle of morality.

348. A thinking reed.—It is not from space that I must seek my dignity, but from the government of my thought. I shall have no more if I possess worlds. By space the universe encompasses and swallows me up like an atom; by thought I comprehend the world.

349. Immateriality of the soul—Philosophers who have mastered their passions. What matter could do that?

From Pensees by Blaise Pascal

BMC @ Manifest Propensity, 2013

“We are inveterate poets” – C. S. Lewis

CSLewis

Painting: “The Mind of C.S.Lewis-A Wardrobe of Imagination” by Jim Hutchinson

“We are inveterate poets. When a quantity is very great we cease to regard it as a mere quantity. Our imaginations awake. Instead of mere quantity, we now have a quality-the sublime….Men of sensibility look up on the night sky with awe: brutal and stupid men do not. When the silence of the eternal spaces terrified Pascal, it was Pascal’s own greatness that enabled them to do so; to be frightened by the bigness of the nebulae is, almost literally, to be frightened of our own shadow. For light years and geological periods are mere arithmetic until the shadow of man, the poet, the maker of myths, falls upon them. As a Christian, I do not say we are wrong to tremble at that shadow; for I believe it to be the shadow of the image of God. But if the vastness of Nature ever threatens to overcrow our spirits, we must remember that it is only Nature spiritualized by human imagination which does so.”

From “Miracles” by C. S. Lewis

BMC @ Manifest Propensity, 2013.