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Saturday, December 14, 2019

Don't spiral

Posting will be light today. We've got friends coming over for holiday drinks and whatnot, so I will leave you to contemplate where you've heard this before, more or less, prior to encountering Pascal's PENSÉES.

Imagination—It is that deceitful part in man, that mistress of error and falsity, the more deceptive that she is not always so; for she would be an infallible rule of truth, if she were an infallible rule of falsehood. But being most generally false, she gives no sign of her nature, impressing the same character on the true and the false.

I do not speak of fools, I speak of the wisest men; and it is among them that the imagination has the great gift of persuasion. Reason protests in vain; it cannot set a true value on things.

This arrogant power, the enemy of reason, who likes to rule and dominate it, has established in man a second nature to show how all-powerful she is. She makes men happy and sad, healthy and sick, rich and poor; she compels reason to believe, doubt, and deny; she blunts the senses, or quickens them; she has her fools and sages; and nothing vexes us more than to see that she fills her devotees with a satisfaction far more full and entire than does reason. Those who have a lively imagination are a great deal more pleased with themselves than the wise can reasonably be. They look down upon men with haughtiness; they argue with boldness and confidence, others with fear and diffidence; and this gaiety of countenance often gives them the advantage in the opinion of the hearers, such favour have the imaginary wise in the eyes of judges of like nature. Imagination cannot make fools wise; but she can make them happy, to the envy of reason which can only make its friends miserable; the one covers them with glory, the other with shame.

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33 Comments:

Blogger Dos Voltz December 14, 2019 9:37 AM  

Dang, this is good stuff. Gotta get me some more of this to while away the holidays!

Blogger Rick December 14, 2019 10:00 AM  

Are you talking about why you won’t debate on the subject of theology — since to you it is, or would be, basically an exercise in “imagination vs imagination”?

Blogger Beau December 14, 2019 10:01 AM  

Consider, we are made in His Image. He is the Creator. Our Imagination is the attribute He has bestowed upon us to mimic, and thus obtain a twinkling of understanding of His being, insofar as the finite can discern the infinite. Using our imagination satisfies because it is the exercise of that attribute given to making us in His image. We are fulfilled, but the fly in the ointment is was are also Fallen. Our exercise is tainted, we become inventors of evil. The problem isn't the imagination, it is sin in our hearts, mind, and will. Address the evil, then under the blood, authority, and sovereignty of Jesus let the imagination soar, an exercise both satisfying and Good.

Blogger Weouro December 14, 2019 10:26 AM  

Among the faculties of the soul it sounds like Imagination is the Alpha and Reason may be a Delta or Omega.

Blogger Shane Bradman December 14, 2019 10:36 AM  

I re-read Lord of the Rings recently and we should be like Sam. Know your task and do everything you can to see it done. Think too much and you fill yourself with doubts, hindering your efforts. Never talk yourself into a failure that you could have avoided if you didn't think so much. Even when things look bad, have hope for your future and never plan for your demise. What the rational man calls delusion, we call high morale. There is a light at the other side of the tunnel and you must keep walking until you reach it.

Blogger Dire Badger December 14, 2019 10:38 AM  

The Truth will never make you happy, but to many men there are more important things than happiness.

Blogger Karen took the Kids December 14, 2019 10:45 AM  

Bought this online as a Christmas gift to myself after hearing the recommendation on the Darkstream. ~$10 on Amazon if anyone's interested. Enjoy your day Vox and readers.

Blogger An Orthodox Christian December 14, 2019 10:52 AM  

Sounds like Belloc describing (((the subjects))) of his book by the same (((title))).

Blogger Doktor Jeep December 14, 2019 11:05 AM  

Imagination....
How much on our heads that we imagine is really imagery that comes not from personal experience but that which was seen on TV and film? How many who never bought a gun think you just go and throw money on a counter and buy a machine gun? How many who have never been to war think it's all action and glory? How many who never drove a cab in a black neighborhood at night think everybody is equal?
So Pascal said this of imagination as it was counter to reason in his time.
Now it is weaponized.

Blogger TRS December 14, 2019 11:16 AM  

casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ; and being in readiness to avenge all disobedience, when your obedience shall be made full.

2 Corinthians 10:5-6

Blogger Azimus December 14, 2019 11:22 AM  

I have this sick feeling that the doors have been closed and I'm on the outside - like the battery to my phone is on 1% and I can't find the charger....

Blogger Azimus December 14, 2019 11:23 AM  

The moderators deserve a day off, thank you moderators! Merry Christmas too, while I'm at it!

Blogger pyrrhus December 14, 2019 11:24 AM  

As the great Richard Feynman said:
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool."

Blogger Ska_Boss December 14, 2019 11:30 AM  

I agree with T.S. Eliot's assertion that Pascal must be studied afresh by men in every generation. But how do you accomplish this in a post-literate society?

Blogger Alen December 14, 2019 12:24 PM  

I suppose this theme can be found in many different places, but one that I found recently was,

“SJWs in the media continue to double down, again and again, and even after an entire year of spreading futile lies, they don't hesitate to make ever more nonsensical statements about the darkly exciting nemesis that stalks their vivid imaginations.”

Excerpt From: Vox Day. “SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police.”

Blogger VD December 14, 2019 12:50 PM  

Are you talking about why you won’t debate on the subject of theology

No. Are you retarded or just semi-illiterate?

Blogger rcocean December 14, 2019 1:11 PM  

Love this:

Imagination cannot make fools wise; but she can make them happy, to the envy of reason which can only make its friends miserable; the one covers them with glory, the other with shame.

Blogger Alen December 14, 2019 1:11 PM  

I’m in general agreement with Beau.

Also, Tolkien developed his well-known notion of sub-creation, which could be relevant here, and which he defined in terms of artistic productivity:

"So it stands to reason that, because God Himself enjoyed creating things, it is perfectly normal and natural for mankind to enjoy creating things. Tolkien termed this as sub-creation, because man cannot create something out of nothing like God, but rather can take things and form them into something new."

Blogger jkmack December 14, 2019 1:17 PM  

@14 You take the ideas and concepts that Pascal discussed and you imbed them in pop culture, cartoons, pop music, dramas, fiction books. You make money while imbedding your ideas in the culture. At least that is how the Jews do it.

Blogger Daniel December 14, 2019 1:37 PM  

Peter Kreeft has a good commentary on Pacscals Pensees. "Christianity for Modern Pagans". Thanks Vox for these readings of Pascal.

Blogger David Ray Milton December 14, 2019 1:45 PM  

Intelligence does not equal virtue. Intelligence is a tool that can be used for either good or evil. It can be used to find truth or to rationa-lies.

Many of the fools in the world are more godly than the wise as the fools just take God’s word for it whereas the wise have to both agree and understand it first.

Blogger Crew December 14, 2019 2:23 PM  

One view on why Americans are so lonely, miserable and depressed!

<a href="http://themostimportantnews.com/archives/americans-are-lonely-miserable-and-depressed-the-legacy-of-a-society-that-has-rejected-family-faith-and-patriotism</a>Americans Are Lonely, Miserable And Depressed – The Legacy Of A Society That Has Rejected Family, Faith And Patriotism</a>

Blogger Fargoth December 14, 2019 2:27 PM  

I notice this too. The greatest testimony to Christ's power I've seen is through those who unquestioningly follow him. Those of us with the inclination to test spiritual matters more...scientifically?...can end up playing catch-up in the gym so to speak.

I have seen the strength of God shine through those who approach him as a child. Esoteric knowledge is certainly not an asset on its own, if at all.

Blogger Knight of Logos December 14, 2019 2:40 PM  

I am thinking of gammas and their delusion bubbles. In their case, their imagination shields them from difficult truth, but it also stunts their growth and leads to a life of cognitive dissonance.

In my opinion, imagination can serve a function, but it must be built on a foundation of rationality, truth, and experience. Otherwise it can easily lead us astray.

Blogger God Emperor Memes December 14, 2019 2:40 PM  

Romans 1:21 - 22

Blogger BarryCuda December 14, 2019 2:53 PM  

SJW v actually clever people

Blogger Steve Samson December 14, 2019 5:10 PM  

"I'd rather be happy than right, any day."

From Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, I forget which character. Struggled with this myself a lot, never sure which side of the equation I'm on.

There's a lot of wisdom hidden in the humour of Hitchhiker's.

Blogger Dark glasses Woody December 14, 2019 5:28 PM  

From the known to unknow and then knowing the line, and to catch myself erring is wisdom sublime.

Blogger Rattlesnake_Kid December 14, 2019 5:36 PM  

The Eternal Gamma

Blogger Falcor December 14, 2019 5:47 PM  

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9

And in the next verse the Lord searches the heart and tries the reins.

I experience the Divine in my heart. At least those are the words I’m left with, because my experience is not through my physical senses or my thoughts.

But a heart separated from God . . . MY heart separated from God? . . . That thought conjures true terror.

And that is a brilliant tactic to achieve malicious control, for a heart separated from God is easily deceived.

Blogger OvergrownHobbit December 15, 2019 12:24 AM  

@5 The land [of Mordor] seemed full of creaking and cracking and sly noises but there was no sound of voice or of foot. Far above the Ephel Duath in the West the night-sky was dim and pale. There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing : there was light and high beauty forever beyond its reach.

Be Sam.

Blogger State Estimation December 15, 2019 12:41 AM  

It is the insidious delusion bubble.

"But being most generally false, she gives no sign of her nature, impressing the same character on the true and the false."

Blogger Jay Will December 15, 2019 12:42 PM  

Become a slave to your imagination and the "out-there" beast will at least be drowned out for some time.

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