Pascal's Pensées: Week 23, Avoiding Yourself


I have often said that the sole cause of our unhappiness is that we do not know how to stay quietly in our room.


We avoid being alone with ourselves. And that avoidance creates and perpetuates our unhappiness.

When the mind quiets we come face to face with the reality of who we are. And most of us find this to be a very uncomfortable encounter. 

I recall once sitting down in the silence of a Catholic church. Just to sit and rest a bit. And sitting there in the quiet I started to weep. Out of nowhere my deep brokenness rose up and confronted me. I hadn't done a thing to bring it into consciousness. I was just sitting there quietly. Then suddenly, I came into view. And when I saw myself, I wept. 

Seeking to avoid moments like this, our default condition is one of agitation and restlessness. We can't, won't, sit still for fear of encountering ourselves. 

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