Being a fan of Sci-Fi, I can tell that one of the pre-occupations of mankind is learning how to live forever. Shallow as that may sound, it’s an unconscious desire of every human, including YOU.
Well, I learnt the secret of living forever in the most unlikely places-rap music.50 Cent, in the euphoria of releasing his first album raps, “When I die, they’ll read this and say a genius wrote it”. Ludacris in the first song off his album, Chicken n Beer, raps, “Through this music, I’ll still be heard if I’m dead”.
Three years ago, I came across a booklet in my house, it was a christian booklet written by Blaise Pascal. Till that moment, I had not known Blaise Pascal to be a writer, even a writer of christian books. I only knew him as a 17th Century Mathematician, not as a deep-faithed christian. That book was titled, Pensées (I read and write French) but its contents were published in English. I could deduce that it was a book that carried Pascal’s deepest thoughts. It’s one of the most astounding arguments for belief in the christian faith that I’ve ever read, but it was written prosaically like a literary work and I later learned that it is hailed as “the most eloquent book in French prose.”
In Pensées, Pascal surveys
several philosophical paradoxes: infinity
and nothing, faith and reason, soul and
matter, death and life, meaning and vanity—seemingly arriving at no definitive conclusions besides humility, ignorance, and grace.
What if Blaise Pascal had decided not to write his thoughts, for he died at the young age of 39.
Pascal’s work in Mathematics was already so precocious that famed philosopher and mathematician Rene Descartes was convinced that Pascal’s
father had written it. Descartes dismissed it with a sniff: “I do not find it
strange that he has offered demonstrations about conics more
appropriate than those of the ancients,”
adding, “but other matters related to this subject can be proposed that would scarcely occur to a 16 year old child.”
In 1642, in an effort to ease his father’s
endless, exhausting calculations, and
recalculations, of taxes owed and paid, Pascal, not yet 19, constructed a
mechanical calculator capable of addition
and subtraction, called Pascal’s calculator. 400 years later, these machines are widely regarded as the first computers and are the pioneers of computer engineering.
Today, there are limited copies of Blaise Pascal’s writing, especially the book, Pensees. It is mostly published with the original title Apologie de la religion Chrétienne (“Defense of the Christian Religion”) but I’m sure the book will never be phased out. It was Blaise Pascal’s last writing and an immortal sign of his creative genius as a writer.
He died, his last words being “May God never abandon me,” and was buried in the cemetery of Saint-Étienne-du-Mont.
Unleashing your creative side makes you immortal.
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