Daily Riches: Intolerable Solitude (Blaise Pascal)

“Man finds nothing so intolerable as to be in a state of complete rest,

without passions without occupation, without diversion, without effort.
Then he faces his nullity, loneliness, inadequacy,
dependence, helplessness, emptiness.
And at once there well up from the depths of his soul
boredom, gloom, depression, chagrin, resentment, despair.”
Blaise Pascal

“I have become like a bird alone on a roof.” Psalm 102:7

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Do you find it “intolerable” when you’re alone with nothing to do and nothing to distract you?  to be “in a state of complete rest?”
  • This experience seems pretty unpleasant, sometimes even dangerous (“despair”), and yet, isn’t Pascal commending it to us? Why do you suppose that is?
  • Are you willing to face your “nullity [nothingness], loneliness, inadequacy, dependence, helplessness, [and] emptiness … in a state of complete rest?” What plan can you make to begin to try that? Who do you know who can help guide or encourage you?

Abba, I want to own my neediness and helplessness before you, to turn to you always and learn not to depend on myself. Teach me to come into your presence and just “rest.”


For More: Pensees by Blaise Pascal


The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day in less than 400 words. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

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