At the age of 46, I find that much of the struggles I have had over the last 40 years are represented in the tension between the work of Pascal and Montaigne. On the one hand I have focused on the ultimate as did Pascal; on the other intuited that the ultimate may be best honored by a relishing of life and all its physicality. In any event, I share with Pascal, Montaigne, and even Descartes a deep sense of uncertainty.
It’s strange for me that for all of these years, I see so much of my own struggles reflected in the writings of these men who long since ceased from their own. I think for some of us, the notion of the insipient and the ultimate becomes painfully apparent – our condition, our uncertainty, becomes inescapable. Pascal’s response was nearly the opposite of Montaigne’s.