The heart has its reasons, of which reason knows nothing  

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The heart has its reasons, of which reason knows nothing is a dictum from the Pensées (1669) by Blaise Pascal. It is here illustrated by Odilon Redon (c. 1887).
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The heart has its reasons, of which reason knows nothing is a dictum from the Pensées (1669) by Blaise Pascal. It is here illustrated by Odilon Redon (c. 1887).

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The heart has its reasons, of which reason knows nothing (French: Le cœur a ses raisons que la raison ne connaît pas) is a popular dictum from the Pensées by Blaise Pascal. It was depicted by Odilon Redon in 1887 as a man who inserts his hand into his rib cage to search for his heart. (illustration right).

276. M. de Roannez said: “Reasons come to me afterwards, but at first a thing pleases or shocks me without my knowing the reason, and yet it shocks me for that reason which I only discover afterwards.” But I believe, not that it shocked him for the reasons which were found afterwards, but that these reasons were only found because it shocked him.[1]
277. The heart has its reasons, which reason does not know. We feel it in a thousand things. I say that the heart naturally loves the Universal Being, and also itself naturally, according as it gives itself to them; and it hardens itself against one or the other at its will. You have rejected the one and kept the other. Is it by reason that you love yourself.[2]


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