Blaise Pascal (June 19, 1623 – August 19, 1662)
Now, here’s an interesting bit of wisdom from the 17th century, as discussed in “The Truth Behind the Bible Code”:
“Pascal’s wager” is his application of statistical mathematics — not quite rigorously, but more than metaphorically — to the question of God’s existence: that in the absence of certainty, the odds of His existence, and of the benefits of His existence, generally outweigh the odds against — and the price of disbelief. It was, in effect, the first cost-benefit analysis, as applied to the most important kind of cure: that of the soul. For the scrupulously rational man, he concluded, faith is the more, not less, rational choice. ‘The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.’ This famous aphorism comes from a man whose mind operated at the very pinnacle of rational clarity, precision, and brilliance.
On the night of November 23, 1654, eight years before his death, Pascal underwent a two-hour-long mystical experience, the details of which he recorded on parchment. To the end of his days, Pascal kept this parchment sewn into the tunic he wore. When one tunic wore out, he transferred it to the next. It begins:
God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, not of philosophers and scholars;
Certainty, certainty, heartfelt, joy, peace . . .
How was Pascal able to reconcile the seeming contradiction between faith and reason, and to maintain such a high level of each? A careful reading of his writings on miracles provides the answer: Pascal understood intuitively that the material world was intrinsically probabilistic; that it was not, as the emerging Enlightenment philosophy implicitly presumed, deterministic, that is, a gigantic machine who every subsequent state was wholly determined by its preceding ones. For that reason Pascal was able to attain such keen insights into statistics before so many others. (page 103)
It’s not difficult to see why Pascal was such a visionary: the Yod pointing to Pluto supported by Neptune and the Ascendant. And yet is the triplicity of planetary couplets that shows his genius: the Moon conjunct Mercury @ 28 Cancer; Jupiter and Saturn conjunct around 3 Leo; and finally Venus conjunct Uranus around 10 Leo (inconjunct Mars @ 13 Capricorn). Chiron is @ 18 Pisces in the 3rd House of knowledge. A veritable spider’s web of energy.
Equally, the chart for his mystical experience demonstrates a similar Yod, this time pointing at the Moon in Libra, supported by Jupiter and the Midheaven.
It’s only when you compare the two charts that the bigger picture emerges. The only Yod between the charts points back at Pluto in Pascal’s chart. This time the transiting Sun (conjunct his natal Ascendant) is lined up with the transiting Mars (conjunct his natal Neptune). There are other inconjuncts (five in total) that support this ‘revelation’. This moment of his life was monumental. It eclipses his death chart completely. (I haven’t included that one because it is superfluous to our task at hand.)