Hermeneutics

I actually read this in relation to user experience design. But, being philosophical, its truth transcends, and I really appreciated it.

“To understand the whole of a book it is necessary to grasp its individual words and sentences, but those words and sentences only have meaning within the larger context of the book, hence interpretation must be a matter of constant revision: revising one’s sense of the whole as one grasps the individual parts, and revising one’s sense of the parts as the meaning of the whole emerges.” -Paul Kidder – Professor of Philosophy in Gadamer for Architects

Blindness and Wretchedness

“When I see the blindness and wretchedness of man, when I regard the whole silent universe, and man without light, left to himself, and as it were, lost in this corner of the universe, without knowing who has put him there, what he has come to do, what will become of him at death , and incapable of all knowledge, I become terrified…. And there upon I wonder how people in a condition so wretched do not fall into despair. I see other persons around me of a like nature. I ask them if they are better informed than I am. They tell me that they are not. And thereupon these wretched and lost beings, having looked around them and seen some pleasing objects, have given and attached themselves to them. For my own part, I have not been able to attach myself to them, and, considering how strongly it appears that there is something else than what I see, I have examined whether this God has not left some sign of Himself.”

-Blaise Pascal, “Pensees

Pain

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.”
James Baldwin