Pascal’s Wager (2/15/21)

When my mind gets caught in crazy loops
of unknown futures, hopes, and expectations –
I think of Pascal’s famous wager:

He framed it in Christian terms:
Either there is a God, or there isn’t.
If there is, building one’s life around God’s will
is the only rational thing to do
and will reap great benefit.
If there isn’t, building one’s life around the possibility
of God’s existence is still a rational act.
Assuming God’s existence brings everything to gain,
and nothing to lose.

Orthodox religion no longer satisfies me,
But Pascal’s wager still intrigues me.
Either the Great Tao, the Mystery, exists –
or the whole thing is random nonsense.
Basing my life on the existence of a coherent Mystery
is a wager I’m quite willing to make.
And if that Mystery exists,
it follows that it permeates the Cosmos
to the smallest quantum particle.
And the minuscule moments of my life
are part of an eternal, coherent flow
that I can trust.
Each moment brings exactly what is needed.
What seems gain, or loss, is simply flow
of which I am a part,
and from which I cannot be separated.

Hard to do,
but rationally,
no other choice makes sense,
and I get to savor every moment of my life!

Author: William Martin

Taoist teacher and consultant

7 thoughts on “Pascal’s Wager (2/15/21)”

  1. My wife and I have discussed this over the years. While we have gone through different phases of belief or unbelief, one thing we have always said was “we have known the presence of g-d from the time we were children.” The knowing is deep and is much more than a mind knowing. Thanks for your writing and sharing your journey.


  2. A major transformation for me occurred seven years ago when all inner divisions dropped away as did all seeking. I saw all religions as one pointing in the same direction and each with their own dogma, even Buddhism. None of it was/is necessary any longer, at least for me.


    1. Yes! Even when my conditioned mind insists it is still seeking, I know that to be a silly waste of time. That mind thrives on seeking and has no interesting in “finding.”


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