This is for those of you who grapple with theories and whose intellectual bend won’t let up. Let’s look at something real in relation to this famous Descartes statement and elucidate some true content.
I replied in one of the comments here that the statement is only correct in one context: when applied to human minds. Outside of this human context the statement is meaningless. Here is the simplicity of ‘why’ it is meaningless.
The original phrase read “Dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum” which translates as “I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am”. It is a postulate to the evidence of the human mind existence and, by extension, the existence of the human in possession of the said mind: you, me, Jack and Jill etc.
Has anyone actually questioned the validity of the statement? Apply this Descartes phrase in relation to a tree. The tree says ‘I think, therefore I am’…. but trees do not think, therefore… they are not? No trees? Is that your true direct experience when you bloody depend on those green friends for every breath you take?
Ego-centric and species-centric humans believe themselves to be the centre of the Universe. They managed to convince themselves somehow, based on ONE statement of ONE French dude that the human mind is where it all exists, that it is the ONLY place where it all exists. This fate hasn’t escaped scores of the 21st century spiritualists, including Jed. Jed’s C-Rex (consciousness is King) conclusion is based on a very shaky premise drawn from the Descartes’ statement:
Only those who are capable of thought – exist.
Talk about the mind fog, huh…… This is what I call the Collective Conscious in action, whereby people borrow one another’s ideas and develop them, very often in the direction opposite of Reality.
The dumbing down is stark. C-Rex conveniently leaves out pretty much everything aside from humans. What about the rest? Amoebas? Dogs? Elephants? Dolphins? Rocks? Water? Viruses? if you doubt they exist – you are a member of the self hypnosis brigade which is unable to approach anything with a healthy dose of scepticism and rational enquiry.
This is ironic, considering Jed’s message ‘Think for yourself’ and considering that Descartes is famous exactly for that – the father of Cartesian analysis and rational thought. I am very sure that, just like the Buddha didn’t envision the long-term consequences of his ministry, Descartes didn’t anticipate just how far from Reality his one phrase would take humans.
Thought is the result of the higher cognitive processing, an ability to stand outside of the immediate sensory stimulus and think in abstract, separated from the stimulus, terms. Abstract thought is limited in other species, although I am sure that dogs and other higher order species have some form of thought, and trees don’t have any.
Why do I state this with such certainty? Look at Reality, it has all the answers. If other species had the same higher order psychological functions as humans – we would have an interspecies war on our hands, simply because other species would take it upon themselves to defend the right to existence in the face of the aggressive human expansion. But we don’t have an interspecies war, because other species simply lack the cognitive capacity to organise themselves. If they did…. boy, I would wish them well in such an endeavour.
It would serve us humans right, for all that we have been doing and have done to other living creatures, from carrots to dogs.
Now.. what can I know for sure, outside of ‘Cogito’? Well, a lot actually. I know trees exist. How? Direct experience, which you are also privy to. Go hug a tree instead of reading about its non-existence.
I suppose I type, therefore I exist? How about that as a premise for our further exploration into ‘spirituality’ of the digital (read ‘fantastically mental’) age? Add the current developments in virtual reality technologies, and hey! human minds are getting screwed beyond further.
Further from what is – into fantasy.