Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Prisoner of the Flesh

Thus, because our senses sometimes deceive us, I wanted to suppose that nothing was exactly as they led us to imagine. And because there are men who make mistakes in reasoning, even in the simplest matters in geometry, and who commit paralogisms, judging that I was just prone to err as ay other, I rejected as false all the reasonings that I had previously taken for demonstrations. And finally, considering the fact that all the same thoughts we have when we are awake can also come to us when we are asleep, without any of them being true, I resolved to pretend that all things that have ever entered my mind were no more true than the illusions of my dreams. But immediately afterward I noticed that, while I wanted thus to think that everything was false, it necessarily had to be the case that I, who was thinking this, was something. And noticing that this truth─I think, therefore I am─ was so firm and so assured that all the most extravagant suppositions of the skeptics were incapable of shaking it, I judged that I could accept it without scruple as the first principle of the philosophy I was seeking.

Then examining with attention what I was, and seeing that I could pretend that I had no body and that there was no world nor any place where I was, I could not pretend, on that account, that I did not exist at all, and that, on the contrary, from the very fact that I thought of doubting the truth of other things, it followed evidently and very certainly that I existed; whereas, on the other hand, had I stopped thinking, even if all the rest of what I had imagined had been true, I would have had no reason to believe that I had existed. From this I knew that I was a substance the whole essence or nature of which is simply to think, and which, in order to exist, has no need of any place nor depends on any material thing. Thus this “I” that is to say, the soul through which I am what I am, is entirely distinct from the body and is even easier to know than the body, and even if there were no body at all, it would not cease to be all that it is.

Rene Descartes the 17th century philosophy wrote those thoughts in his 1637 work, a Discourse on the Method for Conducting One’s Reason Well and for Searching for Truth in the Sciences. Part four of the work is where Descartes puts his thoughts about existence in terms that are easy to understand. Thinking and believing are the ingredients for reasoning, but consciousness or the soul in religious terms exists without those ingredients.

Reasoning distorts any innate information even though it is a portion of our being. This active part of our being is not recognized as the official self. This selective significance causes a bit of corporal dishonesty or a cellular imbalance since the cells are made up of these units of consciousness that exist in the non-physical as well as the physical world. The body still responds to the innate impulses of the cells and psychological activity percolates that create hunches, premonitions and other experiences that don’t fit into the rational framework of the self.

Descartes experiment shows how consciousness can conform and shape itself without form and the results can be experiences that are typically called out of body or a heightened level of awareness. These messages from other aspects of the self are used in a variety of ways even when we are not consciously aware that we are using them. We often try to avoid certain probable actions based on a hunch or some sort of impulse that develops spontaneously out of egotistical fear.

The body is a pattern and the material that composes it constantly changes due to the consciousness within the cells that trigger expanded centers of consciousness that respond to external world conditions. Probabilities are determined using cellular activity that is a portion of the “I” as well as the “I” itself. There is nothing to prevent us from viewing the world without a body except our beliefs about consciousness being a prisoner within the flesh which as Descartes discovered is not necessarily a truth.

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