Friday, April 10, 2009

I Think

There are some statements, epiphanies put into words, which are so profound as to be staggering. Rene Descartes, after a search for an irrefutable statement and proof of existence, said, "I think, therefore I am". I had heard the words many times in my life but never examined them, the first time I did so, I was astounded. The very act of thought is proof of existence; brilliant.

Okay, so why do we need to prove our existence; isn't it obvious? Yes and no. If one says that the act of breathing proves you exist, that can be argued. Perhaps we learn to perceive breathing where it never actually existed, perhaps we are imagining our own breath. The parade of maybes is long.

So Descartes proved existence, who cares? I do! It isn't actually knowing that we exist which is the goal, it is the examination itself. Socrates said, "The unexamined life is not worth living" and yet, many people seem content to seldom hold their lives or reality up for scrutiny.

Socrates chose death over life in prison because it would mean being cut off from the one thing which makes anything else in life satisfying; thinking and discussing life. Even as a believer in God I examine His creation, His purpose for me, His intentions in all things. If cut off from this most engaging of pursuits life would become dull.

It is curiosity and awareness of how mysterious life can be which gives all aspects of life their color. Knowing how fragile life is gives the love for and from my children it's sweetness. Knowing how fickle fortune can be gives the blessings I have the luster of richness.

How does anyone live without questioning, searching and pondering?

1 comment:

unschoolermom said...

I love this post! I'm in the midst of a philosophy class that I am loving! I definitely believe in the importance of crticial thinking.