Thursday, May 10, 2007

Cogito, ergo sum

-I think, therefore I am-

"I am nothing so long as I think that I am something. So, after considering everything very thoroughly, I must finally conclude that the proposition, I am, I exist, is necessarily true whenever it is put forward by me or conceived in my mind." - RenĂ© Descartes (March 31, 1596 – February 11, 1650), In 1633 Galileo was condemned by the Roman Catholic Church, and Descartes abandoned plans to publish Treatise on the World. In 1637 it publishes "Discourse on the Method". In it an early attempt at explaining reflexes mechanistically is made, although Descartes' theory is later proven wrong within his lifetime. In an ironic turn of events, Galileo was pardoned by the church in 1992. Of course, this is of no consolation to Galileo.
"I think, therefore I am" has become synonymous with Descartes although he published many works, covering an array of topics.

I wonder just how his works would have turned out had his desire to publish had not been guided by fear. Imagine what insightful compositions would have graced the historical book shelf had the church not attempted to control and dominate. In the name of religion, church leaders believed they had the right to control what information reached the masses. They set forth to cease all ideas, writings and public principles that did not agree with their self designated doctrine. Behind all of their strong arm tactics lay their insatiable need for power. Power corrupted many a church leader and stifled the literate genius. Civilization should have progressed to a level of divine enlightenment. Sadly, the church's idea of enlightenment was disguised as brainwashing. If one should learn anything from history, that is to abandoned fear and write from the heart. The writer, ever mindful of the impressionable mind, should never be intimidated by it. Fear always guides you to a dead end street. For every insightful, meaningful idea there is always another opposing one waiting in the wings.
Here's to all the dreamers who put down their philosophical prose to parchment, only to have them shuffled beneath a pile of dogmatic rules.

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