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i think, therefore we exist.

I think, therefore we exist
Descartes said “I think, therefore I exist”.
Brief summary. If everything turn out to be illusion, e.g. the whole world is like dream or omnipotent is tricking you or that you in matrix…. There is one think you can false back to and prove that you exist.
1) I can’t doubt that I’m doubting
2) I can’t be decieved about whether I’m thinking.

 If I am doubting, I must exist
 I think, therefore I exist.
He was first western to prove and support dualism. Using indiscernibility of identical it possible to prove Mind & body as separate.

However I believe he is not correct. The problem with his agrument is where is he getting the ‘I’. How can he separate the ‘I’ e.g from the illusion or omnipotent or matrix … If he know the ‘I’ he does not even need prove that ‘I must exist’. He simply say ‘I know myself, therefore do not need prove even I exist.’ He or not anyone know ‘I’ only ‘we’, so what is we is dream we is you and dream, in omnipotent tricking you, we is omnipotnet and you, in a matrix we is the matrix system and you. Etc..
1) I can’t separate myself fully from the we.

->we think, therefore we exist

To agrue against 1) I can’t separate myself fully from the we. You say that the part that is doubting is me and other part that is not doubing is other entities. It only prove that you are doubter, not best describation of you.
1) Do you 100% doubt ? very unlikely. Plus
2) While other entites 0% doubt. Very unlikely. (because matrix or omnipotent know what it doing to you, you are one in confusion)
3) If you can know what I is, you are not in doubt. You don’t need prove it.
Without doubt we can only best prove. We (or I) think, therefore we exist.
Therefore it is not possible to separate the body and mind as totally different planes. You need a better prove to prove dualism.
Good thing in case of mind & body, I (the mind or brain) think, therefore we (mind & body) exist. It is hard separate both.

  • Sep 25 2013: What is one drop of water, tossed skyward by a wave on the ocean?
    Is it not an activity of the ocean? It is. It is not in the ocean but is the ocean.
    You, we, are all activities of the universe. It is all one process.
    All of it happens in your consciousness.
    Your brain is in your consciousness and nowhere else.
    The difference might be found in between what is perception (often false) and awareness
    that just is.
    We don't try, generally as a "species" to lose our self, the 'I", 'me".
    Yet the only way to find what "this is" is through self-awareness.
    Nothing exists. In awareness, it just is.
    It is difficult but doable to become aware of consciousness and be detached from it
    by learning how to observe it and being willing to take the time to do that and what
    may come from it, with it or out of it.
    I would agree that we all have been tricked, fooled into believing that each one of us,
    is a "me" when what we are, is really timeless and space-less, so there could not actually
    be any "me" at all. Becoming willing to let go of that old idea is one of the first steps.
    To be, in the body of a leaf or like the drop of water that is a tiny hologram of the universal sea
    of possibilities.

    Should I click "submit"? I'm not sure.
    Hell, I don't know. Here goes.
    • Sep 26 2013: to let go of the general idea of 'I' is hard. e.g. most people thing we ('I') are still mind and body, even it is still proven wrong logically and philosophically, better theory is there.
      if we however let go general idea and find our true self it would be great.
      some of analogy used to describe our-self is that we are drop of water in great ocean.
      however we might have to give up logical understanding, it hard explain by mind and intellect.

      how much can we prove this logically? how much by personal realisation?
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      Sep 27 2013: Well Said !
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    Oct 13 2013: I thought so...
  • Oct 5 2013: "However, I think Descartes really struck home with "I think, therefore I am". "

    I think Descartes missed the point with "I think, therefore I am". It should be "I think, because I AM."

    "An idea cannot stand alone; you need a device to hold it, to nurture it, in this case a human brain."

    In order for a thought, idea or concept to have power, it needs your attention and emotional attachment/involvement.
    • Oct 5 2013: "An idea cannot stand alone; you need a device to hold it, to nurture it, in this case a human brain."

      How can you separate you idea from other entity idea, when you are being control by omnipotent being ? How can you say you exist when you in matrix system. you can best say you also exist, but it will hard define or separate yourself from the matrix or omnipotent. best you can say we exist, not I exist.

      you can say I and matrix system exist. but it would be hard for you to say you alone exist. how separate yourself from others, desecrate said the part that think. however you do not 100% use your brain when you think. most part of the brain is seeing, hearing, etc.. so if define yourself as part that think, it is not complete picture of yourself. also the matrix or software that interface with you can think with you and run, so you will have difficultly separating yourself from it. so best you can say is we exist.
    • Oct 5 2013: Most people pre-assume I exist and consider there is thing as an I and try to prove that I exist. you have to prove what 'I' is precisely. Descartes, 'I' is part that think, is not complete. 'I' is part that thought, idea or concept, emotion, etc. is bigger definition of 'I', however it is not complete as well.

      then you prove that your definition is true. that is very hard. logically prove it.

      in case of common sense, I exist already pee-assumed and not need to be proven.
      • Oct 7 2013: A question I would ask is, are you your thoughts or do you have thoughts? We have come to identify with the mind that that is who we are ( I think therefore I am). Instead of our minds serving us, we serve the mind with our thoughts, To be clear though, the mind is not the enemy, it's there to serve the self, society has it reversed.

        To experience the self(I), one cannot get there by thinking or using logic, it has to be experienced. Like learning to ride a bicycle. We can think about balance and talk about balance but, the only way to know what balance is, is through direct experience. Same with experiencing the self. "I" is not a thing, even though the mind really wants to make it into a thing.

        Trying to use mental concepts like the "matrix system" or "software" just confuses the matter, I would recommend not using them if possible.
        • Oct 7 2013: I guess most of you are correct, it is not possible to prove 'I' logically. least we have not got enough information on mind and 'I' or is that we know some to know that it is not possible logically. Plus we do not thing logically, most of the time. we need something other than logic. I guess we have to experience 'I' to know. (which everyone is capable of, if you human).
          whichever way Descartes fail to prove logically 'I exist'. only to suggest 'I exist' normally, using common example, (which is not logical). however what 'I' is explain by many people before and after, most different from him using common example.

          I guess, in the end it is up to us to choose the common example, close to our experience to explain 'I' and mind. some are better than other.
  • Sep 27 2013: Appearances appear. Everything else is, ultimately, conjecture.
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    Sep 25 2013: Niruparaj Sundararajah,

    If i hv understood ur doubt well, u r confused bcoz u can't believe that one can be in such state where the realization of 'I' is no more !!!

    Well, if that so, let me tell u one thing. You know in dream a person is not aware of his/her sleeping. What happens in dream is so real that one never realize that he/she is sleeping and there is an another State then this sleeping, known as 'Waking up" (Awakened). Its bcoz, as soon as he/she knows that this is just a dream, he/she is at once out of dream, otherwise it is not possible wake up.

    Hence, the only way to proof your existence other then this dream is 'waking-up',, now how this happens? its simple - Stop Dreaming ! but beware !!! Dont think even about 'waking up' , ur mind may fool u in ur dream that u r awakened. So, deny every thinking , every thought, in short every mind activity to know if u still can have a state where no 'I' exists, where no 'we' exists...

    Do nothing, sit alone and calm, let all the waves of thoughts get silent, go beyond mind ....
    the moment u achieve that sate (thoughtless)... m sure u ll figure out not only about ur trueself, ur existence but you wont also be able to explain this with your mind and intellectual ...

    Dont die without knowing real you... :)
    • Sep 26 2013: I was trying to find out what 'I' is?
      Descartes had very logical statement about 'I', However when I look close he is not very logical, he did not consider everything.
      I look at other philosophical idea of 'I' it is also not quite complete.

      I believe that u you are correct in asking 'I' is beyond mind and intellectual to get grab of. It might be possible to find 'I' using other not logical mean. I am a beginner in meditation, I am OK in some type of meditation, one you suggest was mindful meditation, which is tricky. every time I get silence, i also get though 'i am silent, yess.. no. i not anymore.'. It takes lots of practice to be silent, to awaken it might take decades. To liberate or be enlightened is spiritual goal of many.
      Maybe it might be a better way of finding 'I' or realize the real me.
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        Sep 26 2013: Niruparaj, good to know that u hv started meditation. Since, its beginning, its ok what is going on with u. But perhaps u dont know the meditation, there is not 'types' of meditation. Let me tell u meditation is not doing something. Its like doing nothing, not even thinking, the thoughtlessness state of your existence, which is beyond mind.

        you meditate and u start feeling u r meditating, no this is not the right way. Be like a dead man but be fully awake, your ears may hear sounds, your skin may feel air around you, your mind will be puzzled. mind can not stand without thought, it is mind's nature. thought is mind's support. as soon as u the last single thought comes to end your mind looses its support and is no more. Then only u comes to know U as a whole, your true self ( notice I am not saying 'I' to your trueself).

        'I' is what you think you are now. if you want to know this, you are on the wrong path Niruparaj. 'I' belongs to an individual. Its an illusion. Realization of self make individuality and duality comes. 'I' is the root of all your possession. One says 'he is breathing', his 'I' thinks he is breathing, but this is ignorance. can he stop breathing if he is the master or controller of the breathing? No ! he cant. have u ever noticed 'My' and 'Mine' can not be there if 'I is not there !!! One says 'This is MY house' what that mean ? His 'I' is just declaring his possession over an object. 'I' gets strong and becomes more bigger by more possessions. the other name of 'I' is ego, but we cleaver human being sometimes cover up this ego with another word 'self respect'. Both are same in term of that both makes 'I' more strong, 'I' strengthen.

        No Niruparaj ! your trueself is not 'I' (individuality). Dont go after it. Do not try to find it, just be aware of what you are. Do u belongs to any religion or your 'I' hv accepted it coz u were born in. your 'I' is in front of you. why to find it. Find what is hidden behind this 'I'. Find the Finder... :)
        • Sep 27 2013: Thanks for advise. Sit there until all thought run is good advise for mindful meditation.

          I will try out.

          However, there are more 100s of type of mediation. E.g. mantrs, chara, focus on object, though, smell,etc...
          Mindful is type u still and let all thoug come, come and go, you not judge,u sit still, do nothing, ... sit still until no though occur... sit still do nothing....then u find the truth. There technique because all our live we did something.. do nothing take time. Mediation mindfully help achieve it for beginners least.
  • Sep 24 2013: the problem with physical definition is 'we' or 'I' is not same as 7 years ago, every cell is different, we grow old. if transplant are we still the same.

    How do we know that all physical is not illusion.
    How about all are mental realm. it call idealism, monism mental-ism. it also have some problem with defining us.

    it rise a question does 'I' exist?
    Popular philosophy believe in Buddhism is 'I' do not exist. e.g i change, no constant me.
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    Sep 23 2013: I suggest the base assumption we make is the universe exists.

    we are part of the universe. A subset. as part of this we assume we exist and are conscious beings.
    • Sep 23 2013: That is one way of saying 'We'
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        Sep 23 2013: It's an interesting one. Perhaps the recognition that we are conscious of ourselves and aware of the universe we are part of is intertwined. But we can isolate the subsets and the self is a very important subset of the universe.

        some where in the mix is the necessary assumption that we can make some sense of the universe. and build reasonably reliable models of reality. That we can rely to some extent on our senses, interpretations of what is perceived, and reason to some extent.

        I suggest that we can break down the universe to many levels the entire cosmos. The milky way. Earth. Life. Humans. Individuals. Cells. Molecules.atoms. etc.

        We can conceptualize identities.

        I am part of the universe.. but I am not the universe.. I can be considered as an individual identity. various subsets of me can be identified. Or I can be grouped into collections e.g. Australians, males, human, mammal etc.s
        • Sep 24 2013: It is good physically. e.g. to break it down. e.g human. etc
          how about the mental side. and other side of 'I' or 'we'.
        • Oct 12 2013: Just like niel says" we are in the universe and the universe is in us". Proven fact.
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        Sep 24 2013: The mind seems to be an imergent property of the brain.
        Damage the brain you damage the brain functions including those associated with mind.

        Im not aware of any convincing evidence of minds being independent of brains.

        also if something is questioning it's existence then something exists. It may be deluded about it's nature, but there must be something to sustain even the illusion of existence.
        • Sep 24 2013: i am asking to clear doubt, with any doubt we need prove 'i' exist.

          the reasoning you used before then breaking down to e.g human etc.. is idea of monism - physical one. REDUCTIVE MATERIALISM.

          I think that monism has better able to define than dualism which Descartes apply.

          the problem with REDUCTIVE MATERIALISM is ultimately all mental are ultimately physical. reduce, brain. love, fear, religion, hope. name, though.

          problem people found in reductive materialism
          specific fear, specific brain state.
          A fear of bee. B fear of bee.
          same thing, brain state .

          however the brain are different when measured? so specific brain is wrong.

          'also if something is questioning it's existence then something exists.' it all physical, it does not exist, metal are just all reduce to physical. in reductive materialism.
        • Sep 24 2013: or you are using fizzy logic to prove 'i' exist. you are using Descartesn dualism and using lot of REDUCTIVE MATERIALISM. problem is they contradict each other.
          according Descartesn, proving he said only the mental matters.

          you drafty define 'I' or define 'we'. when you try to prove 'I' without any doubt it confusing and hard.
  • Sep 22 2013: what is and 'I'? e.g mind and body. there are many definitions. in some philosophy 'i' does not even exist. there is no 'I' in some there is. 'I' is interesting question. Is idea 'I' is what do the thinking a complete definition? e.g i see, i hear. so is i think complete.?
  • Sep 21 2013: We see how thoughts can fragment. Play it out sufficiently then seek Silence. Ye can only find it through this "I" character you're talkin bout.
  • Sep 21 2013: In the eastern tradition. The I is not quick or simply define.
    In Hinduism and Buddhism. there is a school of though that question if everything is a illusion.
    for example one though is Vishnu is dreaming and we are the creation of his dream.
    it is interesting to know that people have consider these question many many years ago and came with a different answer.
    • Sep 21 2013: It is a fascinating question, I agree with you on that. Let us for a moment consider the example you provided: that Vishnu is dreaming and were are all the creation of his dream. For the sake of debate, let us say that this is true. Vishnu is dreaming, and we are all in his dream. Consider this: We you dreaming, your dream is from one point of view - whether that be from one person or as if you were holding a camera above the action in your dream. However, if you are dreaming as if you are holding a camera above some action or event, have you ever noticed you are unable to know what the characters in your dream are thinking? On this planet, we have 7 billion points of view or sets of ideas about the world around us - one for each person on earth - I tried to prove or at least support the concept these ideas do exist, in my last post.

      Of course, I'm trying to mix religion and science here, which gets messy because religion is (by today's standards) impossible to prove. So much of what I'm saying is not pure logical reasoning. But its fun to think about it anyway, eh?! Thanks.
      • Sep 21 2013: I do not know that school of though, i know it exist. I will be bad explainer.
        I am not very religious.

        In religion it is faith. I will say this He is a God.:)

        I will have look at the philosphy to better explain.

        In Hinduism, least in some of them. we do not take God as separate from his creation. we are not created by god, we are part of god. God is different definition, further we are god not separable from (him or her or it). there is not god. further we are god. what why Hinduism is monotheism, polytheism, atheism, spiritualism, athothesium and more ... at same time. remember God is different definition. I am not good ex plainer.

        It is not 7 billion point of view that make Vishnu, it the whole universe or multiuniverse that make Vishnu. it not just mental, physical and unknown and unknowable realm that is Vishnu. In some view , we like atheism or spiritualism. how we normally live and have 7 billion view that is how it is.

        to simply put it, there are many path, we choose a path, point of view to look at the universe and understand it. Vishnu is dreaming is one point of view to view the universe and everything, there are many many more in Hinduism.
        • Sep 21 2013: Thank you for explaining. I appreciate you helping me to understand that, and you did a great job at explaining. It truly is fascinating how many paths their are to understanding our universe.
  • Sep 21 2013: You pose a very deep philosophical question. Descartes quote, "Je pense, donc je suis" (I think, therefore I am) is certainly a mind-stretching quote because of its intense transcendent nature. The first thought that pops into my mind when I here that quote is "How can I prove my own existence?". What if my life is an illusion? What if everything happening in and around me doesn't exist?

    However, I think Descartes really struck home with "I think, therefore I am". Right now, I'm typing keys on a keyboard. My conscious is also aware of my typing, and that fact is an idea in my head. An idea cannot stand alone; you need a device to hold it, to nurture it, in this case a human brain. You cannot hold onto an idea - it is intangible. There is nothing anchoring it to reality, except our minds which hold and these ideas. You cannot put an idea into a cardboard box, like the one that your last shipment of Christmas gifts came in. One cannot physically touch, hold, or drop and idea. Even a computer cannot hold an idea - however it can hold words, which can be understood by the next person who reads them. These words can then be formulated into an idea similar to the first.

    The entire last paragraph was an attempt to gather evidence to support this statement: If an idea cannot stand alone, and ideas exist, then something must be mentally holding that idea. Therefore, if an idea exists, the mental holding container for it must exist as well. Every human is born with a mental holding container - our brains. It has be proven humans have brains (thousands and millions of cells producing chemical reactions that allow the process of thought). Therefore, if ideas exist, then brains exist. If brains exist, humans exist. And if humans exist, you and I exist.

    Any questions? Comments? Rebuttals?
    • Sep 21 2013: I understand what you saying. However can you prove it without any doubt, logically. that is what Descartes was trying. from small we though that we have mind, brain and body, so it make sense however it does not prove it logically 'I exist'. when we carefully question it, it is in doubt.

      Descartes is dualism. It say mind in one realm the mental and body in the other realm physical. how do we move?. there are two separate realm.

      what "We" in case of the mind and body (dualism) is both mind and body, there are interlinked.It is in a mix realm (mental & physical), if go left close 0% it is fully mental, if go less than 50% it is slightly mental and higher than 50% it is physical and close to 100% it is physical. the brain probably 50% , it connect the mind with body. so we can move, think, interact with physical and mental world.
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    Sep 20 2013: The Holy Bible contains many invitations from God to Mankind. Your question reminds me of one in particular which is: "Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not." You are broaching the very greatest and mightiest things Man can know. The answer lies with God. We are invited to call unto Him and ask for our lack of knowledge to be remedied.
    • Sep 21 2013: Descartes question everything, he doubt everything to prove that 'I think, therefore I exist'. Only by questioning and pondering we can find answer to question. Descartes had dream from god (he though), and when to work on these statement.
      However he was to quick and did not question 'I', pre-assumed 'I' exist to prove 'i exist'. there is saying, we find, what we are looking for.
      what is and 'I' or the Self is a biggest question itself, question that will define us.
      what we can do is question, wonder and debate to find the answer. if we are lucky may god can answer in our dream.
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        Sep 21 2013: To rely on luck and dreams seems deficient.