Continuing on an essay of thought from Jan 05:
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René Descartes stated "I think, therefore I am."
This can be observed two ways.
The first is to believe it to mean, "I think I am _____, thus I am _____."
This is great motivation for some. However I would attempt to disprove this notion in two ways. In the physical sense, I can think I am a monkey, and I can act like a monkey, but I will never be a monkey.
On the psychological level, as an example, thinking you are happy may lead to the belief that you are happy, but as in all feelings there are complications that can not be ruled by aspects of the mind. And thus it is more of an understanding in faith of the knowledge of that you are indeed happy.
Then there is the face value of the statement, which is without the process of thought - one ceases to exist on the human level.
This idea can be examined as that the vessel of our essence, or our soul if you will, resides in our minds. Without the ability to think - one ceases to exist on a personal level. One may exist purely in the physical sense of bodily vessel for the internal structure, but one will no longer be living. Thus the internal true self no longer applies to the brain dead victim.
While the heart beat is the spark of life that keeps the external structure from decay, it does not control the mind. So if the babe in the womb sits with the heart beating fast - it's life has been sparked - but has the spark given the mind the ability to think and process? Abortion is murder if one is stopping a child's thought should the fetus' mind be able to clearly process thought - however - according to Camus' 'Myth of Sisyphus' and other essays, life is made of nothing but experiences.
Without experiences one cannot have thought. So when scientists in the 1970's-80's kept the brains of monkey's alive in tubs of fluid by machines for up to six weeks - these poor creatures can also not be described as alive. Despite the vessel of life being kept alive, without the ability to experience the being can not think - and thus does not exist.
The vessel of life, the mind - and the spark of life, the heart - must coexist in order to truly know life. The fullest life one can live is that filled with nothing but as many different extreme experiences, and then giving oneself the time to think and process the experiences so one can come to an evaluation of wisdom. There are three levels of intelligence: the first being the be able to regurgitate and conceive thoughts and ideas (i.e. being smart), the second is taking those ideas and beliefs and putting them to use and applying them to life (i.e. knowledge and knowing), the third is evaluating those experiences gained from knowledge and processing them into formulated thoughts and understandings (i.e. wisdom).
As Camus states, "The mind, when it reaches its limits, must make a judgment and choose its conclusions."
Thus while one would live life to extremes - one must do it in moderation so as to continue experiencing new limits.
This is to say, the means are more important then the end. Why should one live life safely and confined in hopes of a glorious fairy tale conclusion? To believe one must deserve an ascension for giving up an immediate life on earth. Or again to relate to Camus again, "Hope of another life one must 'deserve' or trickery of those who live not for life itself but for some great idea that will transcend it, refine it, give it a meaning, and betray it."
In other words, life for today, carpe' diem, as you know today exists - but you do not know for certain tomorrow or anything after that actually does exist.
Live not to regret - as one should not regret anything as it shapes and is life.
However, when one manages the aspect of faith into this understanding of thought, one must make the distinction within its self as to if one believes in the hope for a better more conclusive understanding of knowledge and understanding to the realm of life. Humanity has been asking larger questions and seeking broader truths since the dawn of understanding. Humanity as a whole has in no matter what cultural religious process as a majority held a deeper faith of knowing that there is a higher being then our own selves. To understand that Human beings are not the pinnacle of existence, nor are they at their pinnacle of existence and can always progress and evolve their humanity.
Some may argue that there is nothing past the tangible world; but the artists, poets, and dreamers would argue that there is an internal invisible psyche of thought that is the blanket of humanity which is just as real as any atom, though it can not be contained.
This is the difference between the abstract and the analytical.
The expression and the logic.
The art and the science.
The yin and the yang.
There are three things that separate humans from the beasts in the animal kingdom. The ability to express, to create, to be artistic and understand the abstract; the ability to think in analytical terms, to use logic, to understand the science of the tangible world; and the third is to be understand that humanity allows us the choice between good and bad.
While some may argue the terms of good and evil and thus the understandings of said concepts are merely social or cultural or environmental in understanding and thus are taught to us, I would argue this to be sophomoric in thought.
When one does something bad, we know we have caused negative force or action, and thus we our selves feel bad. When we do good, we feel good.
This is a basic inherit feeling and understanding. However through experience as well as social, guttural, and/or environmental factors we learn to realize we have choice in our actions.
The conclusion of this thought will progress later, but for now my brain is hitting tired mode.