Cogito ergo sum.
I think, therefore I am.
We’ve all heard this phrase before. It’s the crux of Descartes’ philosophy and it is generally thought to mean that one can know they exist because they know (experience) they exist.
I’m not a dilettante when it comes to spiritual inquiry. I’ve gone the distance. But once you get to the other side of the gateless gate, there really isn’t anything you can bring back and share with others. That’s kind of the point, actually.
Gurus and teachers can only point the way to the journey but can’t give you the Truth about life, the universe and everything. And if anyone tells you differently, they’re trying to sell you something.
There are no spiritual shortcuts (believe me, I’ve looked for them). You have to do all of the heavy lifting for yourself.
There is one thing I can express, which you can easily test out for yourself, and that is, “What you think actually shapes your experience.” If you think the world is unfair, how does it occur for you? If you think men are jerks, how do they treat you? There are always exceptions to the rule (because what you think isn’t true) but the world shows up as you generally think it will.
And that leads me back to the above phrase. In the midst of my seeing how my thoughts and beliefs shaped my world, that phrase popped into my head. But instead of hearing it the way I had always heard it said, I heard it with a different emphasis and got it on a completely different level.
I think… therefore, I am.
How I think creates who I am.
Now this is no ordinary thinking. I’m sure people will try and argue stupidly that they don’t think the world is round, it just is or that you can’t disbelieve in gravity and it will go away. That’s not what I’m fucking talking about so knock that shit off right now.
You were born into a thinking world. And thoughts and beliefs were funneled into you long before you were even consciously aware that you existed at all. Back then, you were everything and everything was you. Then you became aware of a certain kind of separation and suddenly everything was over there or over here.
Who we think we are was mostly handed down to us and further cemented by people and experiences that confirmed what we thought. Do you have any idea how much of that shit that plays in your head wasn’t originated with you?
I learned to read at an early age so people told me I was smart. I experienced knowing more than my peers at times and doing better in school which confirmed to me that I was smart. So I carried around the thought and belief that I was smart. It shaped who I thought myself to be and when I bumped up against anything that challenged my “smartness”, I either shied away from it or resented it but never saw it as evidence that I might not be smart. I had excuses like, “Well, I’ve just never been exposed to that so how was I supposed to know that.” Being Smart was part of my Identity.
Take that and multiply it by 7 Billion. I am this and I am not that. It’s true because I have evidence and agreement, right?
“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”
It’s all made up, passed down and believed. There is nothing about human beings that is true and permanent except that we exist. Everything else is conjecture.
Let your thinking parts chew on that for a while and see what happens. I will be coming back to this topic over and over again. The starting point is you and when you work your way out from microcosm to the macrocosm of existence, you may discover something quite startling.
What’s your story?