-- Rene Descartes
Western Philosophy bored me. I couldn’t get the point of all the speculating, cogitating, reflecting, wondering, debating and philosophizing about existing and being. I existed, and was sure I existed, so I didn’t think I didn’t exist. I daydreamed during class.
Growing up I used to look up at the clouds and imagine Jupiter with his characteristic beard lording it over us mortals here on earth. I imagined Jason with the Golden Fleece slung over his shoulder. Just last night, on the flight down to Newport Beach from Oakland, the marine fog was so thick I imagined it was peppermint cotton candy ready for picking, pulling apart, and melting on my tongue. When a mountain high enough poked through the clouds I imagined it was the hump of Nessie the Monster breaking through the frozen waters of Loch Ness.
It takes very little to spin me off into daydream land. When I read a profound and pithy quote my mind starts to scramble the words to make up my own. When I want creative inspiration all I have to do is open a page in a picture book or magazine and it would immediately spark my own creative juices flowing.
My favorite thing is to stare into space and let the ideas just start flowing. Then when I stare into space long enough, I realize it isn’t me doing the thinking anymore, some “thing” else is thinking for me.
Eckhart Tolle, in The Power of Now, states quite strongly that the greatest fallacy in western thought is Descartes’ assertion of “I think, therefore I am.” Tolle gives an example of a crazy person walking down the street talking to himself. That crazy person would be just like any one of us, with a mind constantly chattering, except that the crazy person is thinking out loud.
And yet, the crazy person’s thoughts do not make him who he is. With or without those crazy thoughts, his essence is still pure Spirit.
I got an email from a girlfriend recently who was in the midst of a psychotic break. Her email was a meaningless inedible word salad of a call to revolt and threats to kill politicians, sprinkled generously with crackling cuss words. Her psychosis does not make her who she is. I know who she is. She is pure in Spirit.
I’m thinking… and so am I.