René Descartes the famous French philosopher and mathematician was born 31 March 1596 is known as the father of analytic geometry who discovered infinitesimal calculus and was a key figure in the scientific revolution, a true genius, he also experimented with human emotions and the concept of duality. Coincidentally he was stationed in 1619 in Neuburg an der Donau the very same location of the refugee camp where I was incarcerated in 1987- 89 and where I did my “out of body” and “altered consciousness” experiments. While he was there he carried out many experiments and actually created the background and much of the work that contributed to his well-known book “Meditations on First Philosophy”.
Many readers will be familiar with René Descartes is because of his famous quotation “Cogito ergo sum” – ” I think therefore I am”.
I will only refer to a very small portion of this man’s prodigious work, that part which has some bearing on the subject of this book and that is his studies and theories regarding “body and soul” known as Cartesian Dualism” which are covered in detail in two of his published works “Passions of the Soul” and “The Description of the Human Body”.
Previous to Cartesian Theories any interaction between mind or soul to the body was perceived to be only a one-way relationship that is the mind influences the body and not the reverse.
Descartes is proposed the following:
MIND ( SOUL ) >–< BODY
During the next century the famous German philosopher Immanuel Kant who
wrote “Critique of Pure Reason” proposed the controversial idea that human thoughts should not be influenced by external forces for example by the monarchy or the church. He believed there can be “existences or entities” beyond human sensory perception impossible to scientifically prove or disprove but he believed they can exist.
Kant attempted to blend together reason and experience in order to progress beyond the limitations of traditional philosophy and metaphysics.
“It always remains a scandal of philosophy and universal human reason that the existence of things outside us … should have to be assumed merely on faith, and that if it occurs to anyone to doubt it, we should be unable to answer him with a satisfactory proof”
As well the well-known scientist Albert Einstein said:
“A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive.”
With regard to my particular gifts, there are no contemporary scientific theories reasons etc. that can explain how I do what I am able to do nevertheless I am able to do it and I can do it repeatedly because there are no theories and there is no known mechanism does that mean it is impossible to do? Obviously not “the proof indeed is in the pudding”
My idea of what or who human beings are is the following, we’re like a small part of a watch, say a second hand cog wheel turning around inside a whole complex of parts. We possess not a comprehensive view, but a myopic one in that all we realize is we are moving around and around and we don’t have any idea that we are only a very very small part of the whole watch, we don’t see the watch it all!.