“Cognito, Ergo Sum.” I think, therefore I am. René Descartes penned this thought, putting it out there, that thought is the basis of being. He knew that he existed, because he could think. His empirical experience is the only thing by which he could weigh the world he lived in.
Thinking is an innately spiritual act - it makes ethereal what comes from the flesh. Human beings think and because of this we can exercise intention - choice, over and above mere instinct. It’s what sets us apart from the animals. Sentience mixed with understanding. When you meet someone who does not think much at all, you understand why this is important.
I think in a sea of people who also think. It is what sets us apart, just what we think. That you know what I think is the odd power of the internet. People have becomes synonymous with their social media. They only exist, if they exist on the internet.
For me it is about the words. Norman MacLean finishes his reflections in “A River Runs Through It” with this observation: “Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.”
I have some of the words here, and they are mine. Recollections can be powerful. They are my own words, put out to witness. For what it is worth, in the vast history of humanity, before God and Man, they are the essence of what I have been thinking about at this age and stage. Right or wrong, you can judge. I am happy just to share them. This is what I saw. Life through my own eyes.
Throughout history, there has been much rumination about the purpose of things. The joy and pain of being alive has been parsed in personal accounts such as Blaise Pascall’s Pensees, the Meditations of Marcus Aureilius, Sören Kierkegaard’s Journals, and so on. We have hands-on reports of such epic things as the fall of Jerusalem, narrated by Flavius Josephus. Even Job of the Bible, cried out, “Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever!” So let it be written. So let it be recorded. We feel better for having put it down in words. Let us not be forgotten in the annals of time.
To record what you have seen, is an act of witness. The Bible puts a particular weight on this. The human record, in observance of the imperishable, if we can but see it. Revelation 12:11, John’s vision of the world’s end leaves us with something to overcome the problems of our temporality. The words of our witness conquer both time and space. “...they overcame... by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony”.
I think, therefore I am, at least for this moment in time. I am but here to testify. In the beginning was the Word, and in the end the words shall remain. For they are the stuff of eternity.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” John 1: 1–5
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