“I think therefore I am.”
With one simple statement, Descartes has spawned a new school of Philosophy
and the rationalistic and scientific culture we see dominant in the West today.
It also explains the intense individualism (“I am.”) we see today,
specially in the US.
A more realistic philosophy is “I co-exist, therefore I am.”
Martin Heidegger, a leading Existentialist, described our human existence
The Buddhist Zen Master, Thich Nhat Hanh, has a name for this reality:
We are interbeings.
My being here is contingent on links to nature, people and God.
If nature were any colder, we would all be frozen stiff.
And if it were any hotter we would all be burnt to a crisp.
We need others to live as it takes at least a village to raise a man.
And finally, we need a Loving God who has made
this web and circle of life the wonderful experience that it has been.
Indeed, because of this Loving God, we can truthfully proclaim:
“I love and am loved; therefore, I am.”