"I think therefore I am"
Rene Descartes, Discourse on Method
I think therefore I am is an interesting idea, that has been used countless times to explain the nature of existence. I think it was Descartes that came up with it and its original form; cogito ergo sum, but I do not feel that it is an acurate statement.
I think therefore I am suggests to me that there is only one process in the brain going on and this process governs thinking as well as all the other functions of a human being. I say that this is incorrect.
From my experience; thinking is an aspect of the mind that is seperate from most of the brains activity, that is in fact; automatic. The body is able to perform so many things on its own without any conscious thought involved. I feel that consciousness acts as a referee to the process. It can stop play at any time but it does not have to interact with the bodys automation and is free to wander through its own thoughts. Thus it can become a monitor/manager of the other parts of the brain as needed.
I see thinking as something that resides above the automation of the brain at large, but it is not all that I am. Look at it like this; thinking is module, a CPU if you like, that exists on a multi processor chip called the brain. The brain seems to be a massive store of automatic actions and the thinking process maybe the entry point into the brain as ew experience it, but it is not all of it. You can look at the thinking part as having its own processor and memory, seperate from the rest of the memory store available in the brain. Given this, the other automatic CPU functions use the remainder of the brain for their own purposes.
The thinking part of the brain does not have to venture into the automatic part unless it percieves a change is needed to the way it is running. The automatic part of the brain itself contains the many brain centres that are understood though science; for speech, vison, hearing, motor control, etc. However the thinking part is not a discrete area, it's everywhere, and has hooks into every other area and does not reside in one place.
From experience I can tell you that this thinking part of the brain can firstly be shut down and the body will still function through stimulus and response. Secondly it is this part of our existence that represents our spiritual beliefs. It is this part that we are afraid to lose, the automatic stuff is nothing to us when it comes to the possibility of losing our abilty to think.
So I find myself wondering if it is this thinking part that may be our soul, maybe the part that lives on after death.
I can't see it happening, it doesn't feel right, so I can't say "I
think therefore I am". I can only say I think therefore I am alive.
Is there anything else to us, is there a soul? I have had some experiences
that hint at this but i've got a long way to go before I am sure of this.