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I think . . . therefore, I am March 18, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Mindfulness, People, Word Play.

Descartes stated, with certainty, “Cogito, ergo sum” (English translation: “I think, therefore I am“).   

When his oft-quoted remark popped into my head one morning, it served as a reminder that:

* if I do not think for myself 

* then I do not truly exist

* because am just a conglomerate of other people’s thoughts and opinions rather than a unique entity unto myself.

I think (for myself), therefore I am.

Quote:  Don’t worry about what the world wants from you, worry about what makes you come more fully alive.  Because what the world really needs are people who are fully alive.  ~ Lawrence Le Shan

No rules.  Just write!


1. RichardWScott - March 18, 2010

This one is tricky. While many of us take pride in “thinking for ourselves”, it isn’t as easy as we would like to think.

Just as it is true in fiction writing–in any writing, actually–that we must lean on the ideas and words of others in order to communicate, and that most of what we call creativity is the rearranging of what we know into a fresh order.

We are a product of ourselves, certainly, but we are also a product of our culture, of our era, and of our species. We are at any point the culmination of our thoughts to that point, it is true, but our thoughts are touched, colored, changed by the thoughts of others.

2. nrhatch - March 18, 2010

Agreed. What I am able to think about is dependent upon what I’ve learned ~ usually from others.

After all, no man (or woman) is an island unto themselves.

Still, there is a difference between spending our lives asking others what we should do, say, be, or think, and attempting to answer those questions for ourselves, based on our cumulative experiences thus far in life.

3. Graydon Archer - March 18, 2010

I am so glad you brought this to light.
Although I have lived to outgrow this particular infirmity, as a young man I misused a great deal of the time afforded me on this earth,
in the irrational pursute, of trying to please other people.
Aspiring to do so, I all but lost my individuality. I was seeking to validate my existance on other peoples actions, beliefs, and convictions.
It has taken a great deal of time to reverse the process, but it has been time well spent. I believe there can be no greater awakening
in a mans, (or womans) life, that when they awaken to the discovery
of self.

4. nrhatch - March 18, 2010


The discovery of our inherent value ~ the infinite worth which lies beyond all labels ~ is indeed a magical awakening.

It’s impossible to please ALL the people, ALL the time . . . so we might as well please ourselves. : )


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