“Cogito Ergo Sum”
– I think therefor I am, Descartes 1637
Descartes originally wrote this in French rather than the Latin I have as the title. Somehow having it appear in a language other than originally thought, then translated to a language few know or understand now, seems fitting for my MS afflicted brain. The idea that a profound concept from the 1600’s which provided a foundation for much of Western philosophical thought, should be translated from a commonly spoken French to a language no longer spoken so it can remain undiscypherable for many who would make use of its knowledge fits my ideas filtered through MS. With my MS, many perfectly good stimuli are misinterpreted or lost from the point experienced to the point in my system where such signals would make sense.
All of this philosophical pondering was spawned while I was at a seminar on Friday where we were discussing “How do we know what we know?” Descartes statement is usually taken as the starting point for discussion on this, though Plato certainly wrote about it. I had to chuckle because there were two paths taken from this original statement in our group. The first was the path of banging a hand on the table to say the table exists whether we think it or not because it hurts to run into.
I had to chuckle. I pointed out this line of thought is rather faulty for an MS patient who has gone through months of numbness over various parts of my body. Using the logic of things are real because we feel them or experience them physically in some way would seem to indicate I was less real as I became numb. Maybe this MS requires a total rethink of very basic philosophy.
The second road was one I just found full of humor, though I couldn’t find the fault in logic. Shouldn’t the statement really be “I think I think therefor I am.” After all isn’t it the recognition of thinking to which we are assigning reality?
I find such thought exercises fun because they impact how I think and attempt to teach O, A, and K. There is more than just the action involved in living. There are experiences to be had from the kiss of the dog to excited hug of a parent, but these are only half the life to be lived. The rest happens only when you stop to think how much you love each other or why we clean up so the dogs won’t destroy or…It’s the second half which carries the lasting meaning, not the smell of the poopy diaper.
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On the crazy life side, I celebrated my 37thbirthday a bit early with my in-laws this weekend. The food was fantastic, and I had a minute to sit down and talk politics with my father-in-law. Everything was going wonderfully till it was time to go. From the time we started gathering items to head out the door through the rest of the weekend, O and A completely lost anything resembling self control. Both screamed at night to the point where we were still trying to get them to go to and stay in bed after 11pm. Of course they were up bright and early Sunday with all the attitude of sleep deprived kids.
For a weekend which started so nice, it went down hill in a hurry, and I don’t think I had more than 10 min uninterrupted till 9pm. Of course when I was walking the dog, a cat was scared by 2 of our dogs. The third dog, our most recent rescue abandoned in our back yard, was startled by the barking and yanked free. Of course being skittish, his leash hitting the road startled him further. Every time, he stopped, the leash would catch up to him and startle him again. I had to go home to stop a feed to avoid waking everyone up when it ended, but I was right back out for another hour looking for him. At 10:35, I gave up hoping as food driven as he is, maybe he would be back at our door when 5am rolled around for his normal breakfast. He wasn’t.
Thankfully, a neighbor picked him up and told us this morning she had him. So all in all, it meant only one crazy day. Even with this, there were a few very good small stories from the lady who took Fiz in to A refusing to get hyper again when O tried to rile her up. Seeing a mature sense of reserve was a moment which took away the sting of the crazy day.
All’s well that ends well… Calling silver lining, Clean up needed in aisle 220.