> From this.

Contrary to popular opinion, the statement “I think therefore I am” can, in fact, be refuted. You can deny your own existence. It doesn’t even have to be illogical to do so, either. We have something that “looks out”, and that is what most people consider their own personal “I am”. It is similar to what Leibniz called a monad. This epiphenomenon is what Descartes is talking about in his famous statement: when “we are,” the very fact of us relaying it makes the statement that it cannot be denied. If we denied it, then what is doing the denying? So you see, whatever that is, that must be the “I am”. Without it, we could not do anything at all, because we would not be anything at all to do it.

Could it possibly be another illusion, however? What if that which looked out were actually an extension of a greater thing that looked out, which you were not aware of, that lends you the sensation of authentic consciousness? That other knows what it is to look out for real, you just think you do. That would mean your “I am” is not, not really. It’s just borrowed, it is only a leaf on a tree, and is not the being that is actual, that is the tree, like it thinks it is. And this way of looking at things is not as wild as it seems, if you ever read some works in eastern religion. This is actually some mystics’ view of consciousness, that there is one cosmic consciousness (the tree) and that we are merely the One forgetting it is one and having become many (the leaves).

And however far out that view of things is, it’s within logical possibility. Now, if one were not to take logic for granted, we could go to town on Descartes’ irrefutable. Then nothing is sure, the very essence of what it means to be sure would have been yanked away, and you know what? Once again, like the fish who doesn’t know what water is, we do take logic for granted. For there is nothing really that guarantees logic has to be the process of the way things work; we just have a history that things do, indeed work through logic. It’s induction, which has been known to have problems, philosophically speaking. Something we will be visiting upon in a bit.

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The Great Blasphemy