Friday, December 23, 2011

Point Five: The Self

The Last Point Varghese discusses is the self. You and I.

Once again he writes, "Once we acknowledge the fact that there is a first-person perspective, “I,” “me,” “mine,” and the like, we encounter the greatest and yet the most exhilarating mystery of all. I exist. To reverse Descartes, “I am, therefore I think, perceive, intend, mean, interact.” Who is this “I”? “Where” is it? How did it come to be? Your self is obviously not just something physical, just as it is not just something supraphysical. It is an embodied self, an ensouled body; “you” are not in a particular brain cell or in some part of your body. The cells in your body keep changing and yet “you” remain the same. If you study your neurons, you will find that none of them have the property of being an “I.” Of course your body is integral to who you are, but it is a “body” because it constituted as such by the self. To be human is to be embodied and ensouled. 

·         [David] Hume assumes that “myself” is an observable state like his thoughts and feelings. But the self is not something that can be thus observed. It is a constant fact of experience and, in fact, the ground of all experience. 

·         The most fundamental reality of which we are all aware, then, is the human self, and an understanding of the self inevitably sheds insights on all the origin questions and makes sense of reality as a whole. We realize that the self cannot be described, let alone explained, in terms of physics or chemistry: science does not discover the self; the self discovers science. We realize that no account of the history of the universe is coherent if it cannot account for the existence of the self."

And that concludes the five points of Varghese that he believes point to the existence of a supreme Mind, or God.

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