Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Cartesian Meditations

I just came across this poem I had written some time ago and completely forgotten. It summarizes the philosophical argument of Rene Descartes's Meditations on First Philosophy. It's very uneven, but if I may say so myself, the first stanza is completely awesome.

Cartesian Meditations
A poetical summary of Descartes's Meditations on First Philosophy

Meditation One

Doubts beset on every side.
Nor all my effort nor my pride
Shall save me ere I err.
And if, and at what mighty cost,
In wanderlust I wander, lost--
How wretched am I there!

Meditation Two

I am, and in this am I caught
By, most certain of my thoughts,
My thinking I exist.
And this 'I' I know in knowing me
Is a thinking thing, as thought can see,
And so it does subsist.

Meditation Three

I am finite, and, being bound,
I know the boundless may be found.
Within my being I always feel
The imprint of my Maker's seal,
Latent, and however dim,
In the idea I have of Him.

Meditation Four

Try as I might, I cannot believe
That perfect being could deceive;
To lie, a defect will be found,
It pertaineth not to Heaven's Hound,
The God who chases every soul
To Truth alone that makes it whole.

Meditation Five

I look within; ideas I find
That pass within my thinking mind,
And quantities I see.
Their essence do I then explore;
Mathematics is then sure once more,
And God I see to be.

Meditation Six

My proper function God has made
Who never lies; and as He bade,
Thought I body then to be.
And now, I see it all so clear
That I can say sans doubt and fear
'Tis bodies that I see.

Now hear the moral of it all;
However doubt and worry fall,
There is recourse within our mind
That meditating thinkers find.
Knowledge of bodies is not more whole
Than that of God and of our soul.

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