Notes on Descartes’ God *

The reality of God is only provable by taking out of the definition of reality its material contingency; every thing real necessarily has a body. If God is believed to exist without a body, someone is imagining things. There is a hoax: the discursive mind is staging its own play, and the holistic mind, or magical thinking, by taking this play for reality, is driven to fall for its illusionistic trap. If reality is not restricted to to the realm of beings with bodies, then God may exist for real.

To “switch” from symbolic concept in the analytical thinking to indexical image in the holistic mind is to create a myth, it involves a certain usurpation of the demonstrative function of the discursive brain, a “stolen language” (R.Barthes: 72). If the mythical conception of God is carried on by the imagining mind, the creation of the world by the one God becomes allegory. God has It’s own humanlike life; It is doomed to die, his body chewed and swallowed by Nature, the ultimate indifferenciation of the world, like the “I” (Ego) drawn back and let to rot in the somber Id, a kind of under-self “where” the mind produces signs that are not related (by anyone, not even the Self) to anything else. If there ever was such a thing as a collective subconscious (Jung), it would produce this kind of non-verbal signs: indexes, signs of existence, like feelings.

To conceive God as a person is the real problem, because the terms “God” and “person” are contradictory. By definition, a person is a sign of iconicity, to be a person is to be like all other person in the world, and God is, by definition unlike others, one and unique. The rational grasp of God is only possible through the magical induction of its personification. The identity of a person is made up (constructed), it covers lie 1: that my “I”(Ego) is the same person as my Self, by lie 2 : that thought is god given and independent from the body. Thus, to believe in God implies lying twice, knowingly, once about myself and once about God.

The first lie is Descartes’s Cogito ergo sum, the thinking subject assumes that it is the whole being: I think thus I am, but the whole of what I am not my thinking. There is more to my Self than my Ego; there is more than my identity, there is – I was going to write my! – ipseity (Ricoeur: 1990). The sum implying the Ego and relating to the verb cogito is a sum indeed, of reel existence, material signs of what we are used to call life. But to think that this sum comes from thinking, is bad thinking, at least unsatisfying thinking, from a pragmatist’s point of view; it leads to rationalistic idealism. For a materialist or a semiotician, it has to be corrected into something like Sum ergo cogito. The thinking process cannot be independent of the body, for the body is the ground on which the “I” (Ego) is built. Further more, reasoning is not the whole of thinking; the discursive mind would not function if it was not nourished by images, such as logical icons submitted by reflective thinking (inter-hemispherical messenger) to analytical thinking (intra-hemispherical specialist).

The second lie is a platonic view, it leads to metaphysical idealism. Some things – and God is certainly one of them – are believed to exist even if they do not have a body that could be seen and touched by people. If someone wants to eradicate all lies from his thinking and have only truths and nothing but truths to deal with, he better leave out the topics of God and Ego, for they cannot be tackled by the brain as any sensitive experience could be, they are constructed as means to sooth the never satisfied discursive mind, always triggered by its highly specialized master of symbols (analytical thinking), and to exilarate the binding urge of the holistic mind driven by its highly specialized master of indexes (somatic thinking).” – The Making of God by Pierrre Voyer, 2007

 

* Do not cite or quote this page.  It is under development and its contents are tentative. – bioperipatetic

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