Therefore I am.

Cogito ergo sum– I think therefore I am – these words of René Descartes are familiar to us in the west but do we have any idea of the extent to which they colour our subconcious thinking and affect our whole culture?

Other cultures have a different defining proverb: We are therefore I am or You are, therefore I am.

When we present ourselves before God in prayer, what then defines our existence? The fact that we are God’s creation, are part of the Body of Christ, or that we think? There is something very individualistic about cogito ergo sum which runs counter to the teaching of Jesus.

And the culture of our consumer society, jokingly but rather aptly, expressed as Tesco ergo sum – I shop therefore I am – is arguably even more at odds with our Christian faith.

So what should the motto of the praying person of faith be? I’m no Latin scholar but I guess that Credo ergo sum would translate I believe therefore I am. But it still does not embrace the communal or holistic element. And to reflect the way that Jesus talked about all being one as he and the Father are one then it does need to express something of this.

Please use the comments box to offer any suggestions.


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