Rene Descartes lived from 1596 to 1650. He is the author of the “mind-body split” argument. Also, when you or anyone asks about your location, you can thank Descartes for Cartesian coordinates. These are coordinates like longitude, latitude, and altitude. He came up with it as he was watching a fly in his hotel room, and he realized he could describe the fly’s location with three numbers.
A funny story …
The mind-body split paradigm is the concept that the mind/consciousness is separate from the body. For me, this argument can be boiled down to what happens with near-death experiences. Some people see the white light as the afterlife. Others, ebbing neural misfirings. Anyway, when Descartes died and they were burying him, someone decided to steal a finger bone as Descartes was lowered into the grave. A more senior guard decided to have the skull. To this day, the skull and the rest of the skeleton remain apart. Too good. The mind-body split. God has a sense of humor.
Enter Mr. Einstein
Albert Einstein showed that space-time is relative. Your position is relative to the observer. If someone was speeding past at near the speed of light, your coordinates would not agree. There’s no universal zero point for the Cartesian coordinate positioning system. In a way, this is symbolic of humankind’s quest for meaning.
One more thing about Descartes …
The Mind-Body Split
There are plenty of examples of situations that involve the mind-body split. One of those is near-death experiences. There is also some evidence of distant viewing that is controversial but has some substance behind it. In any case, it seems that the basic question from which one can construct a personal philosophy of life is, is there more than this physical word?
And according to Descartes, there is, and Descartes has an argument supporting it.
But, to me, the evidence is more personal, more experiential. Of course there’s more than the physical world. I witness miracles daily. How can I deny that? Sure, maybe I can’t explain it fully to the scientific world, but with my Map of Consciousness, predictions can be made.