"Omne est verum, quod clare et distincte percipio."
Truth is that which is clear and distinct. Clear and Distinct, or Clara and Distincta. One and another, or the same? Body and soul? Two women, two mirror-identical mutually perpendicular axes intersecting at a point – in a single man, René. X, y, z.
The idea of the clear and distinct was first proposed by the French philosopher René Descartes (1596–1650), the representative of rationalism and modern science. As a result of Reformation and the European wars of religion the times when Descartes developed his theories – both scientific and philosophical – were marked by uncertainty and turmoil.
The hitherto truths were shaken, undermined and challenged. Descartes thus dedicated his quest to the pursuit of truth and positive certainties. He drew from radical scepticism and inquiry about all that could be challenged. In order to find new answers and arrive at the actual truth, all learned truths had to be challenged and destroyed.
The clear and distinct differentiation is illustrated by : ´I am. My hand, my leg, my head, my body. Everything is an illusion, all can be challenged, except for the fact that I doubt. I, which thus doubts and therefore thinks, cannot not be.´ “I think, therefore I am.”
“I shall doubt everything in order to find out what can withstand the radical challenge. Not only do I have to doubt all that I have learned at school, from books or through contact with people. I have to even question whether the world that surrounds me actually exists, or whether it is a mere invention; whether I see it as it is, for I know that man often falls prey to many sensory illusions. I shall equally doubt that which seems to be most certain: the mathematical principles. For it is possible that human brain is too limited to learn the truth and always leads us to error.”
Does God exist? “There has to be yet another, more perfect being upon which I depend and which gave me all that I have ...”
(Descartes, R.: Treatise on Method)
To the rationalist Descartes, God represents a perfect certainty that needn't be doubted, a perfect substance which does not deceive. The only truth comes from God. The idea of God is more perfect than man himself. God is truest and most distinct.
Is time an illusion? What does it mean: It is not time and it is time? The future is open and distinct until it becomes the presence. The past is clear and empirical. The presence – the very moment, the here and now – that is time. A word, thought, deed – that is time, an idea which helps us comprehend sensory experience. (Kant) It is a system that creates our experience. Time, similarly to space, is a transcendent, abstract ideal, yet equally empirically real.
I am deceived ergo I am
In the 21st century René denies the existence of God. The Godless and silent world is lunacy, madness and deception. The only palpable items are coffee, a melon and theatre with actors. Clara and Distincta may only be a fantasy, yet they might as well be real. Perhaps they are a single being split in two, or a product of schizophrenia? Or are they simply a symmetry that materialises in nature where, provided it exists, everyone has a symmetrical double. Inconsistency has become an integral part of each of us. We are consumed by uncertainty and angst: anxiety and fear have come to replace hedonism and the acquired freedom. Anxiety prevails about everyday life, one's own body, society and human relationships that seem aggressive. The entire world, not merely Europe, face aggressive terrorism and mounting violence. It all gradually breaks and damages mental and physical aspect of present man. He seeks the meaning of his being, its core and fails to find it. He keeps on analysing and proving, whilst losing himself in it all. Ultimately everyone, without reservation, is finite. Moreover, everyone is the most finite matter that belongs to the dump of the world. I am deceived ergo I am. Life and death, birth and dying, womb and grave. All is interrelated: destruction and creation, birth and killing, pleasure and the deepest sorrow.
Is our life real, or is it just a dream or a game?
A man enters the room. René. He sits on a chair, then stands up and walks to the window. Behind the window, a lake reminds him of all the years, instants and situations when he tried to help her, advise her, explain. Cat. She is in hospital. He walks away from the window and sits on the chair again. She is constantly in front of his eyes, walking the same path as he is: back and forth from the chair to the window. Then her image splits. He thinks of her as if speaking through her mouth, for she stopped communicating years ago. Cat is silent. It makes him verbalise her world. Her personality has split. Though he sees a single woman, he is looking at two. Cat is silent, thus both women are silent. She re-examines her own and the other woman's past, what he used to know about her, that which seemed obvious; all experiences, old wounds, views, attitudes and moral stance. He analyses to find that which is new, to understand. For something is just not right. Quality has inconspicuously disappeared from their life. They were surrounded by quantity and an interest in measurable, quantifiable things. He immerses himself into their shared past and seeks an answer to what is the key. He does not differentiate between sleep and being wake. Yet he knows that the sun rises and the sky is above. He allows for the possibility of their mutual confusion. He subjects his old present worlds to complex decomposition into the smallest intuitively discernible components in order to try to place them into something new, and thus to discover a new reality. His optic grasps the bodily and the spiritual, as it does items, experiences, time wasted, truths and lies, and dreams – all in the infinite loop of repetition. As if everything was in an underground tunnel between the Jura mountains in a circular particle accelerator where particles hit each other. The faster their movement, the more the collision splits them into ever smaller particles.
In his monologue René realises that, somewhere deep within her, lots of untruths hide. Those which he doubted and she learned to agree with. Together they found themselves in the dump of being, surrounded by junk, in the universe of their being. Just one thing is left: to leave. The world which they lived has crumbled, decomposed. A particle with zero charge or a divine particle have failed to appear not in the nihilistic demoralisation and in the anxiety of the value void, but in the twitches of meaning.
Project supported / Projekt podporili:
MK SR, elledanse.