The 77% Weekly

The Religion-Outside-The-Box Newsletter

August 2006 – Issue 24/40

In This Issue


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The 77% Weekly:
The Religion-Outside-The-Box Newsletter
is a chance
you to have a dose of
something spiritual but not religious 40 out of 52 weeks a year.

is a web-based 501c3 tax
exempt religious congregation that
empowers people to find and sing praises to (the) God (of their
understanding) regardless of
affiliation or belief.

_______ ergo sum.

A fill-in-the-blank spiritual exercise.

Cogito ergo sum translates as “I think therefore I
am” and is attributed to the early 17th century French
philosopher René Descartes.

I think therefore I am.

Is thinking the sole reason for my existence?
Am I here just because I think?

While I do love to consider, cogitate, contemplate and
calculate; weigh, wonder, ponder, reason and reflect; muse,
mull and be oh-so-clever, I have a hard time believing that
thinking is the primary cause of my existence.

But if it’s not thinking, then what is the reason?

What word or phrase would you substitute for “I think”?

_______ ergo sum.
_______ therefore I am.

Here are a few ideas:

  • I complain, therefore I am.
  • I have stuff,
    therefore I am.
  • I improve on things, therefore I
  • My parents procreated, therefore I am.
  • I create, therefore I am.
  • God loves me,
    therefore I am.

(Isn’t it interesting the way each version gives a very
different perspective on life?)

Meditate on what you would put in the blank and see what
you discover. Then come share it on the blog.

With much love for whatever the cause of your

Rabbi Brian

Comments on “_____, therefore I am.”

Some thoughts from Rabbi Brian

A few additional thoughts on “I think therefore I am.”

  • Some background: After a long, unsuccessful
    struggle to gain an understanding of God, Descartes began to
    consider that God is deceitful which led him to doubt
    everything. In the midst of his search for answers, he
    realized that there was one thing the never questioned — his
    own existence. Je pense, donc je suis. This was the
    original context for “I think therefore I am.”
  • 5th
    century BCE philosopher Lao-tzu wrote in the Tao Te Ching: “Stop thinking, and end your
    problems.” Aha!
  • There’s an old joke attributed to
    Bob Hope where someone offers Descartes a beer. He
    replies, “I think not” and disappears.
  • 19th century
    Polish rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk wrote: “If I am I because I am I, and you are you
    because you are you, then I am I and you are you. But if I
    am I because you are you and you are you because I am I,
    then I am not I and you are not you!”
  • God, in
    Exodus 3:14, is quoted with one of the best reasons for
    being: Ego sum qui sum — “I am that I am.”

With much love,

Rabbi Brian


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