It was hyped to be a great debate.
Both have developed their craft for many years through study.
They were ready for a collision course in philosophy.
There is only one problem that will prohibit this debate: Rene Descartes is 363 years older than Eckhart Tolle and will not be able to attend.
But have no fear; I will describe this debate in the following enactment:
Rene Descartes: “Congito Ergo Sum,” latin for I think, therefore, I am.”
Eckhart Tolle: “Rene Descartes – you think you’ve unveiled the most fundamental truth. You had, in fact, given expression to the most basic error. You equate thinking with being and thinking with identity. You would have made more sense if you stated I am, therefore I can think.”
Rene Descartes: “Well, Eckhart Tolle, that makes sense. But my expression has been the gateway to Western philosophy for the past 300 years. And I have better hair than you. And a badass mustache.”
Eckhart Tolle: “Touché my renaissance counterpart!! But I resolutely argue that we are NOT our minds. It can be a problem when we identify too strongly with our mind or have compulsive thinking. Our mind is an instrument. It is a powerful tool used to accomplish specific tasks, and to attract desires into our lives. It’s a wonderful thing. But again, we are NOT our minds.
True enlightenment comes from presence. It comes from an interconnectedness to a greater intelligence. It can be termed as a state of being; of inner peace or mind stillness. Not from a stream of mind thoughts, or identification with our mind. The mind identification of human beings can be a false sense of self.
The false sense of self hardly exists in the present. Past and future are more important to the mind, or ego. Some people relive the past everyday because of mind identification. Some people are never happy because they are always reaching to possess something in the future. Living in the past or the future (where the mind always is) we miss out on life. The present moment is all we have. The time is now. The now is where life happens.
Presence is the key to true enlightenment as a human being. And the mind has a tendency to inhibit us from discovering this enlightenment.
You should read my book, “The Power of Now.”
Rene Descartes: “Did I say I have a badass mustache?”
Eckhart Tolle: “I don’t recall. I have little use of the past, and rarely think about it.”
Rene Descartes: “Blast!”
Joe Metcalfe: And the winner is by a slim margin: Echkart Tolle!
Rene Descartes: “Damn it Eckhart, I can’t stand your essence of presence.”
Eckhart Tolle: “That is because you are identifying your self with your arguments against me, but that was a cool rhyme though – essence of presence.”
Rene Descartes: “Thank you, I needed something to feed my ego, or my mind identified self, as you so eloquently put it.” (Descartes sneered)
Eckhart Tolle: “LOL!”
Rene Descartes: “LOL?”
Eckhart Tolle: No longer feather pens and ink anymore. Texting and a new language of acronyms – it’s replaced Latin. I just laughed out loud.
Rene Descartes: Interesting… “B!”
Eckhart Tolle: “B?”
Rene Descartes: “Blast!”
Joe Metcalfe: Now, that’s what I called a debate.
*******Please note references: I quoted a couple of lines from Echkart Tolle in his book, The Power of Now*******
*****Please note: The philosophy of Rene Descartes is argued and his theories are not 100% indicative of the expression he stated, Cogito Ergo Sum. In fact it has been documented he stated, “I am, I exist” before Cogito Ergo Sum, and interpretations can get lost in translation. But my objective here was to break down the expression, not Descartes philosophy. And I do agree with that expression in the sense of our mind being so powerful that thoughts do become things, and we do become what we think about. But Eckhart distinguishes the mind as an instrument and the identification of one’s self with the mind.