Archive for March 27th, 2012

Supreme Happiness

March 27, 2012

Rene Descartes is most famous for his line  “I think, therefore I am.”   This semester I am taking a course on his philosophical writings and I read his meditations again.  I wanted to share the concluding comments in the Third Meditation.

…I should like to pause here and spend some time in the contemplation of God; to reflect on his attributes, and to gaze with wonder and adoration on the beauty of this immense light, so far as the eye of my darkened intellect can bear it.  For just as we believe through faith that the supreme happiness of the next life consists solely in the contemplation of the divine majesty, so experience tells us that this same contemplation, albeit much less perfect, enables us to know the greatest joy of which we are capable in this life.

This quote does not make it into introductory philosophy texts.

All I can say to the passage is Amen!

This passage is quoted from:   Cottingham, Stoothoff, and Murdoch; trans : The Philosophical Writings of Descartes”  vol II,  Cambridge University Press 1984  p36