Updated: Sep 18
In some respects, Descartes had it partially correct when he said "I think, therefore I am." (He actually said "Cogito, ergo sum" which can also be also translated as "thinking, therefore existing.") In a way, he was right that existence follows thought. However, he was incorrect in thinking that the "I am" follows thought. The "I am" is itself a thought. It is the first thought. Existence arises when the thought "I am" arises. Worse, believing the thought "I am" creates the perception of a separate, not unified, existence; of a 'me' that exists. But what is prior to thought? What is prior to the thought "I am?" This is the heart of spiritual inquiry. It is the heart of freedom. What you truly are--your true nature--is prior to thought.