I Think, Therefore I Am


I Am. What does that mean? Who am I? Who is man? For thousands of years we have been given answers designed as a synthetic description of man. What or who? When we ask what man is, we mean a scheme of things. However, when we ask who man is, we mean the personal aspect. Man then appears as “somebody” who constitutes himself and at the same time craves for a kind of personal fulfilment, self realisation, and self realisation through contact with others. There is a distinction between “somebody” and “something”. This is the utmost supreme language. Man was created as the world of all worlds, as a self-contained world, as a new world over this world, and at the same time, the world of the deepest mystery of existence. This existence and being is thus composed of the extraordinary unity of body and spirit, earth and heaven, past and future. The being has become the thought, love, freedom, beauty, excellence, unity, greatness, a person of ultimate dignity—simply speaking—the person; somebody who is just after God in the order of importance.

Human history is based on a search for what is original in man, what is fundamentally human, what makes man truly genuine. In his anthropological reflection, Karol Wojtyła suggests to touch upon the problem of what is “irreducibile” in man. A cosmological human comprehension is insufficient—this made an assumption that a human can be reduced to the matters of this world (homo est animals rationale). Another complementary understanding is thus required, a personalistic comprehension which focuses its attention upon the irreducible. We need to stop the reduction process towards the understanding of humans in the world in order to understand humans on their own. A cosmological reduction does not exhaust human experience; we need to contemplate what is irreducible, what is authentic and unique in every man. We need to ponder what makes humans much more than the species, what makes man a person—a subject. Only then is the image of the human accurate and comprehensive.

The history of man and societies is also based on a continuous quest to uncover the mysterious beauty of man’s origins, his ultimate goal, and the mystery of his relationship (communication) with God and the other person. René Descartes’ anthropological breakthrough was a momentous point in this human’s historic journey.

Autor: Jarosław Jęczeń
Ostatnia aktualizacja: 12.04.2014, godz. 00:15 - Jarosław Jęczeń