Monday, 10 April 2017

Mr Incunabula (2)

Mr. Incunabula was perfectly aware that thinking was to be discouraged generally but found it impossible not to indulge in the activity. RenĂ© Descartes’ “Cogito, ergo sum” – I think, therefore I am – could certainly be applied to him but its reverse – I am, therefore I think – was, perhaps, even more apt. A cigarette paper could not be slipped between the two metaphysical events where he was concerned. His existence implied thinking. Had he ceased to think he would have vanished. He was a thinking machine and thinking seeming to be the purpose for which he was created and what sustained him in a state of existence

This being the case he continued to think in the full awareness of the danger or the disapprobation that his thoughts might bring to him. He knew that, in some sense, thinking was a contravention that required censure and, perhaps, correction and, so, he conducted his thinking in the darkness of his lair where it would be little noticed and only brought it into the light when his pregnant mind had delivered itself fully of a fresh opinion. He placed it on his blog which, though he knew it was seldom accessed, represented for him a public place where, if necessary, he would defend his conclusions. To do this would have been to defend his right to, perhaps not speak freely, but to write freely and, ultimately to think freely. For he was aware that society had taken a strange turn whereby freedom of thought, and, for him, its concomitant - to use words freely, had begun to be frowned upon. Widely read in history he knew that, in former ages and in varying places, free thinking, speaking and writing had, many times, been proscribed. He also calculated that, were such a situation to arise again within his own time, its arrival would occur in unpredictable ways never before seen. So far his sense of a general tenor in society, which sought to restrict free thinking or to place limits on where the mind could go and what it could express, was increasing. He did not know how it would develop.

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