Things are not always what they seem . . .
‘I think, therefore I am,’ said Descartes when in a jam.
He reckoned only thought itself was sure;
All else could be deception. An interesting conception,
But one that has a dubious allure.
The whole idea of ‘self’ is the key to mental health,
Yet self is mind, and mind’s a brain-based thing.
The brain interprets what the senses say they’ve got
Which makes the whole thing very puzzling.
I used to think my eyes would never tell me lies,
But optical illusions prove me wrong:
My brain starts off confused, then ends up quite bemused –
It finds it’s been deluded all along.
While I’m asleep, eyes shut, my mind stays active; but
I wake, and usually know I’ve just been dreaming.
Yet sometimes it’s so real that I cannot help but feel
That I’m still in it – running, jumping, screaming.
One possible defence is to use the other senses
To check if you can touch and hear and smell
The thing your brain insists is out there and exists.
But what if they are mind-tricks too? Oh hell!