Not so sure!

The dualism he largely contributed to promote postulates that soul and matter don’t belong to the same world: the soul is immaterial and responsible notably of our free-will when our understanding comes from the working of our material and organised brain. Communication between these two realms could be done in the only odd organ of our brain: our epiphysis.

But we find a very different Descartes in the intimacy of his correspondence! Frontiers between immaterial emotions and organic illnesses aren’t impenetrable; dualism shows important breaches!

« The most ordinary cause of slow fever is sorrow; and chance continues to persecute your house, giving you continuous reasons to be angry (…). And one could fear that you couldn’t be freed of it, unless by the power of your personality you could make your soul happy, in spite of destiny’s disgrace. »

Descartes to Elisabeth of Bohème – Egmond, may 18 mai 1645

« But, as body’s health and pleasant environment greatly help our soul to quick off all sad emotions and bring in joyful ones, reciprocally when mind is joyful it helps the body to keep healthy and the environment seems nicer. »

Descartes to Elisabeth of Bohème – November 1646

Clearly the philosopher explains to Elisabeth her melancholy is the cause of her physical illness and that it should heal in relation to her mood; there is therefore a clear link between the body, ill or healthy, and immaterial thoughts or emotions. Today we know of « placebo » or « nocebo » effects. But we don’t yet understand how they participate to about 30% of the measured effects. Maybe we should look here also for a new paradigm that would let us better understand the links between thoughts, moods and organised living matter.

Descartes goes even farther when he links his own mood with chance in games! He suggests to Elisabeth to have an influence on events just by working on her mood that could change the sequence of events in the material world in her favour! It is psychophysics well beyond our time!

« And I’m led to believe that interior joy has some secret power to make chance events more favorable. I won’t write that to feeble minds since they could become superstitious; but in your highness presence I would only by afraid you took me for a gullible man. But I could present so many experiences, with Socrate’s authority, to confirm my opinion. I often realised that what I did with a joyful mood, without any reluctance, would succeed, even if they are chance games, where only chance reigns, I always found it more favourable when I was joyful instead of when I was sad. And Socrate’s demon wasn’t probably something else, he used to follow his intuitions and was convinced that what he did would succeed if he did it joyfully, and, on the contrary, would fail if he was sad. »

Descartes to Elisabeth of Bohème – November 1646

Descartes highlights that it could be dangerous for superstitious people to rely on this knowing that should therefore be kept secret and available only to strong personalities. The feeble could rely on this link between mood and chance and avoid progressing in personality and rationality. But he clearly accepts his experiences and the influence his soul could have on material things as chance games!

He doesn’t feel alone since he introduces Socrate’s demon; Socrate who followed the advices given by what we could, today, name his « intuition ». Again, an evidence of communication between what happens in an immaterial realm and the material one; a communication that seems to transcend space and time where matter belongs! A large breach in the dualistic wall between matter and soul.


Are you just a piece of flesh and bones… with no future except for some ashes? Or are you more than that… an immaterial consciousness that extends largely out of your skin? This question is by far, one of the most important that should be answered in order to build a philosophy of life. Yet it isn’t really explored as it deserves.

What should you do to convince yourself that you’re more than a material body only? What sort of evidence do you need? Well, religion is dogmatic and can’t really convince the critically minded. Could Science do the job? Yes and No!

No, because the Method has been created to study matter, and only matter. Therefore it’s not appropriate to study immaterial questions from the beginning. Yes, because Science evolved and created some tools that help to acquire evidences even on immaterial questions, as in psychology. But an important obstacle remains: Science tends to become as dogmatic as Religion! So much that even impressive evidence can’t be accepted by some scientists, and experience shows that, whatever you do to answer their criticisms, it’l be useless… They’l always claim: “OK, the experiment is well done but… it can’t be true!” Because it doesn’t agree with the current paradigm which is only materialist!

So what?!

The only way out of this dead-end is to change your own paradigm, or at least be ready to do so when you accumulate evidences for yourself. One way to do that is explained in detail here.

To help you on your journey there are fortunately a great number of observations and experiments that point since long ago on the priority of consciousness on matter.

Paradoxically, biologists nowadays are more materialistic than physicists! This is so because the materialistic paradigm we inherited from the 19th is the main one to biologists who inherited it from physicists and therefore they are mainly convinced that the brain secretes the mind as the liver secretes the bile! But this is only faith and not scientific fact since it relies only on correlations and not on causal relations!

Physicists are confronted since more than a century to observations and experiments that demonstrate that: “Whatever matter is, it is not made of matter!” P. Dürr: physicist! Or: “Matter hasn’t the properties we usually think matter should have!”: N. Bohr: physicist… Physicists know (even if they don’t accept it easily) that the materialistic paradigm has to be changed! Some are even convinced that Consciousness is all what it is about and that matter is an artifact of consciousness, in a way! (Sir Arthur Eddington or Sir James Jeans…)

To convince yourself that conservative scientists won’t change their mind, whatever experiment you make, you can see a video made 40 years ago and that was qualified to “make history!. Yet nearly nobody reminds of it today!

It should have made history as you can be convinced by yourself. A group of researchers guided by Stephen A. Schwartz, set an experiment to see whether informations could be found without the implication of our bodily senses but from outside our body. In other words, does our personality go beyond the limits of our material body? Does consciousness belong to a realm outside our material brain? A realm that transcends space and time?!

You can watch the video here and make your mind for yourself!

It seems to me that the answer is clearly yes: our consciousness (whatever it is: this question has to be confronted also, of course) can fetch informations from outside space and time. Therefore our personality is not made out of matter only; and this has huge consequences on one’s philosophy of life, of course!

Stephen Schwartz doesn’t bother to reproduce again and again his experiments as dogmatic scientists ask all parapsychologist to do. He decided to continue on his track and make use of psi abilities instead of loosing his time trying to convince the dogmatic people. You can find many astounding discoveries on the Internet. For the scientific minded, you can also find a great number of very well conducted scientific experiments on Dean Radin’s website. or on “Weiler Psi” Blog here:  But the best way to convince yourself remains your own observations and experiences! Wish you a good job!