The mediations by Rene Descartes

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The originality with which logical thought spews from a philosophical doyen whose contributions to the field of philosophy continue to influence society to this day is often striking to a reader of Rene Descartes' mediations. As a result, the mediations have become an important topic of discussion in the modern contemporary world as the pinnacle of brilliance against which western philosophy is assessed. Descartes espouses the essence of existence from Aristotelian ideas in the brief book and then goes to analyse the fundamental challenges raised by Aristotle. Descartes further espouses on the Aristotelian notion that all knowledge available to man comes via sense and that human mental state must unequivocally resemble what they are about. As such, Descartes ends up developing an entirely new conceptualization of the human mind and how it relates with the fundamental ideals of life. The most apparent thing from the test though is Descartes philosophical approach that is entrenched in relentless skepticism. In the first mediation, he begins by asking himself how he can trust anything and then proceeds to invent what is perceived as an outlandish attempt to discredit everything based on the mistrust he has towards his senses (Descartes, 2007). The subsequent portions of the paper will reflect on this extreme response to try to understand what could compel someone to rethink their entire belief system.

The Time I felt Compelled to Rethink Everything

It has been exactly two years since I experienced the life-changing event in my life that made me rethink about my very existence and the fundamental basis of my belief system. I had just started my sophomore year and things were accelerating fast. As a devoted Christian, I was rather perplexed and pleasantly astounded by the changes that were taking place in me. My parents were undergoing a difficult time in their marriage and the weight of financial uncertainty was just overwhelming. I delayed with fees payment and I could barely fend for myself in college. My eventual drift into depression could not have come at some a bad time. I considered so many things to escape the painful reality I was undergoing. I started questioning my religion and how it had failed me. I asked myself, “If God truly exists. Why must I undergo all these problems? What is the essence of his existence?” Eventually, I completely obliterated every belief that I had about the risen Messiah and the good God that wanted the best for us. I practically became an atheist very skeptical of every religious dogma.

Describe how you were able to rebuild your beliefs from scratch

After so much soul searching, I discovered that I was fighting a losing battle but what must have triggered the change of heart was my strong Christian background. After I shared with my spiritual guardian, I was able to start accepting the essence of Christianity in my life once more and I became proactive in reestablishing my faith in the religious teachings that the pastor would share with me. Eventually, after so much painstaking and elaborate efforts to restore my faith in God, I was able to appreciate the very essence of my existence as God-given.

The Role of Reason and Certainty in rebuilding your beliefs

The period during my spiritual recovery was primarily based on in-depth thought processing and understanding. As such, I would deduce that critical thinking and reasoning were the reasons that made me able to build my belief system from scratch. Therefore, the reasoning was enough to build a satisfactory belief system without necessarily thinking of other alternative options. The renewed faith in religion became a certainty once I was able to understand everything surrounding my once deplorable life and avoiding the trap of blaming myself for the life events that took place. As a devout, I have come to realize that living with certainty is essential for a stable mind.


Descartes, R. (2007). Meditations on first philosophy (J. Bennett, Trans.). Retrieved from

May 10, 2023
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