Meditation Six (II)
The Meditator establishes that extramental
corporeal things definitely exist, confirms that she
has a personal body to which she is united, and
learns that neither her sensations nor her
perceptions resemble their causes in
the external world
EXIST (AT VII:78–80)
Though perception and imagination have been deemed faculties that are not essential to the Meditator, the operation of those faculties implies the existence of a thinking substance: “I can clearly and distinctly understand myself as a whole without those faculties; but I cannot, conversely, understand those faculties without me, that is, without an intellectual substance to inhere in.” Wherever there is conscious awareness of objects, there is a mind; no mere body, the Meditator is convinced, can perceive, imagine, or feel. What can she now conclude about the source of her perceptions and sensory experiences?
The Meditator knows that some ideas do not come from the senses. The non-pictorial ideas of the self and of God were not passively received by the senses. They were found within the mind after a search during which she ignored the sensory impressions that might have been only demonic interference. At the same time, the Meditator seems to have a faculty, albeit a nonessential faculty, that is independent of her will, for “receiving and recognizing” the ideas of corporeal things.
From her knowledge that the malevolent Demon does not exist and the observation that she seems to receive and recognize ideas of corporeal things, can the Meditator conclude that extramental corporeal