Unfortunately we don’t have direct knowledge on the first part, that is to say, I don’t have a direct knowledge of my own thinking because I am trapped in it. The moment my first thought appeared, it started to weave the layers of layers of personality, from the inside to the outside.
I don’t know if I think, or I feel, or I grasp, or I sense, or I act or or or. We can understand that we’re doing, whatever it is we’re doing, but direct knowledge assumes examination from an outside reference, and we cannot be outside our thought processes.
Meditation elevates one to upper layers, but not outside, because outside the thinking loop you cease to be you, therefore whatever is that which is looking will not pass back the knowledge of what it saw.
Limiting our basic philosophical perspective to ergo sum is a healthy choice. It is akin to:
“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”, M. Pollan
because right now that is all that our direct knowledge of how the complex relations between the billion moving parts of our metabolism work.
That’s all we know.
Perhaps, in the creation of artificial life and of the corresponding super artificial intelligence accompanying it, we’ll get that outside reference on the process of thinking that will validate or question the foundation laid by mr. Descartes.