I am thinking of the Cartesian Cogito, wanting to finish this work, sensing the coolness of the paper under my hand, and perceiving the trees of the boulevard through the window. My life continuously throws itself into transcendent things; it happens entirely on the outside. The Cogito is either that thought which formed three centuries ago in Descartes's mind, or the sense of the texts that he left to us, or, finally, an eternal truth that emerges from them; but in any case it is a cultural being that my thought tends toward rather than encompasses, just as my body orients itself and makes its way among objects in a familiar setting without my needing to represent them to myself explicitly. This book in progress is not a certain assemblage of ideas; rather, it constitutes for me an open situation whose complex formula I could not provide and where I blindly struggle until, as if by a miracle, the thoughts and the words organize themselves. A fortiori, the sensible beings surrounding me (the paper beneath my hand, the trees before my eyes) do not yield their secret to me, my consciousness flees from itself and is unaware of itself in them. Such is the initial situation that realism attempts to account for by affirming the actual transcendence and the existence in themselves of the world and of ideas.