The legacy of Descartes is not affected by reformulating his scientific method of using the mind into a technology of observation. The supposition he promoted (of an 'invisible' and ethereal mind) was perfectly logical to him. He was a strong Catholic, and Catholicism has strong attachments to beneficial spirits assisting individuals.
This image refers to the central axis of hope and despair, rising and falling, that accompany most of our judgements on how our life is proceeding. At our core, we cycle around compensatory ideas. Our perspective (philosophy of self) is everything: Are we at the top, with only the view of what is below us? At the side, looking to rise up? At the bottom, with only the unreachable over us? Or, at the other side, losing our stature?