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A Review
Henri Louis Bergson's Book
Creative Evolution
Chapter IV: The Cinematographical Mechanism Of Thought
and the Mechanistic Illusion

A Glance at the History of Systems

Real Becoming and False Evolutionism.

Topic 41: Plato & Aristotle
by Doug Renselle
Doug's Pre-review Commentary
Start of Review

Chapter I II
Introduction 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 
Chapter III IV
22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45  46 47

Move to any Topic of Henri Louis Bergson's Creative Evolution,
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Topic 41...............Plato & Aristotle


(Most quotes verbatim Henri Louis Bergson, some paraphrased.)

(Relevant to Pirsig, William James Sidis, and Quantonics Thinking Modes.)


"We must make complete abstraction of this mechanism, if we wish to get rid at one stroke of the theoretical absurdities that the question of movement raises. All is obscure, all is contradictory when we try, with states, to build up a transition. [And realize that reality is relentless, unending transition.] The obscurity is cleared up, the contradiction vanishes, as soon as we place ourselves along the transition [be our intrinsic Quantonic selves, and "...think being directly..."], in order to distinguish states in it by making cross cuts therein in thought. The reason is that there is more in the transition than the series of states, that is to say, the possible cuts—more in the movement than the series of positions, that is to say, the possible stops. Only, the first way of looking at things is conformable to the processes of the human mind; the second requires, on the contrary, that we reverse the bent of our intellectual habits. No wonder, then, if philosophy at first recoiled before such an effort. The Greeks trusted to nature, trusted the natural propensity of the mind, trusted language above all, in so far as it naturally externalizes thought. Rather than lay blame on the attitude of thought and language toward the course of things, they preferred to pronounce the course of things itself to be wrong.

"Such, indeed, was the sentence passed by the philosophers of the Eleatic school [founded by Parmenides and Xenophanes]. And they passed it without any reservation whatever. As becoming shocks the habits of thought and fits ill into the molds of language, they declared it unreal. In spatial movement and in change in general they saw only pure illusion. This conclusion could be softened down without changing the premisses, by saying that the reality changes, but that it ought not to change. Experience confronts us with becoming: that is sensible reality. But the intelligible reality, that which ought to be, is more real still, and that reality does not change. [Classicists sound much like Rush Dimbaughlb, don't they? Barbour does too!] Beneath the qualitative becoming, beneath the evolutionary becoming, beneath the extensive becoming, [classically,] the mind must seek that which defies change, the definable quality, the form or [classical] essence, the end. Such was the fundamental principle of the philosophy which developed throughout the classic age, the philosophy of Forms, or, to use a term more akin to the Greek, the philosophy of Ideas." Red brackets and violet problematics highlighted by Doug - 3Aug2009.

(Our brackets, bold, and color.)

Bergson restarts his footnote counts on each page. So to refer a footnote, one must state page number and footnote number.

Our bold and color highlights follow a code:

  • black-bold - important to read if you are just scanning our review
  • green-bold - we see Bergson suggesting axiomatic memes
  • violet-bold - an apparent classical problematic
  • blue-bold - we disagree with this text segment while disregarding context of Bergson's overall text
  • gray-bold - quotable text
  • red-bold - our direct commentary

Bergson again belies classical philosophy and science's methods. His more is potentially all of reality. We attempt to depict this in our graphic of his duration as a quanton. Many heterogeneities qualitatively affect any next-transition of reality.

As Bergson writes, "...the second [i.e., '...think being directly...' which implies quantumly via omnitoring - Doug] requires, on the contrary, that we reverse the bent of our intellectual habits." Clearly, that is what Quantonics teaches: how to move from CTMs to QTMings. See our How to Become a Student of Quantonics. Also see Doug's 2003-2004 Chautauqua on how to leave classical and enfold quanta into y~our quantum~stagings. Doug - 3Aug2009.

And classicists still pursue their objective fallacies in this manner, arrogantly claiming reality is wrong and their methods are correct. See our analogous comments elsewhere on this topic: Classically, reality is wrong.

Note how Julian Barbour still adheres this classical Aristotelian and Platonic legacy in his 2001 book, The End of Time.


And we see thelogos' monism in all its ugliest.



"The word eidos, which we translate here by "Idea," has, in fact, this threefold meaning. It denotes (1) the quality, (2) the form or essence, (3) the end or design in the sense of intention) of the act being performed, that is to say, at bottom, the design (in the sense of drawing) of the act supposed accomplished. These three aspects are those of the adjective, substantive and verb, and correspond to the three essential categories of language. After the explanations we have given above, we might, and perhaps we ought to, translate eidos by "view" or rather by "moment." For eidos is the stable view taken of the instability of things: the quality, which is a moment of becoming; the form, which is a moment of evolution; the essence, which is the mean form above and below which the other forms are arranged as alterations of the mean; finally, the intention or mental design which presides over the action being accomplished, and which is nothing else, we said, than the material design, traced out and contemplated beforehand, of the action accomplished. To reduce things to Ideas is therefore to resolve becoming into its principal moments, each of these being, moreover, by the hypothesis, screened from the laws of time and, as it were, plucked out of eternity. That is to say that we end in the philosophy of Ideas when we apply the cinematographical mechanism of the intellect to the analysis of the real.

"But, when we put immutable Ideas at the base of the moving reality, a whole physics, a whole cosmology, a whole theology follows necessarily. We must insist on the point. Not that we mean to summarize in a few pages a philosophy so complex and so comprehensive as that of the Greeks. But, since we have described the cinematographical mechanism of the intellect, it is important that we should show to what idea of reality the play of this mechanism leads. It is the very idea, we believe, that we find in the ancient philosophy."

(Our underline, bold, and color.)


Singular here begs a classical monistic. We think a simple lingual assist occurs when we just use plurals, e.g., "moments." You should infer how classical use of 'the' begs singularity and monism, too.

Ponder monism as a classical precursor of dichotomy. Then juxtapose c¤mplementary pluralism as a cure.

Note that animated Planck quantons are our Quantonic moments, so to speak. Also note, that our Planck quantons do 'not' (when played animated on our quantum stages) classically 'stop' as Bergson describes classical moments.



Bergson disrobes classicism's ill-gotten philosophical and scientific foundations. He shows us how our entire modern classical scientific and academic edifices are built upon such horrendously inept groundworks. It is almost unbelievable how much grundlagen must be altered and even discarded to correct and displace over 2500 years of applied Greek 'Ideas.' Fortunately those alterations and displacements offer humanity an immense fount of invaluable bounty, a bottomless quantum horn of plenty.



"The main lines of the doctrine that was developed from Plato to Plotinus, passing through Aristotle (and even, in a certain measure, through the Stoics), have nothing accidental, nothing contingent, noticing that must be regarded as a philosopher's fancy. They indicate the vision that a systematic intellect obtains of the universal becoming when regarding it by means of snapshots, taken at intervals, of its flowing. So that, even to-day, we shall philosophize in the manner of the Greeks, we shall rediscover, without needing to know them, such and such of their general conclusions, in the exact proportion that we trust in the cinematographical instinct of our thought.

"We said there is more in a movement than in the successive positions attributed to the moving object, more in a becoming than in the forms passed through in turn, more in the evolution of form than the forms assumed one after another. Philosophy can therefore derive terms of the second kind [i.e., forms] from those of the first [i.e., becomings], but not the first from the second: from the first terms speculation must take its start. But the intellect reverses the order of the two groups [i.e., forms precede becomings]; and, on this point, ancient philosophy proceeds as the intellect does. It installs itself in the immutable, it posits only Ideas. Yet becoming exists: it is a fact. How, then, having posited immutability alone, shall we make change come forth from it? Not by the addition of anything, for, by the hypothesis, there exists nothing positive outside Ideas. It must therefore be by a diminution. So at the base of ancient philosophy lies necessarily this postulate: that there is more in the motionless than in the moving, and that we pass from immutability to becoming by way of diminution or attenuation. [Utter classical bilge! Julian Barbour believes in this classical Boole!]"

(Our brackets, bold, and color.)



And that, dear readers, has been classicists' huge historical perversion of our quantum stages. But, now, Quality ripens, awaiting classical thought perversions' extinctions followed by n¤vel and innovative transitions and r-evolutions into QTMs.




Indeed, in both Pirsig's MoQ and Quantonics, Static Quality (SQ/actuality) or Static Patterns of Value (i.e., SPoVs, of which Plato's ideal forms are but one subspecies) arise (become) from Dynamic Quality (DQ/nonactuality).



"It is therefore [classically] something negative, or zero at most, that must be added to Ideas to obtain change. In that consists the Platonic "non-being," the Aristotelian "matter"—a metaphysical zero which, joined to the Idea [i.e., dichon(Platonic_idea, Aristotelian_matter), or dichon(subject, object)], like the arithmetical zero to unity [i.e., dichon(0, 1)], multiplies [rather, inducts] it in space and time. By it the motionless and simple Idea is refracted into a movement spread out indefinitely. In right, there ought to be nothing but immutable Ideas, immutably fitted to each other. In fact, matter comes to add to them its 'void, and thereby lets loose the universal becoming. It is an elusive nothing [i.e., quantum isoflux], that creeps between the Ideas and creates endless agitation, eternal disquiet, like a suspicion insinuated between two loving hearts. Degrade the immutable Ideas: you obtain, by that alone, the perpetual flux of things. The Ideas or Forms are the whole of intelligible reality, that is to say, of truth, in that they represent, all together, the theoretical equilibrium of Being. As to sensible reality, it is a perpetual oscillation from one side to the other of this point of equilibrium.

"Hence, throughout the whole philosophy of Ideas there is a certain conception of duration [we ask our readers to ponder classical 'duration' as perpetual 'state,' vis-à-vis quantum duhrati¤n as pærpætual changæ ...please see our more recent c. 2005 QELR of duration...Doug - 28May2008], as also of the relation of time to eternity. He who installs [i.e., "He who ...thibedirs"] himself in becoming sees in duration the very life of things, the fundamental reality. The Forms, which the mind isolates and stores up in concepts, are then only snapshots of the changing reality. They are moments gathered along the course of time; and, just because we have cut the thread that binds them to time, they no longer endure. They tend to withdraw into their own definition, that is to say, into the artificial reconstruction and symbolical expression which is their intellectual equivalent. They enter into eternity [i.e., persistence of negentropy as isobeings], if you will; but what is eternal in them is just what is unreal [we prefer nonactual]. On the contrary, if we treat becoming by the cinematographical method, the Forms are no longer snapshots taken of the change, they are its constitutive elements, they represent all that is positive in Becoming. Eternity no longer hovers over time, as an abstraction; it underlies time, as a reality. [Bergson appears to have just trans-formed, via cinematic animation, Plato's ideal static forms into a Pirsigean c¤mplementarity of both Static and Dynamic Quality. See our comments at right.]"

(Our brackets, bold, and color.)

Unsure you experience our philosophical dyslexia here, but we felt Bergson drastically alter his perspective.

He describes 'matter' as "negative" to Plato's 'Ideas' and 'matter' as "non-being." We can learn much from Bergson's "altered" perspective and why it gave us this dyslexic feeling. Let's try to show what he says using our quantonic notation. He says Plato's Ideas are Platonically pure reality; core reality. And rather than using Bergson's "negative" allow us to replace it with "c¤mplement." Then Plato's Ideas have 'matter' as their c¤mplement. We can show this as quanton(Ideas,matter). Quantonically, from a Platonic perspective then, Ideas and matter are c¤mplements of one another. But we can depict Ideas and matter as a classical dichon too: dichon(Ideas, matter). Once we do that, SOM's scission almost leaps into our minds: dichon(subject, object)!

What is most interesting to us now, is how Aristotle inverted Plato's subject over object (or Ideas over matter) hierarchy with object over subject (i.e., matter over Ideas), and made objective truth absolute and demoted all subjective Ideas to "absurdities."

Pirsig describes this inversion well in his works, and especially well in his Birth of SOM.

Quantum reality simply does not agree with Aristotle's classical inversion. Actually, quantum reality aligns better with Plato's Ideas over matter—except for a major problem!

Pirsig uncloaked this problem for us. Bergson and James we now know did too. What is this problem?

Plato's Ideas Pre-exist
Immutable Forms!

In quantum reality, there are no immutable forms. Only absolute isoflux pre-exists as reality's relentless "vital impetus," i.e., quantum vacuum flux. Pirsig calls it DQ. DQ both emerses and immerses SQ. In Quantonics, we replace Plato's quanton(dyadic_Ideas,dyadic_matter) with a more Pirsigean, quantum quanton(DQ,SQ). We make a further, and very important decision: we move Plato's Ideas to SQ! In Pirsig's MoQ and our Quantonics, DQ emerses ideas—ideas do not pre-exist! DQ is pure flux, not pure form! (See our very recent Bell's Theorem Study for greater understanding of Doug's uses of "dyadic" as classical prefixes in our 'Platonic' quanton above. To simplify, Plato's dyadic Ideas are dyadic conjugates or dichonic, where quantum reality's omniadic quantons are comjugates or c¤mplementary.)

Aristotle inverted Plato's Ideas over matter as object over subject. We call Aristotle's inversion, "Classicism's Truth over value church of reason inversion." We claim it is CTMs' mentally-addled legacy.

Following Pirsig's lead, we replace Aristotle's inversion with a "Value over truth" hierarchy: DQ over SQ. DQ as first good, and SQ as second good. Quantum isoflux as first good, and quantum latched flux as second good. Absolute change as moral, and latched change which resists (i.e., absolutely denying its change agency to DQ) evolution as immoral.



"Such is exactly, on this point, the attitude of the [classical, unquantum] philosophy of Forms or Ideas. It establishes between eternity and time the same [classical, unquantum] relation as between a piece of gold and the small change—change so small that payment goes on for ever without the debt being paid off. The debt could be paid at once with the piece of gold. It is this that [classical, unquantum] Plato expresses in his magnificent language when he says that God, unable to make the world eternal, gave it Time, "a moving image of [classical, unquantum] eternity."(1)

"Hence also arises a certain conception of extension, which is at the base of the [classical, unquantum] philosophy of Ideas, although it has not been so explicitly brought out. Let us imagine a mind placed alongside becoming, and adopting its movement. Each successive state, each quality, each form, in short, will be seen by it as a mere cut made by thought in the universal becoming. It will be found that form is essentially extended, inseparable as it is from the extensity of the becoming which has materialized it in the course of its flow. Every form thus occupies space, as it occupies time. But the [classical, unquantum] philosophy of Ideas follows the inverse direction. It starts from the Form; it sees in the Form the very essence of reality. It does not take Form as a snapshot of becoming; it posits Forms in the eternal; of this [classically 'state-ic'] motionless eternity, then, duration and becoming are supposed to be only the degradation. Form thus posited, independent of time, is then no longer what is found in a perception; it is a concept. And, as a reality of the conceptual order occupies no more of extension than it does of duration, the Forms must be stationed outside space as well as above time. Space and time have therefore necessarily, in ancient [classical, unquantum] philosophy, the same origin and the same value. The same diminution of being is expressed both by extension in space and detention in time."

Note (1) - Plato, Timaeus, 37 D.

(Our bold. Doug's red text brackets - 2Sep2009.)

We need, here, to omnistinguish Plato's 'God,' and Quantonics' QELRed "G¤d." Allow us to compare:

  • Classical_God = dichon(spirit, sentient_materiality), and
  • Quantum_G¤dquanton(spirit,evolving_actuality).


Bergson's "...duration and becoming..." are quantum~evolution, n¤t event-state occurrences in an 'ideal' static and material 'form' plenum. Bergson's duration is quantum~processings mediating reality's own gn¤stic~redemption and remediation.

Thank you for reading,

Doug - 2Sep2009.



"Both of these are but the distance between what is and what ought to be. From the standpoint of ancient philosophy, space and time can be nothing but the field that an incomplete reality, or rather a reality that has gone astray from itself, needs in order to run in quest of itself. Only it must be admitted that the field is created as the hunting progresses, and that the hunting in some way deposits the field beneath it. Move an imaginary pendulum, a mere mathematical point, from its position of equilibrium: a perpetual oscillation is started, along which points are placed next to points, and moments succeed moments. The space and time which thus arise have no more "positivity" than the movement itself. They represent the remoteness of the position artificially given to the pendulum from its normal position, what it lacks in order to regain its natural stability. Bring it back to its normal position: space, time and motion shrink to a mathematical point. Just so, human reasonings are drawn out into an endless chain, but are at once swallowed up in the truth seized by intuition, for their extension in space and time is only the distance, so to speak, between thought and truth.(1) So of extension and duration in relation to pure Forms or Ideas. The sensible forms are before us, ever about to recover their ideality, ever prevented by the matter they bear in them, that is to say, by their inner void, by the interval between what they are and what they ought to be. They are for ever on the point of recovering themselves, for ever occupied in losing themselves. An inflexible law condemns them, like the rock of Sisyphus, to fall back when they are almost touching the summit, and this law, which has projected them into space and time, is nothing other than the very constancy of their original insufficiency."

Note (1) - We have tried to bring out what is true and what is false in this idea, so far as spatiality is concerned (see Chapter III.). It seems to us radically false as regards duration.

(Our bold and color.)





To be utterly blunt, we can just say, "Classical truth, in order to be true, has to stop reality!" A SOM Disabler!

Doug - 16Oct2006.



Of course Bergson speaks here of an Aristotelian excluded-middle classical dichon(false, true). Where his "radically false" is an apparent (but not actual) classical absolute in a closed SOMitic church of reason, it may only be locally more consistent and globally less complete in a more general quantum reality. We are unsure, still, whether his radically false is a semantic which shows his understanding of this. His use of 'radical' tends to create an island of thought, incommensurable with other different islands of thought—which garners a sense of local radicalness in a larger quantum realm. His description of a swinging pendulum and its stoppage, is a very rough quantum analogue of Poisson's bracket for uncertainty of classical concepts of position and momentum of a particle. As a pendulum swings, it has momentum and its position is less certain. When a pendulum 'stops,' it has a more certain local position but very small local momentum. We use 'local' in a Poincaréan fashion, to remind us that larger reality does not 'stop,' and lest we forget nor does smaller reality 'stop.' E.g., Earth's orbit is a pendulum of its own meso kind, and atoms constituting Bergson's gedanken pendulum are all pendulums of their own micro kind. Flux is crux!



"The alternations of generation and decay, the evolutions ever beginning over and over again, the infinite repetition of the cycles of celestial spheres—this all represents merely a certain fundamental deficit, in which materiality consists. Fill up this deficit: at once you suppress space and time, that is to say, the endlessly renewed oscillations around a stable equilibrium always aimed at, never reached. Things re-enter into each other. What was extended in space is contracted into pure Form. And past, present, and future shrink into a single moment, which is eternity.

"This amounts to saying that physics is but logic spoiled. In this proposition the whole philosophy of Ideas is summarized. And in it also is the hidden principle of the philosophy that is innate in our understanding. If immutability [monism] is more than becoming [evolute pluralism], form [stasis/inanimacy] is more than change [dynamis/animacy], and it is by a veritable fall that the logical system of Ideas, rationally subordinated and coordinated among themselves [axiomatic analyticity], is scattered into a physical series of objects and events accidentally placed one after another [unlimited analytic divisibility and synthetic integrability]. The generative idea of a poem is developed in thousands of imaginations which are materialized in phrases that spread themselves out in words. And the more we descend from the motionless idea, wound on itself, to the words that unwind it, the more room is left for contingency and choice. Other metaphors, expressed by other words, might have arisen; an image is called up by an image, a word by a word. All these words run now one after another, seeking in vain, by themselves, to give back the simplicity of the generative idea. Our ear only hears the words: it therefore perceives only accidents. But our mind, by successive bounds, leaps from the words to the images, from the images to the original idea, and so gets back, from the perception of words—accidents called up by accidents—to the conception of the Idea that posits its own being."

(Our brackets and bold.)




"So the philosopher proceeds, confronted with the universe. Experience makes to pass before his eyes phenomena which run, they also, one behind another in an accidental order determined by circumstances of time and place. This physical order—a degeneration of the logical order—is nothing else but the fall of the logical into space and time. But the [classical] philosopher, ascending again from the percept to the concept, sees condensed into the logical all the positive reality that the physical possesses. His [classical] intellect, doing away with the materiality that lessens being, grasps being itself in the immutable system of Ideas. Thus Science is obtained, which appears to us, complete and ready-made, as soon as we put back our intellect into its true place, correcting the deviation that separated it from the intelligible. Science is not, then, [classically] a human construction. It is prior to our intellect, independent of it, veritably the generator of Things.

"And indeed, if we hold the Forms to be simply snapshots taken by the mind of the continuity of becoming, they must be relative to the mind that thinks them, they can have no independent existence. At most we might say that each of these Ideas is an ideal. But it is in the opposite hypothesis that we are placing ourselves. [According to Plato,] Ideas must then exist by themselves. Ancient philosophy could not escape this conclusion. Plato formulated it, and in vain did Aristotle strive to avoid it. Since [classically] movement arises from the degradation of the immutable, there could be no movement, consequently no sensible world, if there were not, somewhere, immutability realized. So, having begun by refusing to Ideas an independent existence, and finding himself nevertheless unable to deprive them of it, Aristotle pressed them into each other, rolled them up into a ball, and set above the physical world a Form [i.e., absolute truth] that was thus found to be the Form of Form, the Idea of Ideas, or, to use his own words, the Thought of Thought."

(Our brackets and bold.)




"Such is the God of Aristotle—necessarily immutable and apart from what is happening in the world, since he is only the synthesis of all concepts in a single concept. It is true that no one of the manifold concepts could exist apart, such as it is in the divine unity: in vain should we look for the ideas of Plato within the God of Aristotle. But if only we imagine the God of Aristotle in a sort of refraction of himself, or simply inclining toward the world, at once the Platonic Ideas are seen to pour themselves out of him, as if they were involved in the unity of his essence: so rays stream out from the sun, which nevertheless did not contain them. It is probably this possibility of an outpouring of Platonic Ideas from the Aristotelian God that is meant, in the philosophy of Aristotle, by the active intellect, the nous that has been called poih tikos—that is, by what is essential and yet unconscious in human intelligence. The vous poih tikos is Science entire, posited all at once, which the conscious, discursive intellect is condemned to reconstruct with difficulty, bit by bit. There is then within us, or rather behind us, a possible vision of God, as the Alexandrians said, a vision always virtual, never actually realized by the conscious intellect. In this intuition we should see God expand in Ideas. This it is that "does everything,"(1) playing in relation to the discursive intellect, which moves in time, the same role as the motionless Mover himself plays in relation to the movement of the heavens and the course of things."

Note (1) - Aristotle, De anima, 430 a 14 kai estin o men toioutos nous ty panta ginesqai, o de ty panta poiein, vs exis tis, oion to j vs. tropon gar tina ka to jvs poiei ta dunamei onta crvmata energeia crvmata.

(Our brackets, bold, and limited Greek font.)

And we see, born in all its glory: OGT in OGC, one monolithic and monistic Truth fits all, an Aristotelian GUT, an Aristotelian TOE, absolute homogeneity of truth, etc. And it had to be good! Why? It is based upon what is real by observation: substance. And by observation that which is not real is not substance!



"There is, then, immanent in the philosophy of Ideas, a particular conception of causality, which it is important to bring into full light, because it is that which each of us will reach when, in order to ascend to the origin of things, he follows to the end the natural movement of the intellect. True, the ancient philosophers never formulated it explicitly. They confined themselves to drawing the consequences of it, and, in general, they have marked but points of view of it rather than presented it itself. Sometimes, indeed, they speak of an attraction, sometimes of an impulsion exercised by the prime mover on the whole of the world. Both views are found in Aristotle, who shows us in the movement of the universe an aspiration of things toward the divine perfection, and consequently an ascent toward God, while he describes it elsewhere as the effect of a contact of God with the first sphere and as descending, consequently, from God to things. The Alexandrians, we think, do no more than follow this double indication when they speak of procession and conversion. Everything is derived from the first principle, and everything aspires to return to it. [We would agree with that last sentence if by "first principle" were meant "absolute flux." Instead, what Aristotle means is "absolute truth."] But these two conceptions of the divine causality can only be identified together if we bring them, both the one and the other, back to a third, which we hold to be fundamental, and which alone will enable us to understand, not only why, in what sense, things move in space and time, but also why there is space and time, why there is movement, why there are things.

"This conception, which more and more shows through the reasonings of the Greek philosophers as we go from Plato to Plotinus, we may formulate thus: The affirmation of a reality implies the simultaneous affirmation of all the degrees of reality intermediate between it and nothing. The principle is evident in the case of number: we cannot affirm the number 10 without thereby affirming the existence of the numbers 9, 8, 7, . . ., etc.—in short, of the whole interval between 10 and zero. But here our mind passes naturally from the sphere of quantity to that of quality."

(Our brackets and bold.)




"It seems to us that, a certain perfection being given, the whole continuity of degradations is given also between this perfection, on the one hand, and the nought, on the other hand, that we think we conceive. Let us then posit the God of Aristotle, thought of thought—that is, thought making a circle, transforming itself from subject to object and from object to subject by an instantaneous, or rather an eternal, circular process: as, on the other hand, the nought appears to posit itself, and as, the two extremities being given, the interval between them is equally given, it follows that all the descending degrees of being, from the divine perfection down to the "absolute nothing," are realized automatically, so to speak, when we have posited God.

"Let us then run through this interval from top to bottom. First of all, the slightest diminution of the first principle will be enough to precipitate Being into space and time; but duration and extension, which represent this first diminution, will be as near as possible to the divine in extension and eternity. We must therefore picture to ourselves this first degradation of the divine principle as a sphere turning on itself, imitating, by the perpetuity of its circular movement, the eternity of the circle of the divine thought; creating, moreover, its own place, and thereby place in general, (1) since it includes without being included and moves without stirring from the spot; creating also its own duration, and thereby duration in general, since its movement is the measure of all motion.(2)"

Note (1) - De caelo, ii. 287 a 12 ths escaths perijorasoute kenon estin exvqen oute topos. Phys. iv. 212 a 34 to de pan esti men vs kinhsetai esti d vs ou. vs men gar olon, ama ton topon ou metaballei. kuklv de kinhsetai, tvn morivn gar outos o topos.

Note (2) - De caelo, i. 279 a 12 oude cronos estin exv tou ouranou. Phys. viii. 251 b 27 o cronos paqos ti kinhsevs.

(Our bold.)



Unsure how Bergson intends this metaphor, but it is very close to a Planck rate circular quantum ontology. Substitute DQ for 'subject' and SQ for 'object.' Of course this oversimplified substitutiion misses Pirsig's unification of both 'subject' and 'object' in SQ, leaving DQ as an analogue of Bergson's "vital impetus."



"Then, by degrees, we shall see the perfection decrease, more and more, down to our sublunary world, in which the cycle of birth, growth and decay imitates and mars the original circle for the last time. So understood, the causal relation between God and the world is seen as an attraction when regarded from below, as an impulsion or a contact when regarded from above, since the first heaven, with its circular movement is an imitation of God and all imitation is the reception of a form. Therefore, we [classically] perceive God as efficient cause or as final cause, according to the [Aristotelian] point of view. And yet neither of these two relations is the ultimate causal relation. The true relation is that which is found between the two members of an equation, when the first member is a single term and the second a sum of an endless number of terms. It is, we may say, the relation of the gold-piece to the small change, if we suppose the change to offer itself automatically as soon as the gold piece is presented. Only thus can we understand why Aristotle has demonstrated the necessity of a first motionless mover, not by founding it on the assertion that the movement of things must have had a beginning, but, on the contrary, by affirming that this movement could not have begun and can never come to an end. If movement exists, or, in other words, if the small change is being counted, the gold-piece is to be found somewhere. And if the counting goes on for ever, having never begun, the single term that is eminently equivalent to it must be eternal. A perpetuity of mobility is possible only if it is backed by an eternity of immutability, which it unwinds in a chain without beginning or end.

"Such is the last word of the Greek philosophy. We have not attempted to reconstruct it a priori. It has manifold origins. It is connected by many invisible threads to the soul of ancient Greece."

(Our brackets and bold.)



326 "Vain, therefore, the effort to deduce it from a simple principle.(1) But if everything that has come from poetry, religion, social life and a still rudimentary physics and biology be removed from it, if we take away all the light material that may have been used in the construction of the stately building, a solid framework remains, and this framework marks out the main lines of a metaphysic which is, we believe, the natural metaphysic of the human intellect. We come to a philosophy of this kind, indeed, whenever we follow to the end, the cinematographical tendency of perception and thought. Our perception and thought begin by substituting for the continuity of evolutionary change a series of unchangeable forms which are turn by turn, "caught on the wing," like the rings at a merry-go-round, which the children unhook with their little stick as they are passing. Now, how can the forms be passing, and on what "stick" are they strung? As the stable forms have been obtained by extracting from change everything that is definite, there is nothing left, to characterize the instability on which the forms are laid, but a negative attribute, which must be indetermination itself. [Bergson intuits quantum uncertainty!] Such is the first proceeding of our thought: it dissociates each change into two elements-the one stable [Pirsig's Static Quality.], definable for each particular case, to wit, the Form; the other indefinable and always the same, Change in general [Pirsig's Dynamic Quality.]. And such, also, is the essential operation of language. Forms are all that it is [classically] capable of expressing. It is reduced to taking as understood or is limited to suggesting a mobility which, just because it is always unexpressed, is thought to remain in all cases the same [a hint at homogeneity].—Then comes in a philosophy that holds the dissociation [I.e., SOM's great schism, wall, or scission; SOM's great cut which severs change from change not, severs subject from object.] thus effected by [classical] thought and language [I.e., CTMs.] to be legitimate."

(Our bold, link and brackets.)










This nearly perfectly matches our indictments of classical English language. See our MoQ and Language, and our two most recent QQAs: Jun2000QQA, and May2000QQA.


327 "What can it do, except objectify the distinction with more force, push it to its extreme consequences, reduce it into a system? It will therefore construct the real, on the one hand, with definite Forms or immutable elements, and, on the other, with a principle of mobility which, being the negation of the form, will, by the hypothesis, escape all definition and be the purely indeterminate. The more it directs its attention to the forms delineated by thought and expressed by language, the more it will see them rise above the sensible and become subtilized into pure concepts, capable of entering one within the other, and even of being at last massed together into a single concept, the synthesis of all reality, the achievement of all [classical] perfection. The more, on the contrary, it descends toward the invisible source of the universal mobility, the more it will feel this mobility sink beneath it and at the same time become void, vanish into what it will call the "non-being." Finally, it will have on the one hand the system of ideas, logically coordinated together or concentrated into one only, on the other a quasi-nought, the Platonic "non-being" or the Aristotelian "matter."—But, having cut your cloth [analysis], you must sew it [synthesis]. With supra-sensible [either ~external] Ideas and an infra-sensible [or ~internal] non-being, you now have to reconstruct the sensible world [From a schism!]. You can do so only if you postulate a kind of metaphysical necessity in virtue of which the confronting of this All with this Zero is equivalent to the affirmation of all the degrees of reality that measure the interval between them—just as an undivided number, when regarded as a difference between itself and zero, is revealed as a certain sum of units, and with its own affirmation affirms all the lower numbers. That is the natural postulate. It is that also that we perceive as the base of the Greek philosophy. In order then to explain the specific characters of each of these degrees of intermediate reality, nothing more is necessary than to measure the distance that separates it from the integral reality."

(Our brackets and bold.)









Viewed as a non-classical interrelationship this is what we call quantum c¤mplementarity. Non-being is nonactuality. Nonactuality is actuality's quantum comjugate c¤mplement. Dyadic dichons within classical actuality are viewed classically either as opposites or often as "imaginary" conjugate 'orthogonals,' and sometimes as 'phase.'



"Each lower degree consists in a diminution of the higher, and the sensible newness that we perceive in it is resolved, from the point of view of the intelligible, into a new quantity of negation which is superadded to it. The smallest possible quantity of negation, that which is found already in the highest forms of sensible reality, and consequently a fortiori in the lower forms, is that which is expressed by the most general attributes of sensible reality, extension and duration. By increasing degradations we will obtain attributes more and more special. Here the philosopher's fancy will have free scope, for it is by an arbitrary decree, or at least a debatable one, that a particular aspect of the sensible world will be equated with a particular diminution of being. We shall not necessarily end, as Aristotle did, in a world consisting of concentric spheres turning on themselves. But we shall be led to an analogous cosmology—I mean, to a construction whose pieces, though all different, will have none the less the same relations between them. And this cosmology will be ruled by the same principle. The physical will be defined by the logical. Beneath the changing phenomena will appear to us, by transparence, a closed system of concepts subordinated to and coordinated with each other. Science, understood as the system of concepts, will be more real than the sensible reality [and shall commence an arrogant and condescending habit of calling reality, "...wrong, absurd, ludicrous, unreasonable, nonsense, etc." Doug. 24Jan2001]. It will be prior to human knowledge, which is only able to spell it letter by letter; prior also to things, which awkwardly try to imitate it. It would only have to be diverted an instant from itself in order to step out of its eternity and thereby coincide with all this knowledge and all these things. Its immutability is therefore, indeed, the cause of the universal becoming.

"Such was the point of view of ancient philosophy in regard to change and duration. That modern philosophy has repeatedly, but especially in its beginnings, had the wish to depart from it, seems to us unquestionable. But an irresistible attraction brings the intellect back to its natural movement, and the metaphysic of the moderns to the general conclusions of the Greek metaphysics We must try to make this point clear, in order to show by what invisible threads our mechanistic philosophy remains bound to the ancient philosophy of Ideas, and how also it responds to the requirements, above all practical, of our understanding."

(Our bold.)



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©Quantonics, Inc., 2000-2021 Rev. 8Aug2012  PDR Created: 20Sep2000  PDR
(24Jan2001 rev - Add anchor to 'thibedir' on page 314.)
(24Jan2001 rev - Add comments to Bergson's page 314 text.)
(24Jan2001 rev - Add links and commentary to page 315 comments.)
(24Jan2001 rev - Add link to Pirsig's Birth of SOM in page 317 comments. Extend and add links to page 317 comments.)
(24Jan2001 rev - Add commentary and links to page 326 comments.)

(24Jan2001 rev - Extend page 327 comments. Embed comments in Bergson's page 328 text.)
(8Jul2001 rev - Correct link to page 30.)
(14Nov2001 rev - Add page 314 intraBergson text link to Kuhn's statement about his "absence of reservation about immutability.")
(14Nov2001 rev - Change page 316 comment 'new' to 'n¤vel' and link to Quantonics' MIII Remediation of English Language.)
(15Dec2001 rev - Add top of page frame-breaker.)
(21Jan2002 rev - Remediate quantum comtextual occurrences of 'complement' to 'c¤mplement.)
(23Jul2002 rev - Change QELR links to A-Z pages.)
(16Oct2006 rev - Adjust colors. Release page constraints. Update p. 319 comments.)
(15Nov2007 rev - Reformat slightly.)
(28May2008 rev - Reformat slightly. Add comments and links to p. 317 text.)
(3Aug2009 rev - Make page current. Reset legacy markups. Extend p. 314 comments.)
(2Sep2009 rev - Add Doug's p. 318 omniscriptionings of H5W "Bergsons Duration and Becoming Evict Classicism.")
(28Jun2011 rev - Add 'atemporal' link to p. 318 comments.)
(8Aug2012 rev - Add p. 323 text link to Doug's 'What is Immanence?')

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