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A Review
Henri Louis Bergson's Book
Creative Evolution
Chapter I: The Evolution of Life Mechanism and Teleology
Topic 3: Organized Bodies
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,
or to beginning of its review via this set of links
says, "You are here!")

Topic 3...............Organized Bodies


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

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


"The biologist who proceeds as a geometrician is too ready to take advantage here of our inability to give a precise and general definition of individuality. A perfect definition applies only to a completed reality; now, vital properties are never entirely realized, though always on the way to become so; they are not so much states as tendencies. And a tendency achieves all that it aims at only if it is not thwarted by another tendency. How, then, could this occur in the domain of life, where, as we shall show, the interaction of antagonistic tendencies is always implied? In particular, it may be said of individuality that, while the tendency to individuate is everywhere present in the organized world, it is everywhere opposed by the tendency towards reproduction. For the individuality to be perfect, it would be necessary that no detached part of the organism could live separately. But then reproduction would be impossible. For what is reproduction, but the building up of a new organism with a detached fragment of the old? Individuality therefore harbors its enemy at home. Its very need of perpetuating itself in time condemns it never to be complete in space. The biologist must take due account of both tendencies in every instance, and it is therefore useless to ask him for a definition of individuality that shall fit all cases and work automatically.

"But too often one reasons about the things of life in the same way as about the conditions of crude matter. Nowhere is the confusion so evident as in discussions about individuality. We are shown the stumps of a Lumbriculus, each regenerating its head and living thenceforward as an independent individual; a hydra whose pieces become so many fresh hydras; a sea-urchin's egg whose fragments develop complete embryos: where then, we are asked, was the individuality of the egg, the hydra, the worm?—But, because there are several individuals now, it does not follow that there was not a single individual just before."

(Our 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's use of 'reproduction' here is worthy of further consideration. Extending use of his objective ideas rendered so far, consider 'reproduction' as a SOM concept vis-à-vis 'reproduction' as an MoQ/quantum comcept. SOMites consider reproduction to mean perfect, cloned duplication of an existing object. MoQites see reproduction as empirical evolutionary extension of actuality. Latter requires fractal recursion of self with EIMA self-awareness and selective choice integral that loop.

Consider philosophical implications of Bergson's classical, "individuality to be perfect," down to Planck scales. Notice how reality demands both quantum cohesion and quantum autonomy commingling in uncertainty interrelationships, i.e.,


For those of you in manufacturing disciplines, it may be worth your while now to consider an evolutionary perspective of technique:

  • Individual craftsmen and crafts,
  • Power-assisted assembly,
  • Traditional assembly line production,
  • Optimized TQM minimum WIP, and
  • Current, mass customization.

An obvious question is, "What is next?" If we follow our stream of QTM above, we may anticipate, "empirical evolute extension" (EEE) as our method. However, we must consider how to apply that method at each stage of a product's life cycle. Using an obsolete 1980s rainfall NRADPTIMD product development model:

  1. Need
  2. Requirements
  3. Analysis
  4. Design
  5. Prototype
  6. Test
  7. Integrate/Install
  8. Maintain
  9. Dispose

As classical SOMites we may think of a traditional formal, mechanistic approach at each step. Alternatively, as more highly evolved MoQites, we can think of combining Need through Test steps in an EEE approach whose genetic modal mutations are nonformal-algorithmically recursed/evolved in all known and anticipated user environments. A similar approach can be taken in each product's unique maintenance evolution.

Some folk are already working on such manufacturing intuemes. See our review of Discover Magazine's June, 1998, The Darwin Chip, and also see our link there to a July 14, 1995 WSJ article by Tom Petzinger on an EEE-like assembly line at John Deere.

What we are attempting to show here is how important it is for us to observe reality's mandate for plural, quantal, change toward self-evolution of products as a next generation of manufacturing technique. We want to show how important our philosophical foundation is to acquiring newer QTMs. Further, with only slight imagination, we can infer Bergson's own biological precursory glimmers of such in his use of "reproduction."

14 "No doubt, when I have seen several drawers fall from a chest, I have no longer the right to say that the article was all of one piece. But the fact is that there can be nothing more in the present of the chest of drawers than there was in its past, and if it is made up of several different pieces now, it was so from the date of its manufacture. Generally speaking, unorganized bodies, which are what we have need of in order that we may act, and on which we have modeled our fashion of thinking, are regulated by this simple law: the present contains nothing more than the past, and what is found in the effect was already in the cause. But suppose that the distinctive feature of the organized body is that it grows and changes without ceasing, as indeed the most superficial observation testifies, there would be nothing astonishing in the fact that it was one in the first instance, and afterwards many. The reproduction of unicellular organisms consists in just this—the living being divides into two halves, of which each is a complete individual. True, in the more complex animals, nature localizes in the almost independent sexual cells the power of producing the whole anew. But something of this power may remain diffused in the rest of the organism, as the facts of regeneration prove, and it is conceivable that in certain privileged cases the faculty may persist integrally in a latent condition and manifest itself on the first opportunity. In truth, that I may have the right to speak of individuality, it is not necessary that the organism should be without the power to divide into fragments that are able to live. It is sufficient that it should have presented a certain systematization of parts before the division, and that the same systematization tend to be reproduced in each separate portion afterwards. Now, that is precisely what we observe in the organic world." (Our bold and color.)

I.e., quanton(one,many) which is similar to Mae-wan's quanton(multiversal_cohesion,individual_autonomy). Both of which are aspects of Heisenberg's quantum uncertainty interrelationships.

"Diffused" is Bergsonian for commingling, or compenetrating, or

We think this is "precisely what we observe" in all of reality. See our
Both Planck/Quality Events again.

"We may conclude, then, that individuality is never perfect, and that it is often difficult, sometimes impossible, to tell what is an individual, and what is not, but that life nevertheless manifests a search for individuality, as if it strove to constitute systems naturally isolated, naturally closed.

"By this is a living being distinguished from all that our perception or our science isolates or closes artificially. It would therefore be wrong to compare it to an object. Should we wish to find a term of comparison in the inorganic world, it is not to a determinate material object, but much rather to the totality of the material universe that we ought to compare the living organism. It is true that the comparison would not be worth much, for a living being is observable, whilst the whole of the universe is constructed or reconstructed by thought. But at least our attention would thus have been called to the essential character of organization. Like the universe as a whole, like each conscious being taken separately, the organism which lives is a thing that endures. Its past, in its entirety, is prolonged into its present, and abides there, actual and acting. How otherwise could we understand that it passes through distinct and well-marked phases, that it changes its age—in short, that it has a history? If I consider my body in particular, I find that, like my consciousness, it matures little by little from infancy to old age; like myself, it grows old. Indeed, maturity and old age are, properly speaking, attributes only of my body; it is only metaphorically that I apply the same names to the corresponding changes of my conscious self. Now, if I pass from the top to the bottom of the scale of living beings, from one of the most to one of the least differentiated, from the multicellular organism of man to the unicellular organism of the Infusorian, I find, even in this simple cell, the same process of growing old."

(Our bold and color.)

Bergson's duration is quantum commingling, compenetrating, coinsiding, coherence. Notice how it bridges classical past, now and future. Consider a Bergsonian heterogeneous extension: Notice how it bridges many pasts, nows, and futures. Now consider how quantum reality coheres all pasts, nows, and futures as quanton(one,many). Now consider how easy it is to move among them. Did we hear a "Wow?" Doug. (We have been saying to you: start using QTMs!)

We may consider Bergson's use of "Infusorian" as roughly analogous "germ of life."

"The Infusorian is exhausted at the end of a certain number of divisions, and though it may be possible, by modifying the environment, to put off the moment when a rejuvenation by conjugation becomes necessary, this cannot be indefinitely postponed.(1) It is true that between these two extreme cases, in which the organism is completely individualized, there might be found a multitude of others in which the individuality is less well marked, and in which, although there is doubtless an aging somewhere, one cannot say exactly what it is that grows old. Once more, there is no universal biological law which applies precisely and automatically to every living thing. There are only directions in which life throws out species in general. Each particular species, in the very act by which it is constituted, affirms its independence, follows its caprice, deviates more or less from the straight line, sometimes even remounts the slope and seems to turn its back on its original direction. It is easy enough to argue that a tree never grows old, since the tips of its branches are always equally young, always equally capable of engendering new trees by budding. But in such an organism—which is, after all, a society rather than an individual—something ages, if only the leaves and the interior of the trunk. And each cell, considered separately, evolves in a specific way. Wherever anything lives, there is, open somewhere, a register in which time is being inscribed.

"This, it will be said, is only a metaphor.—It is of the very essence of mechanism, in fact, to consider as metaphorical every expression which attributes to time an effective action and a reality of its own."

Note (1) - Calkins, Studies on the Life History of Protozoa (Archiv f. Entwicktungsmechanik, vol. xv., 1903, pp. 139-186).

(Our bold and color.)

Note how Bergson's "Infusorian" anticipates subsequent discovery of telomeres.

Just now, early in Earth's Millennium III, biologists are discovering "what it is that grows old."

Bergson hints of heterogeneous times. Juxtapose his thinking with Dirac's many times theory. Recently (during 1999), with prodding from intuemes of James, Bergson, Mae-wan Ho, et al., we vigorously adopted our previously only hinted quantum heuristic of heterogeneous reality and its concomitant "many times" or paratemporality. Our new view aligns well Dirac's many times wave function or y(x1,t1,x2,t2,x3,t3...) vis-à-vis a more classical y(x1,x2,x3,...,t). If you are a scientific theoretician, may we suggest you consider Bergson's and Dirac's heterogeneous paratimes as they affect Einstein's relativistic time dankenments? 23Sep2000 Doug.
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To contact Quantonics write to or call:

Doug Renselle
Quantonics, Inc.
Ste 18 #368 1950 East Greyhound Pass
Carmel, INdiana 46033-7730

©Quantonics, Inc., 2000-2019 Rev. 21Jul2011  PDR Created: 20Sep2000  PDR
(31Dec2001 rev - Add top of page frame-breaker.)
(17Jan2003 rev - Add anchor to text on 'reproduction.' Bold red 'reproduction' in comments.)
(17Jan2003 rev - Add related p. 13 comment link to our Stairs ontology for quantum selective choice.)
(7Jun2005 rev - Change some colors. Release page constraints. Replace some wingdings fonts with GIFs for compatibility.)
(15Sep2006 rev - Adjust colors and reformat.)
(3Oct2007 rev - Reformat.)
(10Feb2011 rev - Add 'Evolving Production Memes' anchor to p. 13 comments. Adjust colors. Make page current.)
(21Jul2011 rev - Add 'fractal' link to "How to do quantum~fractals.")

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