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A Review
Henri Louis Bergson's Book
Time and Free Will
Chapter I: The Intensity of Psychic States
Topic 1: Intensity And Extensity
by Doug Renselle
Doug's Pre-review Commentary
Start of Review






Bibliography Author's
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 Conclusion Index

Move to any Topic of Henri Louis Bergson's Time and Free Will,
or to beginning of its review via this set of links
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Topic 1...............Intensity and Extensity


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

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


Bergson begins, "IT is usually admitted that states [see state and state] of consciousness, sensations, feelings, passions, efforts, are capable of growth and diminution; we are even told that a
Can there be quantitative
in conscious
sensation can be said to be twice, thrice, four times as intense as another sensation of the same kind. This latter thesis, which is maintained by
psychophysicists, we shall examine later; but even the opponents of psychophysics do not [see n¤t and n¤t] see any harm in speaking of one sensation as being more intense than another, of one effort as being greater than another, and in thus setting up differences of quantity between purely internal states. Common sense, moreover, has not the slightest hesitation in giving its verdict on this point; people say they are more or less warm, or more or less sad, and this distinction of more and less even when it is carried over to the region of subjective facts and unextended objects, surprises nobody. But this involves a very obscure point and a much more important problem than is usually supposed."

(Our bold, color, brackets, links, and violet bold italic problematics.)

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
  • orange-bold - text ref'd by index pages
  • green-bold - we see Bergson suggesting axiomatic, perhaps quantum and even gnostic 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

Readers should ponder: "common sense," "judgment without reflection," "one sense fits all," "society as common sense," "individual as extraordinary sense," in their classical mechanical and quantum non~mechanical flavors and hues.


2 "When we assert that one number is greater than another number or one body greater than another body we know very well what we mean. For in both cases we allude to unequal spaces, which shall be shown in detail a little further on, and we call that space the greater which contains the other. [Repair missing text 29Jun2010 - Doug] But how can a more intense sensation contain one of less intensity? Shall we say that the first implies the second, that we reach the sensation of higher intensity only on condition of having first passed through the less intense stages of the same sensation, and that in a certain sense we are concerned, here also, with the relation of container to contained? This conception of [alleged] intensive magnitude seems, indeed, to be that of common sense, but we cannot advance it as a philosophical explanation without becoming involved in a vicious circle. For it is beyond doubt that, in the natural series of numbers, the later number exceeds the earlier, but the very possibility of arranging the numbers in ascending order arises from their having to each other relations of container and contained, so that we feel ourselves able to explain precisely in what sense one is greater than the other. The question, then, is how we succeed in forming a series of this kind with intensities., which cannot be superposed on each other, and by what sign we recognize that the members of this series increase, for example, instead of diminishing: but this always comes back to the inquiry, why [allege] an intensity can be assimilated to a magnitude."

(Our brackets, bold and color.)





Those of you familiar with Pirsig's works will recognize his "hot stove" example here. We get off a hot stove before we are even aware of any intensity, let alone its magnitude! Reality's actual quantum complement is both coherent and decoherent quality with classical, immutable, inanimate 'quantity' as an apparition, which Bergson explains!

It may be helpful to readers, now CeodE 2009-2010, to see our more recent exegeses of both intensity and quantum~intensity. Doug - 15Dec2009.

Begin a 29Jun2010 Doug aside on classical issues of scalar containment:

Bergson's commentary of larger scalars containing and superposing their antecedents applies to Peano's counting axiom which generates an integer natural number line.

Doug asks you to ponder exceptions to that 'not so' general rule. Fathom Fibonacci's series.

On Peano's series 8 superposes 7, for example. That should be obvious.

In Fibonacci's series does 8 superpose 7? It doesn't if one restricts oneself to said series itself. For example, 1,2,3, and 5 are Fibonacci 'superposed by 8,' while 4,6, and 7 are not. Doug refers this as an "additive prime" exemplar. It is extremely useful, e.g., as a cypher.

Now ponder how reality is just like that. Reality recurses. It generates fermionic fractals. Ensemble fractals do not superpose many other ensemble fractals! Dig out your CRC handbook and see for yourself. Nature uses fermionic cyphers to build reality!

One might even conclude Peano's natural number series is unnatural.

Now, are intensities of our feelings and emotions like Peano? Like Fibonacci? Are they quantitative? Are they qualitative? Do they classically have state, "hold still?" Do they evolve, absolutely change, manifest Bell Inequalities and quantum~uncertainty?


End a 29Jun2010 Doug aside on classical issues of scalar containment.

3 "It is only to evade the difficulty to distinguish, as is usually done, between two species of quantity,
Alleged distinction between two
kinds of quantity
extensive and
intensive magnitude.
the first extensive and measurable, the second intensive and not admitting of measure, but of which it can nevertheless be said that it is greater or less than another
intensity. For it is recognized thereby that there is something common to these two forms of magnitude, since they are both termed magnitudes and declared to be equally capable of increase and diminution. But, from the point of view of magnitude, what can there be in common between the extensive and the intensive, the extended and the unextended? If, in the first case, we call that which contains the other the greater quantity, why go on speaking of quantity and magnitude when there is no longer a container or a contained? If a quantity can increase and diminish, if we perceive in it, so to speak, the less inside the more, is not such a quantity on this very account divisible, and thereby extended? Is it not then a contradiction to speak of an inextensive quantity? But yet common sense agrees with the philosophers in setting up [alleging] a pure intensity as a magnitude, just as if it were something extended. And not only do we use the same word, but whether we think of a greater intensity or a greater extensity, we experience in both cases an analogous impression; the terms "greater" and "less" call up in both cases the same idea."

(Our bold and color, and violet bold italic problematics.)



Extensive forms of Bergson's magnitude are classical, i.e., using a quote from his Creative Evolution, classical measured extensive magnitude assumes "Reality is both stable and objects in reality are independent of one another."


Again, in his Creative Evolution, Bergson showed us how classical logic/reasoning assumes negation/'not' is objective. However, he then showed us that real negation is subjective, what we in Quantonics call "quantum c¤mplementary." Given negation is subjective (analogous to saying "quantum reality has included-middles" vis-à-vis Aristotle's 'excluded-middle') then can we develop a concept of logical bivalent truth, its inverse falsity, and thence a concept of logical contradiction? Our conclusion is that if we assume negation is subjective then we must assume also that contradiction is subjective, thence a classical concept of objective contradiction is unreal, indeed invalid. Quantonics accepts this point of view. But why is Bergson apparently using 'not,' i.e., classical negation, objectively? Or is he? Unfortunately, he does n¤t tell us!


4 "If we now ask ourselves in what does this idea consist, our consciousness still offers us the image of a container and a contained. We picture to ourselves, for example, a greater intensity of effort as a greater length of thread rolled up, or as a spring which, in unwinding, will occupy a greater space. In the idea of intensity, and even in the word which expresses [estimates] it, we shall find the image of a present contraction and consequently a future expansion, the image of something virtually extended, and, if we may say so, of a compressed space. We are thus led to believe that we translate the intensive [internal] into the extensive [external or spatial], and that we compare two intensities, or at least express the comparison, by the confused intuition of a relation between two extensities. But it is just the nature of this operation which it is difficult to determine.

"The solution which occurs immediately to the mind, once it has entered upon this path, consists in defining the intensity of a sensation, or of any
Attempt to distinguish inten-
sities by objective causes
But we judge of
intensity without knowing
magnitude or
nature of the
state whatever of the ego, by the number and magnitude of the objective, and therefore measurable, causes which have given rise to it. Doubtless, a more intense sensation of light is the one which has been obtained, or is obtainable, by
means of a larger number of luminous sources, provided they be at the same distance and identical [see our quantonic identity problematic] with one another."

(Our brackets, bold, color, link, and violet bold italic problematics.)

Bergson is telling us what Pirsig tells us.

Bergson: classical, spatially extensive measurements are inapplicable to [quantum] reality's quality.

Pirsig: static pattern measurements are incapable of capturing or representing reality's Dynamic Quality.

Classical computer di-gits are sampled ESQ! Quantum computer qubits can animately and hermeneutically represent DQ as tentatively coherent both DQ and SQ! Di-gits (dichons) are bivalent-state-ic. Qubits (quantons) are omnivalent-phase-ic.

In quantum reality, we deny classical objective cause and effect. Bergson's intensities, in quantum reality, are ensemble qualitative affects. We can demonstrate, directly, using Bergson's intuemes of luminous sources, using photons in a quantum double-slit experiment projecting diffracted photons on a white screen. Results are n¤t classically objective, rather, indeed, they are quantum-qualitative. Quantum measurement is n¤t about number and magnitude. Bergson understands! His intuitions and instincts are superb! Consider that he was writing these sentences over 110 years ago (~1888)!


5 "But, in the immense majority of cases, we decide about the intensity of the effect without even knowing the nature of the cause, much less its magnitude: indeed, it is the very intensity of the effect which often leads us to venture an hypothesis as to the number and nature of the causes, and thus to revise the judgment of our senses which at first represented them as insignificant. And it is no use arguing that we are then comparing the actual state of the ego with some previous state in which the cause was perceived in its entirety at the same time as its effect was experienced. No doubt this is our procedure in a fairly large number of cases; but we cannot then explain the differences of intensity which we recognize between deep seated psychic phenomena, the cause of which is within us and not outside. On the other hand, we are never so bold in judging the intensity of a psychic state as when the subjective aspect of the phenomenon is the only one to strike us, or when the external cause to which we refer it does not easily admit of measurement. Thus it seems evident that we experience a more intense pain at the pulling out of a tooth than of a hair; the artist knows without the possibility of doubt that the picture of a master affords him more intense pleasure than the signboard of a shop; and there is not the slightest need ever to have heard of forces of cohesion to assert that we expend less effort in bending a steel blade than a bar of iron. Thus the comparison of two intensities is usually made without the least appreciation of the number of causes, their mode of action or their extent."

(Our brackets, bold, color, and violet bold italic problematics.)

It is well to understand that intensity in quantum reality, as Bergson implies, may n¤t be viewed as a linear magnitude. All quantum~intensity changes are quantized. And their affects depend upon many quantum phasicities including: isocoherence, coherence, decoherence, interference, diffraction, etc. Too, when energy levels of "intensity quanta" are below what is required to, for example, affect an electron's shift to its next higher atomic-energy 'shell,' n¤ apparent "choice by an atom" to change will be made. From a classical view, what we say is both "qualitative," and "absurd."

It may be helpful to readers, now CeodE 2009-2010, to see our more recent exegeses of both intensity and quantum~intensity. Doug - 15Dec2009.

Here we see Bergson apparently retain a classical, state-ic mind-body dichotomy, in his use of "within us and not outside." In quantonics we see an animate phase-ic


This follows Pirsig's lead of mind/body as Static Quality's Static Patterns of Value which commingle and compenetrate Dynamic Quality. We show this as quanton(DQ,SQ), and infer:


And from that we can further infer:


We ask students of Quantonics to view our inanimate lingual depictions of quantons as animate on their quantum stages.

When we depict Bergson's verbal description using our classical script we see dichon(mind, body).

In our Quantonics view,

both-while mind and-while body

are n¤t classical excluded-middle either/or opposites (see EOOO), rather they are animate included-middle both/while/and (see BAWAM) compenetrating quantum c¤mplements.

For us then, measuring both intensity and magnitude assumes both are animate and qualitative and require stindyanic quantum measurement. Implication is that all classical magnitudes are essentially delusional. Why? Quantum intensity is quantal as we described just above, and quantons affected by other quantons "make choices" based upon energy levels of their affectors.

A comvincing example of what we are saying here is Dirac's description in his The Principles of Quantum Mechanics of photons and their atomic absorber quantonic interrelationships making QED choices when photons' oblique 45o incidences are polarized in tourmaline.

This issi an¤thær bæautihful eample ¤f pr¤f¤umd p¤wær ¤f ¤ur quantonic scrihpts. Quantons aræ ihnterrelati¤nships which aræ ihn quantum pr¤cæssings ¤f assæssing Valuæ while making ch¤¤sings, chancings amd changings rægarding whatings happænings netings basæd ¤n l¤cal comtetings' bættærings.

As Bergson shows, even though his language is too classical, classical views of reality simply do not work. However, quantum perspectives do!



"There is still room, it is true, for an hypothesis of the same nature, but more subtle. We know that mechanical, and especially kinetic, theories aim at explaining the visible and sensible properties of bodies by well
Attempt to distinguish intensities by atomic
But it is the sensation which is
given in consciousness and
not the movement.
defined movements of their ultimate parts, and many of us foresee the time when the intensive differences of qualities, that is to say, of our sensations, will be reduced to extensive differences between the changes taking place behind them. May it not be maintained that, without knotting these theories, we have a vague surmise of them, that behind the more intense sound we guess the presence of ampler vibrations which are propagated in the disturbed medium,
and that it is with a reference to this mathematical relation, precise in itself though confusedly perceived, that we assert the higher intensity of a particular sound? Without even going so far, could it not be laid down that every state of consciousness corresponds to a certain disturbance of the molecules and atoms of the cerebral substance, and that the intensity of a sensation measures the [quantum probability] amplitude, the [quantum numbered phasic] complication or [we would have used amd] the extent of these molecular movements? This last hypothesis is at least as probable as the other, but it no more solves the problem.

"For, quite possibly, the intensity of a sensation bears witness to a more or less considerable work accomplished in our organism; but it is the sensation which is given to us in consciousness, and not this mechanical work [rather, quantum n¤n-mechanical workings] . Indeed, it is by the intensity of the sensation that we judge of the greater or less amount of work accomplished: intensity then remains, at least apparently, a property of sensation. And still the same question recurs: why do we say of a higher intensity that it is greater? Why do we think of a greater quantity or a greater space?"

(Our brackets, links, bold, and color, and violet bold italic problematics.)

Bergson shows his great depth of perception here. For example, from a quantum perspective intensive mass is a direct consequence of fermionic spin ½ wobble, i.e., mass is an artifact of rotationally nonsymmetric quantum_flux! However, where Bergson says, "...many of us foresee the time when the intensive (qualitative) differences of qualities, that is to say, of our sensations, will be reduced to extensive (quantitative) differences between the changes taking place...," (our parentheticals) we now know that mass is only apparently extensive and its genuine intensiveness actually arises from intrinsically qualitative atomic "choosings" affected by both local and n¤nlocal ensembles of subatomic quantum flux energy levels.

Attempts to make mass and other quantum phenomena extensive represent a continuing classical deign to feign. Classicism, SOM, does its best to transform quantum reality into a naïvely dichotomous, spatially-extensive, Cartesian reality. Bergson, as we shall see, denounces classicism for this.

There is a crucial lesson here for students of Quantonics.

Classical extensive reality is a manufactured product built on historical insistent dogma, province and convention to use Platonic and Aristotelian dialectic. This insistence is borne of Plato's and Aristotle's hatred of sophists! Hatred is a tell of dialectic itself: dichon(love, hate).

Dialectic and its classical accoutrements turn quantum reality into a kind of intellectual dimensionally limited, temporally limited, dichotomy limited, staticity limited, et cetera limited, Flatland. Dialectic disables manifold animate semiotic hermeneutics of reality and as such disables any opportunity to understand reality.

A huge epiphany here is that classical mathematics are dialectical! Classical mechanics are dialectical! Classical objective thing-king CTMs are dialectical!

And Bergson's instinctive/intuitive grasp of quantum consciousness vastly exceeds that of classical 'modern' and 'postmodern' neuro- 'scientists' at Millennium III's commencement. In quantum light, it does more solve our problem.

When, as students of Quantonics, we approach our commencement, we shall see all including gravity, mass, time, space, et al. as "intensities" of quantum flux! Flux is crux!


Return to Chapter Index

To contact Quantonics write to or call:

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

©Quantonics, Inc., 2001-2019 Rev. 21Jul2011  PDR Created: 23Feb2001  PDR
(18Jan2002 rev - Change all occurrences of 'q-bit' to qubit.)
(19Feb2002 rev - Bold and blue-violet all classical occurrences of 'cause' and 'effect.' Describe "quantum intensity.")
(21Jul2002 rev - Change QELR links to A-Z pages.)
(25Aug2002 rev - Add 'consensus' link to common sense above.)
(25Aug2003 rev - Typos. Change some wingdings fonts to GIFs for compatibility.)
(24Feb2004 rev - Add p. 1 comments red text box.)
(26Mar2004 rev - Add p. 5 comments red text with a 'Diracian Causality' link.)
(25Sep2004 rev - Reset legacy red text. Adjust top of page colors.)
(23Apr2006 rev - Adjust colors. Release page constraints.)
(26May2006 rev - Adjust colors.)
(21Jan2008 rev - Reformat slightly.)
(27Feb2008 rev - Add p. 5 comments 'Quantum Intensity' anchor.)
(12,14Mar2008 rev - Reformat index slightly. Embolden in dark green p. 5's comments re: 'quantum~intensity.')
(31Oct2008 rev - Replace wingdings and symbol fonts with gifs. Reset legacy markups.)
(23Feb2009 rev - Add link to recent QELR of 'aware.')
(15Dec2009 rev - Add comment links to both 'Intensity' and 'Quantum Intensity.')
(29Jun2010 rev - Repair page 2 missing Bergson text. Either a scanning error or accidental text deletion. Add page 2 commentary aside.)
(17,24Jul2010 rev - Repair Doug's typos of 'Piano' to 'Peano' on page 2 commentary aside. Another typo.)
(21Jul2011 rev - Add 'fractal' link to "How to do quantum~fractals.")

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