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A Review
Henri Louis Bergson's Book
Time and Free Will
Chapter II: The Multiplicity of Conscious States - The Idea of Duration
Topic 20: Pure Duration
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
says, "You are here!")

Topic 20...............Pure Duration


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

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


"It is true that we count successive moments of duration, and that, because of its
Pure duration is wholly qualitative. It cannot be measured unless symbolically represented in space. relations with number, time at first seems to us to be a measurable magnitude, just like space. But there is here an important distinction to be made. I say, e.g., that a minute has just elapsed, and I mean by this that a pendulum, beating the seconds, has completed sixty oscillations.
If I picture these sixty oscillations to myself all at once by a single mental perception, I exclude by hypothesis the idea of a succession. I do not think of sixty strokes which succeed one another, but of sixty points on a fixed line, each one of which symbolizes, so to speak, an oscillation of the pendulum."

(Our bold, color, and bold violet 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 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

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105 "If, on the other hand, I wish to picture these sixty oscillations in succession, but without altering the way they are produced in space, I shall be compelled to think of each oscillation to the exclusion of the recollection of the preceding one, for space has preserved no trace of it; but by doing so I shall condemn myself to remain for ever in the present; I shall give up the attempt to think a succession or a duration. Now if, finally, I retain the recollection of the preceding oscillation together with the image of the present oscillation, one of two things will happen. Either I shall set the two images side by side, and we then fall back on our first hypothesis, or I shall perceive one in the other, each permeating the other and organizing themselves like the notes of a tune, so as to form what we shall call a continuous or qualitative multiplicity with no resemblance to number. I shall thus get the image of pure duration [i.e., quantum mixcoherence]; but I shall have entirely got rid of the [classical] idea of a homogeneous medium or a measurable quantity. By carefully examining our consciousness we shall recognize that it proceeds in this way whenever it refrains from representing duration [classically state-ic-] symbolically. When the regular oscillations of the pendulum make us sleepy, is it the last sound heard, the last movement perceived, which produces this effect? No, undoubtedly not, for why then should not the first have done the same? Is it the recollection of the preceding sounds or movements, set in juxtaposition to the last one? But this same recollection, if it is later on set in juxtaposition to a single sound or movement, will remain without effect."

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




Bergson partially addresses our complex comment issues on page 103 of previous topic. Here he describes a quantum complementary included-middle both/and vis-à-vis a classical dichotomous excluded-middle either/or: a quanton vis-à-vis a dichon. Bravo!


Just as Pirsig warned us — we cann¤t represent quantum reality using static (ESQ) symbols!


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106 "Hence we must admit that the sounds combined with one another and acted, not by their quantity as quantity, but by the quality which their quantity exhibited, i.e. by the rhythmic organization of the whole. Could the effect of a slight but continuous stimulation be understood in any other way? If the sensation remained always the same, it would continue to be indefinitely slight and indefinitely bearable. But the fact is that each increase of stimulation is taken up into the preceding stimulations, and that the whole produces on us the effect of a musical phrase which is constantly on the point of ending and constantly altered in its totality by the addition of some new note. If we assert that it is always the same sensation, the reason is that we are thinking, not of the sensation itself, but of its objective cause situated in space. We then set it out in space in its turn, and in place of an organism which develops, in place of changes which permeate one another, we perceive one and the same sensation stretching itself out lengthwise, so to speak, and setting itself in juxtaposition to itself without limit. Pure duration, that which consciousness perceives, must thus be reckoned among the so-called [alleged] intensive magnitudes, if intensities can be called magnitudes: strictly speaking, however, it is not a quantity, and as soon as we try to measure it, we unwittingly replace it by space."

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

Bergson: Quality over quantity! Value over truth! Deny Aristotle! Deny Newton! Deny classical science! Deny CTMs! Quantity, truth, Aristotle, Newton, classical science, and CTMs only work in SOM's Box, in SOM's Reality Loop! They are all specific: n¤ngeneral!

11Dec2008 quantum~gn¤stic aside:

Near end of 2008 Doug now re cognizes that Pirsig's "ancients" were gnostic and had been preaching and proselytizing (their versions of) quantum~gnosis for millennia prior Essene Jesus' similar teachings commenced.

Bergson is saying to his readers, "Quantum duration as flux is quality, and classical duration as state is un(m)quality." Our 'un(m)' assumes subjective negation here.

Ancient's gnosis said it like this, "All is process (implication: all issi n¤t state)." Can we list other gnostic beliefs which, nowings, in retrospect are quantum? Yæs!

  • "Monism (per se, 'by itself') is deceit." (This is why Çatholiçs attempted to destroy all gnoses and gnostics! Çatholiçism is universalism is totalitarianism is monism!)
  • "Principle (social state 'law') rules something n¤t itself."
  • "Flow is basis of all reality (flow perceived as flux)."
  • "Iht issi ihn us amd wæ aræ ihn iht." (quantum~middle~inclusion)
  • "Individual is above social 'principles.' "
  • "Look within yourself (if you are responsible, you must do this self due diligence) and you will find essences and quintessences of quantum~reality."
  • "Do n¤t do what you (as an individual) hate." (What society hates is irrelevant.)
  • "Those who will lead must be hylic, psychic, and pneumatic servant of all."
  • "Redemption is process."
  • etc.

Thank you for reading, Doug.

End 11Dec2008 quantum~gn¤stic aside.

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To contact Quantonics write to or call:

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

©Quantonics, Inc., 2001-2011 Rev. 18Feb2009  PDR Created: 23Feb2001  PDR
(23Jul2002 rev - Change QELR links to A-Z pages.)
(7Aug2002 rev - Assure all colons are emboldened.)
(17Jun2003 rev - Add Chapter Title link to Pogson's Index item on 'Duration.')
(21Apr2004 rev - Add p. 106 comments link to 'general.')
(23Mar2006 rev - Adjust colors. Release page constraints.)
(29Jan2008 rev - Reformat slightly.)
(11Dec2008 rev - Reformat. Add p. 105 commentary 'partiality' and 'included~middle' links. Add p. 105 text 'measurable quantity' as scalarbation link. Add p. 106 commentary aside.)
(18Feb2009 rev - Add 'What is Gnosis?' link.)

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