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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 27: The Idea of Disorder
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,
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Topic 27...............The Idea of Disorder


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

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


"It is therefore obvious that, if it did not betake itself to a symbolical substitute, our consciousness
Our successive sensations are regarded as mutually external, like their objective causes and this reacts on our deeper psychic life. would never regard time as a homogeneous medium, in which the terms of a succession remain outside one another [Bergson's "...terms of a succession remain outside one another" describes adequately what Doug intends by objective separation which we also describe via lisr, EEMD, and SOM's Wall.]. But we naturally reach this symbolical representation by the mere fact that,
in a series of identical terms, each term assumes a double [complementary, quanton(SQ,SQ)] aspect for our consciousness: one aspect which is the same for all of them, since we are thinking then of the sameness of the external object, and another aspect which is characteristic of each of them, because the supervening of [making quantonic, emerqing a multiphasic Gestalt of] each term brings about a new organization of the whole. Hence the possibility of setting out in space, under the form of numerical multiplicity, what we have called a qualitative multiplicity, and of regarding the one as the equivalent of the other. Now, this twofold process is nowhere accomplished so easily as in the perception of the external phenomenon which takes for us the form of motion. Here we certainly have a series of identical terms, since it is always the same moving body; but, on the other hand, the synthesis carried out by our consciousness between the actual position and what our memory calls the former positions, causes these images to permeate, complete, and, so to speak, continue one another. Hence, it is principally by the help of motion that duration assumes the form of a homogeneous medium, and that time is projected into space."

(Our bold, color, 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 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
125 "But, even if we leave out motion, any repetition of a well-marked external phenomenon would suggest to consciousness the same mode of representation. Thus, when we hear a series of blows of a hammer, the sounds form an indivisible melody in so far as they are pure sensations, and, here again, give rise to a dynamic progress; but, knowing that the same objective cause is at work, we cut up this progress into [objective, metric, mechanical, formal point-referenced scalarbative] phases which we then regard as identical; and this multiplicity of elements no longer being conceivable except by being set out in space, since they have now become identical, we are necessarily led to the idea of a homogeneous time, the symbolical image of real duration. In a word, our ego comes in contact with the external world at its surface; our successive sensations, although dissolving into one another, retain something of the mutual externality which belongs to their objective causes; and thus our superficial psychic life comes to be pictured without any great effort as set out in a homogeneous medium. But the symbolical character of such a picture becomes more striking as we advance further into the depths of consciousness: the deep-seated self which ponders and decides, which heats and blazes up, is a self whose states and changes permeate one another and undergo a deep alteration as soon as we separate them from one another in order to set them out in space. But as this deeper self forms one and the same person with the superficial ego, the two seem to endure in the same way."

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



See Doug's QELR of phase.


CTMs "...stoppably set things-objects out in space..."

See Doug's QELP of identity.

We cann¤t use state-ic symbols to image-ine real duration! Digits/numbers cann¤t image real duration! Dichons cann¤t image real duration!



Our consciousness is capable of quantonic image-ining!


"And as the repeated picture of one identical objective phenomenon, ever recurring, cuts up our superficial psychic life into parts external to one another, the moments which are thus determined determine in their turn distinct segments in the dynamic and undivided progress of our more personal conscious states. Thus the mutual externality which material objects gain from their juxtaposition in homogeneous space reverberates and spreads into the depths of consciousness: [if we allow it,] little by little our sensations are [classically] distinguished from one another like the external causes which gave rise to them, and our feelings or ideas come to be separated like the sensations with which they are contemporaneous.

"That our ordinary conception of duration depends on a gradual incursion of space into the domain
[Dreams] Eliminate the superficial psychic states, and we no longer perceive a homogeneous time or measure duration, but feel it as a quality. of pure consciousness is proved by the fact that, in order to deprive the ego of the faculty of perceiving a homogeneous time, it is enough to take away from it this outer circle of psychic states which it uses as a balance-wheel. These conditions are realized when we dream; for sleep, by
relaxing the play of the organic functions, alters the communicating surface between the ego and external objects. Here we no longer measure duration, but we feel it; from quantity it returns to the state of quality; we no longer estimate past time mathematically: the mathematical estimate gives place to a confused instinct, capable, like all instincts, of committing gross errors, but also of acting at times with extraordinary skill."

(Our bold, color, and violet bold italic problematics.)
127 "Even in the waking state, daily experience ought to teach us to distinguish between duration as quality, that which consciousness reaches immediately and which is probably what animals perceive, and time so to speak materialized, time that has become quantity by being set out in space. Whilst I am writing these lines, the hour strikes on a neighbouring clock, but my inattentive ear does not perceive it until several strokes have made themselves heard. Hence I have not counted them; and yet I only have to turn my attention backwards to count up the four strokes which have already sounded and add them to those which I hear. If, then, I question myself carefully on what has just taken place, I perceive that the first four sounds had struck my ear and even affected my consciousness, but that the sensations produced by each one of them, instead of being set side by side, had melted into one another in such a way as to give the whole a peculiar quality, to make a kind of musical phrase out of it. In order, then, to estimate retrospectively the number of strokes sounded, I tried to reconstruct this phrase in thought: my imagination made one stroke, then two, then three, and as long as it did not reach the exact number four, my feeling, when consulted, answered that the total effect was qualitatively different." (Our bold, color, and violet bold italic problematics.)

"It had thus ascertained in its own way the succession of four strokes, but quite otherwise than by a process of addition, and without bringing in the image of a juxtaposition of distinct terms. In a word, the number of strokes was perceived as a quality and not as a quantity: it is thus that duration is presented to immediate consciousness, and it retains this form so long as it does not give place to a symbolical representation derived from extensity.

"We should therefore distinguish two forms of multiplicity, two very different ways of
There are therefore two forms of multiplicity, of duration and conscious life. regarding duration, two aspects of conscious life. Below [1] homogeneous duration, which is the extensive symbol of true duration, a close psychological
analysis distinguishes [2] a duration whose heterogeneous moments permeate one another; below the [1] numerical multiplicity of conscious states, a [2] qualitative multiplicity; below the [1] self with well-defined states [classical schizophrenia?], a [2] self in which succeeding each other means [continuously] melting into one another and forming an organic whole [recovery of fundamental self] [quantum schizophrenia?]. But we [classical SOMites] are generally content with the first, i.e. with the shadow of the self projected into homogeneous space. Consciousness, goaded by an insatiable [classical] desire to separate, substitutes the symbol for the reality, or perceives the reality only through the symbol. As the self thus refracted, and thereby broken to pieces [a classical differentiation of one monolithic being], is much better adapted to the requirements of social life in general and language in particular, consciousness prefers it, and gradually loses sight of the fundamental self [a quantum cohesion of many autonomies]."

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






We see these "...two very different ways..." as a classical schism, an either/or akin classicism's mind-body, subject-object schisms.

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Doug Renselle
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©Quantonics, Inc., 2001-2009 Rev. 22Oct2007  PDR Created: 23Feb2001  PDR
(22Oct2007 rev - Reformat. Respell. Add some red text comments.)

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