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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 28: Two Aspects of the Self
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 28...............Two Aspects of the Self


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

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


"In order to recover this fundamental self, as the unsophisticated consciousness would perceive
The two aspects of our conscious states. it, a vigorous effort of analysis is necessary, which will isolate the fluid inner states from their image, first refracted, then solidified in
homogeneous space. In other words, our perceptions, sensations, emotions and ideas occur under two aspects: the one clear and precise, but impersonal; the other confused, ever changing, and inexpressible, because language cannot get hold of it without arresting its mobility or fit it into its common-place forms without making it into public property [which is always common-ist, consensual, paradigmatic, one belief system fits all, symbolic, analytic, state-ic, latched Static Quality]. If we have been led to distinguish two forms of multiplicity, two forms of duration, we must expect each conscious state, taken by itself, to assume a different aspect according as we consider it within a discrete multiplicity or a confused multiplicity, in the time as quality[!], in which it is produced, or in the time as quantity, into which it is projected.

"When e.g. I take my first walk in a town in which I am going to live, my environment produces on me
One of which is due to the solidifying influence of external objects and language on our constantly changing feelings. two impressions at the same time, one of which is destined to last while the other will constantly change. Every day I perceive the same houses, and as I know that they are the same objects, I always call them by the same name and I
also fancy that they always look the same to me."

(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

Here Bergson describes a quantum-real quanton:


reality's ultimate both-all/while/and-many. This is philosophies' and sciences' grandest paradox expressed passionately, emotionally. Yet, as students of Quantonics, we know this is only another quanton, just like quanton(wave,particle). A quantum both/and of n¤nactuality/actuality, subjectivity/objectivity, Vacuum_Energy_Space/Physical_Energy_Space, and DQ/SQ.

130 "But if I recur, at the end of a sufficiently long period, to the impression which I experienced during the first few years, I am surprised at the remarkable, inexplicable, and indeed inexpressible change which has taken place. It seems that these objects, continually perceived by me and constantly impressing themselves on my mind, have ended by borrowing from me something of my own conscious existence; like myself they have lived, and like myself they have grown old. This is not a mere illusion; for if to-day's impression were absolutely identical with that of yesterday, what difference would there be between perceiving and recognizing, between learning and remembering? Yet this difference escapes the attention of most of us; we shall hardly perceive it, unless we are warned of it and then carefully [and quantum~gn¤stically] look into ourselves. The reason is that our outer and, so to speak, social life is more practically [conventionally, paradigmatically, socially, consensually, publicly, politically] important to us than our inner and individual existence. We instinctively tend to solidify our impressions in order to express them in language. Hence we confuse the feeling itself, which is in a perpetual state of becoming, with its permanent external object, and especially with the word which expresses this object. In the same way as the fleeting duration of our ego is fixed by its projection in homogeneous space, our constantly changing impressions, wrapping themselves round the external object which is their cause, take on its definite outlines and its immobility." [Red text bracketed comments added 2Mar2008. Doug.]

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




In our opinion, this is classicism's greatest evil! I.e.:

  • State-ic socialism, i.e., public truth and public morality/ethics guised as truth, over individual autonomy, i.e., individual quality and goodness.
  • Society attempting to replace quantum reality's multiversal cohesion with its own ughly ESQ paradigms.
  • States like communism and fascism incorrectly believing that they (states) make people, that they make individuals.
  • States like national socialism (ideally) incorrectly believing that individuals make states.

Free, quantum autonomous, individuals make (and vigilantly nurture and protect) individuals and their freedom and their quantum autonomy.

All states, unions and organizations degrade into ESQ.

All states, unions and organizations degrade into evil which tells public authority that they have absolute common public probity, legal, moral, and ethical priority over individuals:

  • USA, EU, China, Iran, Iraq, and countless other unions/countries are rapidly approaching this classical boundary condition, now, as we write this,
  • Godless, anthropocentric, monistic Catholicism has already arrived at this classical boundary condition — its own name's semantic uncloaks its intent for anti-individual, global unionism of belief — one catholic belief fits all,
  • Labor and professional unions have been there for a long time,
  • Etc.

And that, in our personal view, is classicism's greatest of all evils. Our Greco/Roman publican legacy. Our metastasizing hypostatic commonist communo-socialist democratic legacy.

N¤t to fear — their ends are nigh...

Doug - 25May2002.

Since Doug wrote those words over a year ago, several of you have asked why we are "Illogically against unions?" Contrived structures are mechanical. Indeed, they are and become radically mechanical. Unions are essentially mechanical.

Quantum reality is non mechanical.

See Boris Sidis on Herd (sub)Consciousness.

A great novel to read about mechanization of society is Diane Pearson's 1975 Csardas (pronounced Chardash). It is a story about Hungary and its people during WWI and WWII. Csardas means dance. Pearson's bibliography offers a litany of 'tells' and 'whys' mechanized societies are evil.

Regular readers here may note similarities among Pirsig's 1991 Lila (divine dance), William James Sidis' 1920 The Animate and the Inanimate, quantum flux (imagine dancing, musical, quantum fluxing multiverses), Bergson's 1888 Time and Free Will (to dance as we please), Gary Zukav's 1978 Dancing Wu Li Masters, and Hesse's 1943 Magister Ludi (state-ic, unionized, organized gaming vis-à-vis individual freedom to dance via being and becoming).

Oversimply, mechanized unions are agents of class hegemony. Unions enable focused control. Example? War is a socialist, unionized pattern of hegemony.

Classical unions cannot make quantum individuals. Classical individuals cannot make quantum unions. Quantum individuals make quantum individuals, while quantum reality is their intrinsic agency of coherence.

More popularly and colloquially, "Luke is in the Force and the Force is in Luke."

You may want to read our quantum feuilleton of Pirsigean SPoVs commencing our October, 2003 News.

May the Force quantum c¤here you,

Doug - 17Nov2003.

131 "Our simple sensations, taken in their natural state, are still more fleeting. Such and such a flavour,
How language gives a fixed form to fleeting sensations. such and such a scent, pleased me when I was a child though I dislike them to-day. Yet I still give the same name to the sensation experienced, and I speak as if
only my taste had changed, whilst the scent and the flavour have remained the same. Thus I again solidify the sensation; and when its changeableness becomes so obvious that I cannot help recognizing it, I abstract this changeableness to give it a name of its own and solidify it in the shape of a taste. But in reality there are neither identical sensations nor multiple tastes: for sensations and tastes seem to me to be objects as soon as I isolate and name them, and in the human soul there are only processes. What I ought to say is that every sensation is altered by repetition, and that if it does not seem to me to change from day to day, it is because I perceive it through the object which is its cause, through the word which translates it. This influence of language on sensation is deeper than is usually thought. Not only does language make us believe in the unchangeableness of our sensations, but it will sometimes deceive us as to the nature of the sensation felt. Thus, when I partake of a dish that is supposed to be exquisite, the name which it bears, suggestive of the approval given to it, comes between my sensation and my consciousness; I may believe that the flavour pleases me when a slight effort of attention would prove the contrary."

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





More generally, "In nature there are only processes!"


Indeed, language is an intellectual gravity which relentlessly pulls its speakers back into SOM's church of reason. A predicate logical positive church which worships substantial objectivity, inanimacy, immutability, absolute truth, predicability, tautology, excluded-middles, logical stability and its concomitants: localability, isolability, separability, reducibility, unilateral ideal n¤naffective observation, disjunction, and so on...


"In short, the word with well-defined outlines, the rough and ready word, which stores up the stable, common, and consequently impersonal element in the impressions of mankind, overwhelms or at least covers over the delicate and fugitive impressions of our individual consciousness. To maintain the struggle on equal terms, the latter ought to express themselves in precise words; but these words, as soon as they were formed, would turn against the sensation which gave birth to them, and, invented to show that the sensation is unstable, they would impose on it their own stability.

"This overwhelming of the immediate consciousness is nowhere so striking as in the case
How analysis and description distort the feelings. of our feelings. A violent love or a deep melancholy takes possession of our soul: here we feel a thousand different elements
which dissolve into and permeate one another without any precise outlines, without the least tendency to externalize themselves in relation to one another; hence their originality. We distort them as soon as we distinguish a numerical multiplicity in their confused mass: what will it be, then, when we set them out, isolated from one another, in this homogeneous medium which may be called either time or space, whichever you prefer? A moment ago each of them was borrowing an indefinable colour from its surroundings: now we have it colourless, and ready to accept a name."

(Our bold and color.)

And we now see state-ic classical language in n¤vel light, as a state, a union, whose purpose is to unionize thought, to place thought under a politically correct state's classical control. A linguistic Big Brother!

Once we used "plethora" in a system planning meeting for a Fortune 200 Company new product development team. One of their 'executive' directors said to us, "Why don't you use common language?" We asked, "What would you suggest?" Director said, "Try shloads!" And there you have it: a 'brilliant' linguistic tautology for keeping all minds in one big SOM box: OGC and OGT.

See our QELP and QELR. Also see their precursors May2000QQA and Jun2000QQA.



Readers, can you see how qubits/quantons as animate quantum processes will n¤t do this to physial reality?

133 "The feeling itself is a being which lives and develops and is therefore constantly changing; otherwise how could it gradually lead us to form a resolution? Our resolution would be immediately taken. But it lives [based upon real quantum awareness across all scales of reality] because the duration in which it develops is a duration whose moments [quantum included-middle] permeate one another. By [classically, excluded-middle] separating these moments from each other, by spreading out time in space, we have caused this feeling to lose its life and its colour. Hence, we are now standing before our own shadow: we believe that we have analysed our feeling, while we have really replaced it by a juxtaposition of lifeless states which can be translated into words [and lifeless mathematical symbols], and each of which constitutes the common [classical GUT & ToE] element, the impersonal residue, of the impressions felt in a given case by the whole of society. And this is why we reason about these states and apply our simple logic to them: having set them up as genera by the mere fact of having isolated them from one another, we have prepared them for use in some future deduction. Now, if some bold novelist, tearing aside the cleverly woven curtain of our conventional ego, shows us under this appearance of logic a fundamental absurdity, under this juxtaposition of simple states an infinite permeation of a thousand different impressions which have already ceased to exist the instant they are named, we commend him for having known us better than we knew ourselves."

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

Duration in a most real sense is pure agency of emergence. Qubits and quantons are quantum islands of emergent, emerscent, emerscenturable duration.

Heuristic: Did Pirsig read this? Did he take this as his gauntlet for both ZMM and Lila? Is this what Pirsig attempted to accomplish? Did he "[] us under this appearance of logic a fundamental absurdity?" We think so. We have yet to review ZMM, however, we want to make these questions top priority when we do. Having read ZMM many times, we know that Pirsig harps on these issues, indeed this is exactly what Pirsig means when he says how, "We lose our Quality." How dialectic is so below rhetoric. How romance is so above analysis. How sophism presides tautology.
Doug - 17Nov2001.


"This is not the case, however, and the very fact that he spreads out our feeling in a homogeneous time, and expresses its elements by words, shows that he in his turn is only offering us its shadow: but he has arranged this shadow in such a way as to make us suspect the extraordinary and illogical nature of the object which projects it; he has made us reflect by giving outward expression to something of that contradiction, that interpenetration,, which is the very essence of the elements expressed. Encouraged by him [our quantum author], we have put aside for an instant the veil which we interposed between our consciousness and ourselves. He has brought us back into our own presence. [He has tossed out those classical Greco/Romans, and brought us back into quantum reality.]

"We should experience the same sort of surprise if we strove to seize our ideas themselves in their
On the surface our conscious states obey the laws of association. Deeper down they [quantum included-middle] interpenetrate and form a part of ourselves. natural state, as our consciousness would perceive them if it were no longer beset by space. This breaking up [via classical analysis] of the constituent elements of an idea, which issues in abstraction, is too convenient for us to do without it in
ordinary life and even in philosophical discussion. But when we fancy that the parts thus artificially separated [via analysis] are the genuine threads with which the concrete idea was woven, when, substituting for the interpenetration of the real terms the juxtaposition of their symbols, we claim to make duration out of space, we unavoidably fall into the mistakes of [classical objective mathematical and scientific] associationism. We shall not insist on the latter point, which will be the subject of a thorough examination in the next chapter."

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

Reader, you should k-now that Quantonics is working on quantum precursors of evolvable scripts and semiotics! Future authors will be able to write stories which literally evolve in many durational times and quatrotomous quantum coherencies. Movies will be able to adjust to audiences emotions and n¤ two audiences will ever see a repeat of a movie, n¤r will any movie be per se an identity unto itself across any sequence of viewings. All movies will be animately emergent per intera their audience comtexts. Nearly every commercial product will be both emerscentured and emerscent!

Pirsig describes this kind of surprise as direct experiences like:

  • first time we ride a new roller coaster,
  • first time we hear a heart-rending tune (e.g., personally, our first hearing of Chuck Magnione's Bellavia),
  • death of a loved one,
  • divorce,
  • recovery from near death experience while recalling an out of body experience,
  • a mother's zero latency mitochondrial quantum entanglement with her child who is 2000 miles away and in trouble — n¤ phone call required,
  • direct experience of a natural disaster where all one's beliefs suddenly come into question, and one looks at one's own hands and finger nails in pure awe,
  • etc.

And this gives us a whole n¤vel perspective of quantum uncertainty: as endless surprise! Endless Quality! Endless Value!

Mae-wan Ho k-nows of "whatings we are speakings."

135 "Let it be enough to say that the impulsive zeal with which we take sides on certain questions shows how our intellect has its instincts—and what can an instinct of this kind be if not an impetus common to all our ideas, i.e. their very interpenetration? The beliefs to which we most strongly adhere are those of which we should find it most difficult to give an account, and the reasons by which we justify them are seldom those which have led us to adopt them. In a certain sense we have adopted them without any reason, for what makes them valuable in our eyes is that they match the colour of all our other ideas, and that from the very first we have seen in them something of ourselves. Hence they do not take in our minds that common looking form which they will assume as soon as we try to give expression to them in words; and, although they bear the same name in other minds, they are by no means the same thing. The fact is that each of them has the same kind of life as a cell in an organism: everything which affects the general state of the self affects it also. But while the cell occupies a definite point in the organism, an idea which is truly ours fills the whole of our self. Not all our ideas, however, are thus incorporated in the fluid mass of our conscious states. Many float on the surface, like dead leaves on the water of a pond: the [classical] mind, when it thinks them over and over again, finds them ever the same, as if they were external to it."

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






CTMs propagandize, provincialize, and dogmatize via classical pedantry, excluded-middle separation of classical conscious states, ideas and concepts. Students of Quantonics know that we can mitigate and even commence cathartic remediation of that propaganda by viewing our minds as quantum stages which qualitatively, animately c¤mplement and c¤mpenetrate potentially all of quantum reality.

136 "Among these are the ideas which we receive ready made, and which remain in us without ever being properly assimilated, or again the ideas which we have omitted to cherish and which have withered in neglect. If, in proportion as we get away from the deeper strata of the self, our conscious states tend more and more to assume the form of a numerical multiplicity, and to spread out in a homogeneous space, it is just because these conscious states tend to become more and more lifeless, more and more impersonal. Hence we need not be surprised if only those ideas which least belong to us [i.e., superficial ideas] can be adequately expressed in words: only to these, as we shall see, does the associationist theory apply [i.e., fit]. External to one another, they keep up relations among themselves in which the inmost nature of each of them counts for nothing, [classically inanimate, immutable] relations which can therefore be classified. It may thus be said that they are associated by contiguity or for some logical reason. But if, digging below [at a deeper level] the surface of contact between the self and external objects, we penetrate into the depths of the organized and living intelligence, we shall witness the joining together or rather the blending of many ideas which, when once dissociated, seem to [classically Aristotelian-] exclude one another as logically contradictory terms. The strangest dreams, in which two images overlie one another and show us at the same time two different persons, who yet make only one, will hardly give us an idea of the interweaving of concepts which goes on when we are awake."

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





Bergson hints at humanity's physial and intrinsic quantum schizophrenia. Hesse, in Steppenwolf, saw this. Pirsig saw and experienced this, as Phædrus (See ZMM Insane, and Lila Insane.). John Forbes Nash directly experiences/experienced this.

We claim, in Quantonics, that much of what we call schizophrenia arises/emerges from enormous classically interpreted quantum stage omnifferent 'conflicts' twixt innate homogeneous classical mind and intrinsic heterogeneous quantum mind. We apply our qualogos think-king in our Nash link above.


"The imagination of the dreamer, cut off from the external world, imitates with mere images, and parodies in its own way, the [quantum] process which constantly goes on with regard to ideas in the deeper [durational and thus quantum] regions of the intellectual life.

"Thus may be verified, thus, too, will be illustrated by a further study of deep-seated psychic
By separating our conscious states we promote social life, but raise problems soluble only by recourse to the concrete and living
phenomena the principle from which we started: conscious life displays two aspects according as we perceive it directly or by refraction through space. Considered in themselves, the deep-seated conscious states have no relation to quantity, they are pure quality; they intermingle
in such a way that we cannot tell whether they are one or several, nor even examine them from this point of view without at once altering their nature. The duration which they thus create is a duration whose moments do not constitute a numerical multiplicity: to characterize these moments by saying that they encroach on one another would still be to distinguish them. If each of us lived a purely individual life, if there were neither society nor language, would our consciousness grasp the series of inner states in this unbroken form? Undoubtedly it would not quite succeed, because we should still retain the idea of a homogeneous space in which objects are sharply distinguished from one another, and because it is too convenient to set out in such a medium the somewhat cloudy states which first attract the attention of consciousness, in order to resolve them into simpler terms."

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








Days of classical simplification are waning close, while days of more complex quantum understanding are waxing open. A quantum tsunami c¤heres to warp and woof: SOMites self-extinguish — nihilate — unbecome, and MoQites as quantum Neo sapiens' sophist phoenice from isoflux reemerge.

Doug - 25May2002.

138 "But mark that the intuition of a homogeneous space is already a step towards social life. Probably animals do not picture to themselves, beside their sensations, as we do, an external world quite distinct from themselves, which is the common property of all conscious beings. Our tendency to form a clear picture of this externality of things and the homogeneity of their medium is the same as the impulse which leads us to live in common and to speak. But, in proportion as the conditions of social life are more completely realized, the current which carries our conscious states from within outwards is strengthened; little by little these states are made into objects or things; they break off not only from one another, but from ourselves. Henceforth we no longer perceive them except in the homogeneous medium in which we have set their image, and through the word which lends them its commonplace colour. Thus a second self is formed which obscures the first, a self whose existence is made up of distinct moments, whose states are separated from one another and easily expressed in words. I do not mean, here, to split up the personality, nor to bring back in another form the numerical multiplicity which I shut out at the beginning. It is the same self which perceives distinct states at first, and which, by afterwards concentrating its attention, will see these states melt into one another like the crystals of a snow-flake when touched for some time with the finger." (Our brackets, bold, color, and violet bold italic problematics.)
139 "And, in truth, for the sake of language, the self has everything to gain by not bringing back confusion where order reigns, and in not upsetting this ingenious arrangement of almost impersonal states by which it has ceased to form " a kingdom within a kingdom." An inner life with well distinguished moments and with clearly characterized states will answer better the requirements of social life. Indeed, a superficial psychology may be content with describing it without thereby falling into error, on condition, however, that it restricts itself to the study of what has taken place and leaves out what is going on. But if, passing from statics to dynamics, this psychology claims to reason about things in the making as it reasoned about things made, if it offers us the concrete and living self as an association of terms which are distinct from one another and are set side by side in a homogeneous medium, it will see difficulty after difficulty rising in its path. And these difficulties [descriptive limits of psychology] will multiply the greater the efforts it makes to overcome them, for all its efforts will only bring into clearer light the absurdity of the fundamental hypothesis by which it spreads out time in space and puts succession at the very centre of simultaneity. We shall see that the contradictions implied in the problems [i.e., self cannot be constituted by classical laws of association] of causality, freedom, personality, spring from no other source, and that, if we wish to get rid of them, we have only to go back to the real and concrete self and give up its symbolical substitute."

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





Note, reader, how these same classical and postmodern descriptive limits apply to nearly all end-of-millennium II sciences and disciplines. We need language remediation and subsequent remediation of labs, tools, and educational facilities.

We see Bergson's tentative 'solution' as just another classical EOOO. Our Quantonics approach is a BAWAM, a quantum straddling of both wave/subject/quality and particle/object/quantity. As we and AH have reconciled in Buddhist collaboration: quanton(nirvana,self). N¤t either nirvana or self, rather both nirvana while-and self, while Li-la's quantum flux dances us to and fro. E.g., Cage and Ryan in City of Angels.

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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., 2001-2010 Rev. 2Mar2008  PDR Created: 23Feb2001  PDR
(21Jul2002 rev - Change QELR links to A-Z pages.)
(19May2003 rev - Add indices for 'intellect...')
(10Aug2003 rev - Update links to our review of A Beautiful Mind.)
(17Nov2003 rev - Extend our p. 130 comments on dislike of unions.)
(5Apr2004 rev - Add p. 137 comments link to our QELR of 'simplicity.')
(24Jan2006 rev - Correct an original page 129 text scanning error: 'their' to 'then.' Adjust colors. Adjust page constraints.)
(10Nov2006 rev - Add p. 132 'comments' qubits link. Add p. 137 'comments' quantum~understanding and quantum~coherence links. Adjust colors and format.)
(2Mar2008 rev - Add p. 130 intratext bracketed comments.)
(21Dec2008 rev - Add 'Quantum Awareness' anchor. Replace some fonts with gifs.)

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