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A Review
Henri Louis Bergson's Book
Time and Free Will
Chapter I: The Intensity of Psychic States
Topic 6: Attention and Tension
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 6...............Attention and Tension


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

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


"Attention is not a purely physiological phenomenon,, but we cannot deny that it is accompanied by movements.
The intermediate states. Attention and its relation to muscular contraction. These movements are neither the cause nor the result of the phenomenon; they are part of it, they express it in terms of space, as Ribot has so remarkably proved. (1) Fechner had already reduced the effort of attention in a sense-organ to the muscular
feeling "produced by putting in motion, by a sort of reflex action, the muscles which are correlated with the different sense organs." He had noticed the very distinct sensation of tension and contraction of the scalp, the pressure from without inwards over the whole skull, which we experience when we make a great effort to recall something."

Note (1): Le mécanisme de l'attention. Alcan, 1888.

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

Bergson's description of attention here is very quantum, despite his reference to Le mécanisme de l'attention. Our interpretation of his words tells us that he sees our quantum stages as holistic, i.e. his reference to Fechner's use of "correlated." There is n¤ classical dichon(mind, body)! As Pirsig told us so eloquently (paraphrased), "Mind is in body and body is in mind." This is a direct statement of quantum compenetration of mind/body which we show in Quantonics as quanton(mind,body). To illustrate our compenetration with quantum n¤nactuality we script this:



28 "Ribot has studied more closely the movements which are characteristic of voluntary attention. "Attention contracts the frontal muscle: this muscle . . . draws the eyebrow towards itself, raises it and causes transverse wrinkles on the forehead. . . . In extreme cases the mouth is opened wide. With children and with many adults eager attention gives rise to a protrusion of the lips, a kind of pout." Certainly, a purely psychic factor will always enter into voluntary attention, even if it be nothing more than the exclusion by the will of all ideas foreign to the one with which the subject wishes to occupy. But, once this exclusion is made, we believe that we are still conscious of a growing tension of soul, of an [quantum] immaterial effort which increases. Analyse this impression and you will find nothing but the feeling of a muscular contraction which spreads over a wider surface or changes its nature, so that the tension becomes pressure, fatigue and pain."

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




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

©Quantonics, Inc., 2001-2009 Rev. 12Mar2008  PDR Created: 23Feb2001  PDR
(11Feb2003 rev - Change some Wingdings fonts to GIFs for browser compatibility.)
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(12Mar2008 rev - Reformat index and page slightly.)

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