“But we can conceive an inquiry turned in the same direction as art, which would take life in general for its object….”—Henri Bergson, Creative Evolution
Who can conceive that? Good ole’ Bergson can of course, and we who drop by the Omphalos Cafe now and then. Only, few do.
That’s ok, I’m here… and so are you (Lord help you).
It’s Sunday afternoon, sunny and above zero, and while my wife and sonny boy take in a second screening of The Hobbit I’ve slung my bag over shoulder, pocketed my camera, and headed out to take in a bit of the city on foot.
Darned if I haven’t ended up at the Cafe, which is deserted as usual, save for Xenon of course. Nice quiet place to drink in gems like the above, or how about:
“For—we cannot too often repeat it—intelligence and instinct are turned in opposite directions, the former towards inert matter, the latter towards life.”—Henri Bergson, Creative Evolution
“The intention of life, the simple movement that runs through the lines, that binds them together and gives them significance, escapes it [intelligence]. This intention is just what the artist tries to regain, in placing himself back within the object by a kind of sympathy, in breaking down, by an effort of intuition, the barrier that space puts up between him and his model.”—Henri Bergson, Creative Evolution
To be privy to such awe-inspiring wisdom, what an afternoon!
God—and there’s no other word for it—I could go on quoting all day, can hardly finish a paragraph before another diamond glitters beneath the winter sun!
Have you ever been drunk on stuff like this? Have you ever been carried away with the pure scintillating beauty of Truth? Have you ever felt the wonder of a Truth coursing through your veins and electrifying every fibre of your being?
Follow that feeling whenever it leaps out and surprises you, wherever it takes you—and believe me that is no easy task—and you will tap into wellsprings of well-being you never even fathomed existed, and perhaps one day you and I will run into each other and besides a warm smile share a coffee, tea, or glass of wine here at the Cafe.
“Then, by the sympathetic communication which it [intuition] establishes between us and the rest of the living, by the expansion of our consciousness which it brings about, it introduces us into life’s domain, which is reciprocal interpenetration, endlessly continued creation.”—Henri Bergson, Creative Evolution
And here’s to Life’s Domain!
The Necromancer said:
Notice your recent interest in Bergson here at the café. C’est formidable, as he might say. Think he’s the most important vitalist philosopher of the last century or so. And seminal in other ways…I see him as a crucial spark to a kind of “counter-philosophy” that challenges the dominant paradigms of Western thought post-17th century (i.e. after the Scientific Revolution). He essentially turns Descartes and the Cartesian world on its head.
He also provides such a beautifully dissenting view of time — a contrast to our mechanical conceptions. That alone makes him fascinating.
Little know was his interest in the supernatural and psychic phenomena. He was the president of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) in 1913. His presidential address to that organization is a lovely synthesis of his thought. Been writing a paper about that text for a while now…
Anyway, always nice to see someone else embrace the Bergsonian way of things…
And, oh yeah…Cheers and bottoms up!!