by Joel Pitney, EnlightenNext Magazine [source]
Consciousness seems proportionate to the living being’s power of choice. It lights up the zone of potentialities that surrounds the act. It fills the interval between what is done and what might be done. In reality, a living being is a center of action; it represents a sum of contingency entering into the world; that is to say, a certain quantity of possible action.
God, thus defined, has nothing of the ready-made; He is unceasing life, action, freedom. Creation, so conceived, is not a mystery; we experience it in ourselves when we act freely.
Of all contemporary contributions to philosophy, Bergson’s is the most precious. We needed his emphasis on the elusive contingency of things, and the remoulding activity of mind. We were near to thinking of the world as a finished and pre-determined show, in which our initiative was a self-delusion, and our efforts a devilish humor of the gods; after Bergson we come to see the world as the stage and the material of our own originative powers. Before him we were cogs and wheels in a vast and dead machine; now, if we wish it, we can help to write our own parts in the drama of creation.
As the smallest grain of dust is bound up with our entire solar system, drawn along with it in that undivided movement of descent which is materiality itself, so all organized beings, from the humblest to the highest, from the first origins of life to the time in which we are, and in all places as in all times, do but evidence a single impulsion . . . All the living hold together, and all yield to the same tremendous push. The animal takes its stand on the plant, man bestrides animality, and the whole of humanity, in space and in time, is one immense army galloping beside and before and behind each of us in an overwhelming charge able to beat down every resistance and clear the most formidable obstacles, perhaps even death.Related Articles
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