Emphasizing the meaning of aesthetics, Bergson defines metaphysics as the mind striving to transcend the conditions of useful action, coming back to itself as a pure creative energy. The dynamic pattern that we subsequently infer anticipates the universe as its scaffolding.
“Here I am in the presence of images, in the vaguest sense of the word, images perceived when my senses are opened to them, unperceived when they are closed.” – Henri Bergson
Actual physical things together with their associated mental ideas, under creative influence, proceed and spring forth collaboratively. It is conceivable that force is infinite in its eternal ebb and flow.
“So long as I myself am identical with Nature, I understand what a living nature is as well as I understand my own life; I apprehend how this universal life of Nature reveals itself in manifold forms, in progressive developments, in gradual approximations to freedom.” – Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling
Consciousness exists to the extent a human experiences it. At natural interface boundaries, the nature of the relation between subjective human reality and objective independent reality comes alive. In consciousness, phenomenal appearance is reality.
“Where conscious subjectivity is concerned, there is no distinction between the observation and the thing observed.” – John Rogers Searle
Thin film of life
The scale of experience places definite limits on the possibility of understanding. Humanity occupies a minuscule spatial and temporal speck in an immeasurably vast Universe.
“The sea is everything. It covers seven tenths of the terrestrial globe. Its breath is pure and healthy. It is an immense desert, where man is never lonely, for he feels life stirring on all sides. The sea is only the embodiment of a supernatural and wonderful existence. It is nothing but love and emotion; it is the Living Infinite.” – Jules Verne
Beauty is either objectively independent or a subjective affair of personal opinion, or both simultaneously. Sort of like how quantum physics defines light as either a wave or a particle, or both. In the universe, there is always room for some kind of inherent uncertainty. In any case, the feeling that there is something objective about what one finds beautiful, or ugly, cannot precisely be identified.
“If a determination of the feeling of pleasure or displeasure is called sensation, then this expression means something entirely different than if I call the representation of a thing . . . sensation.” – Immanuel Kant
Considering the sum-total of given objects and events identified with nature, it is interesting to ponder their existence outside of sensation and memory. In such cognition, the transcendent use of reason is beyond the bounds of possible experience.
“Nature is the existence of things, insofar as that existence is determined according to universal laws. If nature meant the existence of things in themselves, we would never be able to cognize it, either a priori or a posteriori.” – Immanuel Kant
Along a line
Conditions of existence
Phenomena play across the surface of consciousness, always connected with the perception of external variations. Within such experience, aesthetic feelings offer a progressive staging of unique elements, detected in a fundamental emotion of undulating magnitude.
“Our thought, in its purely logical form, is incapable of presenting the true nature of life, the full meaning of the evolutionary movement. Created by life, in definite circumstances, to act on definite things, how can it embrace life, of which it is only an emanation or an aspect?” – Henri Bergson
Fringe of land
As a kind of aesthetically accessible spirituality, the inexhaustibility of existence implies that perceptual relations always contain hidden potential. Any combination of observable reality is never fully drained by human perception. Kant affirms this principle in his contention of the thing-in-itself as unknowable but nevertheless imaginable.
“The secret of success is to be in harmony with existence, to be always calm to let each wave of life wash us a little farther up the shore.” – Cyril Connolly
Totality of differences
Time is not space
Duration is an absolute existence necessitating that time operates on a different stratum than space. Each of time’s new moments are added to an accumulated past. Progressing forward in this flow, consciousness cannot pass through the same circumstance more than once.
“The universe endures. The more we study the nature of time, the more we shall comprehend that duration means invention, the creation of forms, the continual elaboration of the absolutely new.” – Henri Bergson
In the Middle Ages, progressive philosophers argued that any seemingly miraculous phenomenon is explainable according to natural principles as the result of hidden causes. Much of what passes for knowledge is speculation on the specifics of such concealed realities.
“It is the object of Natural Philosophy to make us acquainted with the various qualities or properties of matter, and the manner in which different masses of it affect each other.” – John Johnston