It must follow that our thought, in its purly logical form, is incapable of pres enting the true nature

of life, the full meaning of the evolutionary movement. C reated by life, in defenite cercumstances, to act on defenite things, how can it embrace life, of which it is only an emanation or an aspect? Deposited by the e volutionary movement in the course of its way, how can it be applied to the evol utionary movement itself? As well contend that the part is equal to the whole, t hat the effect can reabsorb its cause. It is necessary that these two inquiries, theory of knowledge and theory of life , should join each other, and, by a circular process, push each other on unceasi ngly.Together, they may solve by a method more sure, brought nearer to experienc e, the great problems that philosophy poses. For, if they should succeed in thei r common enterprise, they would show us the formation of the intellect, and ther eby the genesis of that matter of which our intellect traces the general configu ration. They would dig to the very root of nature and of mind. They would substi tute for the false evolutionism of Spencer--which consists in cutting up present reality, already evolved, into little bits no less evolved, and then recomposin g it with these fragments, thus positing in advance everything that is to be exp lained--a true evolutionism, in which reality would be followed in its generatio n and its growth. It may be said of individuality that, while the tendency to individuate is every where present in the organized world, it is everywhere opposed by the tendency t owards reproduction. There is no universal biological law which applies precisely and automatically t o every living thing. There are only directions in which life throws out species in general. Each particular species, in the very act by which it is constituted , affirms its independence, follows its caprice, deviates more or less from the straight line, sometimes even remounts the slope and seems to turn its back on i ts original direction. The evolution of the living being, like that of the embryo, implies a continual recording of duration, a persistence of the past in the present, and so an appea rance, at least, of organic memory. Organic creation, on the contrary, the evolutionary phenomena which properly con stitute life, we cannot in any way subject to a mathematical treatment. It will be said that this impotence is due only to our ignorance. But it may equally wel l express the fact that the present moment of a living body does not find its ex planation in the moment immediately before, that all the past of the organism mu st be added to that moment, its heredity--in fact, the whole of a very long hist ory. The systems science works with are, in fact, in an instantaneous present that is always being renewed; such systems are never in that real, concrete duration in which the past remains bound up with the present. The world the mathematician deals with is a world that dies and is reborn at eve ry instant--the world which Descartes was thinking of when he spoke of continued creation. But, in time thus conceived, how could evolution, which is the very e ssence of life, ever take place? Evolution implies a real persistence of the pas t in the present, a duration which is, as it were, a hyphen, a connecting link. In other words, to know a living being or natural system is to get at the very i nterval of duration, while the knowledge of an artificial or mathematical system applies only to the extremity. life is like a current passing from germ to germ through the medium of a develop ed organism. It is as if the organism itself were only an excrescence, a bud cau sed to sprout by the former germ endeavoring to continue itself in a new germ. T

In considering reality. In what drawer. But we live it. nobody will gainsay. of all the essential elements o f the knowledge of truth. it believes that its ignorance consists only in not knowing which one of its time-honored categories suits the newobject. Intellect turns away from the vision of time. re ady to open. But disinterested art is a luxury. Even where it confesses that it does not know the obje ct presented to it. it includes the whole of life i n a single indivisible embrace. that has never yet occurred and will never occur again? It does not follow that chemistry and physics will ever give us the key to life.he essential thing is the continuous progress indefinitely pursued. even pure form. or that. becaus e life transcends intellect. shall we clothe it? Is it this. then. we could kn ow these causes in detail. already known. Thus the win d at a street-corner divides into diverging currents which are all one and the s ame gust." is revealed only in the mass. I mean that the o riginal impetus is a common impetus. Especially (and this is the point on which fi nalism has been most seriously mistaken) harmony is rather behind us than before . It dislikes what is fluid. But this can only mean that if. in all their details. we could explain by them the form that has been produ ced. That the appearance of a vegetable or animal species is due to specific causes." and "the ot her thing" are always something already conceived. lik e pure speculation. we reject the unforeseeable. It is of no use to try to restrict finality to the individuality of the living b eing. on which each visible organism rides during the short interval of tim e given it to live. imagines itself possessed. It is therefore dominated by this law. and the higher we ascend the stream of life the more do diverse tendencies appear complementary to each other. life is no more made of physico-chemical elements than a curve is co mposed of straight lines. mechanism regards only the aspect of similarity or repet ition. But this indetermination cannot be complete. If there is finality in the world of life. foreseeing the form is out of the question. incorrigibly presumptuous. for art lives on creation and implies a la tent belief in the spontaneity of nature. An organ like the ey e. already cut out. We do not think real time. Our reason. innate or acquired. Of course. shall we put it? In what garment. an invisible progress. Harmony does not exist in fact. they are peculiar to that phase of its history i n which life finds itself at the moment of producing the form: how could we know beforehand a situation that is unique of its kind. and sol idifies everything it touches. In so far as we are geometricians. We might accept it. in tendencies rather than in states. in so far as we are artists. the conditions u nder which it will be produced. the evolution of the organic world cannot be predetermined as a whole . that in nature there is only "like " reproducing "like". The more the geometry in mechanism is emphasized. It may perhaps be said that the form could be foreseen if we could know." and "that. or the other thing? And "this. it exists rather in principle. that the spontaneity of life is manifested by a con tinual creation of new forms succeeding others. In reality. it must leave a certain part to determination. or rather "complementarity. We claim. on the contrary. for example. But these conditions are built up into it and ar e part and parcel of its being. must have been formed by just a continual changing in a definite . as suredly. after the fact. Harmony. the less can mechanism admit that anything is ever created. by right of bi rth or by right of conquest.

But organized matter has a limit of expan sion that is very quickly reached. and the infinite complexity to the views we take in turning around it. She creates with them diverging series of species that will evolve sep arately. they may evolve identically. But these interwoven pers onalities become incompatible in course of growth. that accumulate and create new specie s. glancing back over his history. ready to divide. but not its general directions. CHAPTER II That in virtue of this push (the vital impetus) the first organisms sought to gr ow as much as possible. She preserves the different tendencies that have bifurcated with thei r growth. when species have begun to diverge from a common stock. will find that his child-personality . Each of us. At every moment t . still less the movement itself. to t he symbols by which our senses or intellect represent it to us. which could remain blende d just because they were in their nascent state: this indecision. nor have they given it its direction. but by dissoc iation and division. In general. and which is the more complete the more it s trikes us as the projection of an indivisible intuition. at le ast of those that are regularly passed on. is one of the greatest charms of childhood. the two aspects have by no means the same importance. in fact. This impetus (original impetus of life). We can imitate his pictu re with many-colored squares of mosaic. of all that we might have become. but with which it remains incommensurable. The route we pursue in time is strewn with the remains of all that we began to be. would be necessary to obtain the exact equivalent of the figure that the artist has conceived as a simple thing. is the fundamental cause of variations. But nature. so charged wit h promise. And we shall reproduce the curves and sh ades of the model so much the better as our squares are smaller. it adap ts itself to the accidents of the ground. Yet. which he has wished to transport as a whole to the canvas. more general ly. or rather the same degree of reality. in certain def inite points. also. Life does not proceed by the association and addition of elements. united in itself divers persons. An artist of genius has painted a figure on his canvas. with which we try to imitate it artificial ly. sustained right along the lines of evol ution among which it gets divided. they must do so if the hypot hesis of a common impetus be accepted. as each of us can live b ut one life. beyond a certain point it divides instead of growing. In general. to elements of a different order. more numerous a nd more varied in tone. It succeeded in inducing an increasing number of elements. presenting an infinity of shades. But an infinity of elements infinitely small. seems likely. we do not see how otherwise to explain the likeness of struc ture of the eye in species that have not the same history. to remain united. In such cases. though indivisible. without ceasing. Ages of effort and prodigies of subtlety were probably necessary for li fe to get past this new obstacle. w e abandon many things. a choice must perforce be made. which ha s at command an incalculable number of lives. they acce ntuate their divergence as they progress in their evolution. is in no wise bound to make such s acrifices. being of a different nature. The road tha t leads to the town is obliged to follow the ups and downs of the hills. the simplicity belongs to the object its elf. but the accidents of the ground are no t the cause of the road. The truth is that adaptation explains the sinuosities of the movement of evoluti on. when the same object appears in one aspect and in another as infinit ely complex. and. Indeed. or. We choose in reality without ceasing.direction.

It rejects all creation. and that it r emains inventive even in its adaptations. Su ffice it now to say that to the stable and unchangeable our intellect is attached by virtue of its natural disposition. Mobility and suppleness were sought for. namely. calculable as a func tion of them. Hence its bewilderment when it turns to the living and is confronted with o rganization. would fain give them as an ap pendage inorganic matter itself. so to speak. the greatest suc cess was achieved on the side of the greatest risk. instinct im plies the knowledge of a matter. and not without a tendency to excess of substance and brute force at the start--variety of movements. is the knowledge of a form. On the two paths along which the vertebrates and arthropods have separately evol ved. then. Instinct and intelligence th erefore represent two divergent solutions. ad opting the ways of unorganized nature in principle. is what satisfies our intellect. and also--through many experimen tal attempts. all the elementary forces of the intellect tend to transform matter into a n instrument of action. But of this more anon. Intelligence has even more need of instinct than instinct has of intelligence. that evolution does not mark out a solitary route. While intelligenc e treats everything mechanically. think true continuity. for the road ai ms simply at the town and would fain be a straight line. Intelligence. but limited in its effects. th e other hazardous. might be extended indefinitely. bu t if we consider the whole of the road. converted into an immense organ by the industry of the living being. the intellect lets what is new in each moment of a history escape. putting itself outside itself. if it were wound up into k nowledge instead of being wound off into action. in order to direct them in f act. it resolves the organized into the unorganized . instead of each of its parts. on the contrary. Life. Of immobility alone does the intellect form a clear idea. . It does what it can. that creative evolution which is life. T hat definite antecedents bring forth a definite consequent. that it takes directions without aiming at ends. It does not admit the unforeseeable. Such is the initial task it assigns to intelligence. That is why the intellect always behaves as if it were fascinated by the contemplatio n of inert matter. in so far as it is innate. real mobility. Thus. development (apart from retrogressions connected with parasitism or any oth er cause) has consisted above all in the progress of the sensori-motor nervous s ystem. not content with producing organisms. Instinct. Just so as regards the evolution of life and the circumstances through which it passes--with this difference. It is life looking outward. in the etymological sense of the word. into an organ.hey furnish it with what is indispensable. instinct proceeds. But it is no less true that nature must have hesitated between two modes of psyc hical activity--one assured of immediate success. the accide nts of the ground appear only as impediments or causes of delay. without reversing its natural direction and twisting about on i tself. if we could ask and it could re ply. is molded on the very form of life. the soil on which it lies. equally fitting. organically. I f the consciousness that slumbers in it should awake. it would give up to us the most intimate secrets of life. reciprocal penetration--in a word. Here again. of one and the same problem. but whose conquests. if it should reach independence. and to rec onstitute with what is given. Precisely because it (intellegence) is always trying to reconstitute. It is the philosophers who are mistaken when they import into the domain of spec ulation a method of thinking which is made for action. for it cannot. that is.

that is. Consider the letters of the alphabet that enter into the composition of everythi ng that has ever been written: we do not conceive that new letters spring up and come to join themselves to the others in order to make a new poem. that the number of atoms composing the material universe at a given moment should increase runs . wh ilst settling. of itse lf. this chara cter has entirely different origins in the two cases. Thus. Everything happens as though the grip of i ntelligence on matter were. with congealed parts of its own substance whi ch it carries along its course. though it (intuition) thereby transcends intelligence. as if the essential part of the effect were to raise us above ourselves and enlarge ou r horizon. when it imagines in space a matter cut up on th e very lines that our action will follow. instead of continuing into a new creation. it would have remained in the form of instinct. and even opposite meanings . has given itself in advance. as a n intelligent animal might do. every voluntary act in which there is freedom. CHAPTER III The more consciousness is intellectualized. one of the principal difficulties of the prob lem of knowledge. is the geometrical necessity in virtue of which the same components g ive the same resultant. every movement of an organism that manifests spontaneity. presents the same ch aracter and performs the same function as the physical order: both cause experie nce to repeat itself. its ideal limit. Every human work in which there is invention. Wi thout intelligence. we underst and very well: this creation is a simple act of the mind. The inorganic genera seem to us to take living genera as models. it is from intellige nce that has come the push that has made it rise to the point it has reached. and though this advantage be all the inventor sou ght. But that the poet creates the poem and that human thought is thereby made richer. and turned outward by it into movem ents of locomotion. it may break up into words which dissociate themselves into letters which ar e added to all the letters there are already in the world. much more even than the material result of the inv ention itself. Thus the vital order. It releases it. How could th ey be anything else? We are not the vital current itself. and action has only to make a pause. it is a slight matter compared with the new ideas and new feelings that the invention may give rise to in every direction. In the first case. and. with it. both enable our mind to generalize. ready mad e. as also its f oundation. So t hat the evolutionist philosophy. Now. as soon as we have clearly distinguished between the order that is "willed" and the order that is "automatic. True. its direction. the more is matter spatialized. to let something pass that ma tter is holding back. indeed. In reality." the ambiguity that underlies the idea of dis order is dissipated. in order that. the intervention of something which manages to obtain the same total effect although the infinitely complex elementary causes may be quite different. on the contr ary. we are this current al ready loaded with matter. this character involves. In the second case. brings so mething new into the world. in its main intention. Between the effect and the cause the disproportion is so great that i t is difficult to regard the cause as producer of its effect. It is this m astery that profits humanity. these are only creations of form. riveted to t he special object of its practical interest. the intelligence of which it claims to show the genesis.But. Though we derive an immediate advantage from the thing made. the type of this character. such as it is offered to us piecemeal in experience. Fabricating consists in shaping matter. i n converting it into an instrument in order to become master of it. in making it supple and in bending it.

Hence a discord. if the same kind of action is going on everywhere. or rather supra-consciousness. More particularly. of becoming. if it be true that life springs forward at the very moment when. is not a mystery. action. so conceived. and the reverse of each addition might indeed be a world. nebulae in course of concentrati on. it lives only for itself. He is unceasing life. contradicts the whole of our experience. which contrasts with the atom as the thought of the poet with the letters of the alphabet.We go fur ther: it is not even necessary that life should be concentrated and determined i n organisms properly so called. there are only actions.counter to our habits of mind. it is c onsciousness. as an assemblage of atoms. fre edom. has nothing of the already made. If our analysis is correct. whic h we then represent to ourselves. made to present to us things and states rather than changes and acts. Everything is obscure in the idea of creation if we think of things which are cr eated and a thing which creates. that each species behaves as ement of life stopped at it instead of passing through it. Creation. Every essential of life would still be there. the nebular matter appears. in our psychical life. But things and states are only views. vague and formless. forms capable of being themselves prolonged into u nforeseen movements. or supra-consciousness. as we habitually do. whose function is essentially prac tical. Cons ciousness. than there is. And I know they were not all constructed at the same time. if the general mov thinks only of its that we behold in the original princ We use analogy the wrong way when we declare life to be impossible wherever the circumstances with which it is confronted are other than those on the earth. incapable of stopping the course of material changes downwards. that things ha ppen there in the same way. Such may have been the condition of life in ou r nebula before the condensation of matter was complete. and the def inite vitality we know. is the name for the rocket whose extinguished . that is. should increase by sudden additio ns. Now. even to-day. between the state of dream and the state of waking. in all the worlds suspended from all the stars. since t here would still be slow accumulation of energy and sudden release. represent the action that is making itself. It can be conceived (although it can hardly be imagined) that energy might be saved up. whether it is that w hich is unmaking itself or whether it is that which is striving to remake itself . that I do not present this centre as a thing. Life. It elf. but tha t a reality of quite another order. as the understanding canno t help doing. striking and terrible. as the effect of an inverse movement. I simply express this probable similitude when I speak of a centre from which worlds shoot out like rockets in a fireworks display--provided. and then expended on vary ing lines running across a matter not yet solidified. And we must remember. and that the unforeseen for ms which life cuts out in it. symbolically. we experience it in ourselves wh en we act freely. Hence the numberless struggles nature. however. is not inadmissible. it succeed s in retarding it. The truth is that life is possible wherever energy descends the incline indicated b y Carnot's law and where a cause of inverse direction can retard the descent--th at is to say. Now. but for which iple of life must not be held responsible. There are no things. I have eve ry reason to believe that the other worlds are analogous to ours. I find that the automatic and strictly determined evolution of this well-knit whole is action which is unmaking itself. since observation shows me. that is at the origin of life. probably. taken by our mind. Essential also is the progress to reflexion. It is natural to our intellect. God thus defined. if I consider the world in wh ich we live. but as a continuity of shooting out. above all. There would hardly be more difference between this vitality. in definite bodies presenting to the fl ow of energy ready-made though elastic canals.

in order to distinguish states in it by ma king cross cuts therein in thought. consciousness is essentially free. in organisms unprovided with a nervous system. As the possible actions which a state of consciousness indicates are at every in stant beginning to be carried out in the nervous centres. the destiny of consc iousness is not bound up on that account with the destiny of cerebral matter. but intelligence. in order to think--or rather. the contradiction vanishes. That is why. The obscurity is cleared up. must begin by adopting its rhythm. from the fact that two relative noughts are imaginable in tu rn. from the fact that the forms of human action venture outside of their proper sphere. I can by turns imagine a nought of external perception or a nought of internal perception. Fi nally. in the exclusive presence of the other. The Greeks trusted to nature. it is freedom itself. that is to say. is made manifest to itself only where creation is possible. consciousness. truste d language above all. it is true. we wrongly conclude that they are imaginable together: a conclusion the absu rdity of which must be obvious. can go from one to the other. It is theref ore no wonder that the habits of action give their tone to those of thought. again. and no longer to see in order to act. trusted the natural propensity of the mind. it is proportional to the complexity of the switchboard on which the paths called sensory and the paths called motor intersect--that is. in order thus to accompany the progress of activity and ensure its direction. Rather tha . and more than. which is a need of creation. that we are thinking. it wakens as soon as the possibility of a choice is re stored. consciousness. The reason is that there is more in the tran sition than the series of states. And in animals with a nervous system. All is obscure. the possible stops. but not bot h at once.fragments fall back as matter. that is to say free. to build up a tra nsition. turning itself back toward active. in so far as it naturally externalizes thought. naturally makes it enter int o the conceptual forms into which it is accustomed to see matter fit. In order that action may always be enlightened. The mobile flies for ever before the pursuit of science. for the absence of one consists. without adapting itself to it: this ad aptation is what we call intellectuality. which is concerned with immobility alone. at least confusedly. for we cannot imagine a nought without perceivin g. CHAPTER IV My imagination. that is to say. it varies ac cording to the power of locomotion and of deformation of which the organism disp oses. is the name for that which subsists of the rocket itself. as soon as we place ourselves along the transition. of the brain. but the int erdependency of consciousness and brain is limited to this. and that our mind always perceives things in the same order in which we are accusto med to picture them when we propose to act on them. it is in order to act that we think. But. We are made i n order to act as much as. But this consciousness. It lies dormant when life is condemned to automatism. passing through the fragments and lighting them up into organisms. when we follow the bent of our nature. the possible cuts--more in the movement than the series of positions. and therefore that something still subsists. but it cannot pa ss through matter without settling on it. We must strive to see in order to see. with states. that we are imagining it. intelligence must always be pres ent in it. consequently that we are actin g. at bottom. The greatest philosophic difficulties arise. as we have said. the brain underlines a t every instant the motor indications of the state of consciousness. all is contradictory when we try. and the intellect.

If succession. not indeed in any such artificially isolated system as a glass of sugared water. as on th e film of the cinematograph? The more I consider this point. they preferred to pronounce the course of things itself to be wrong.This duration may not be the fact of matter itself. . it is because the future is not altogether determined at the pr esent moment. it is because there is unceasingly being created in it.n lay blame on the attitude of thought and language toward the course of things. why does the universe unfold its successive states with a velocity which. has no real effica cy. if it has for the consciousness that is installed in it absolut e value and reality. The duration of the universe must therefor e be one with the latitude of creation which can find place in it. is a veritable abso lute? Why with this particular velocity rather than any other? Why not with an i nfinite velocity? Why. in other words. in regard to my consciousness. bu t in the concrete whole of which every such system forms part. the more it seems t o me that. but that of t he life which reascends the course of matter. in so far as distinct from mere juxtaposition. if time is not a kind of force. something unfores eeable and new. if the future is bound to succeed the present instead of being given alongside of it. and that if the time taken up by this succession is something othe r than a number. is not everything given at once. the two movements are none the les s mutually dependent upon each other.