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Introduction: Bergson and Einstein Debate
“The philosopher’s time exists.”
In this scientific article, I want to expose the nature of absolute space and time by revisiting the public debate between the theoretical physicist Albert Einstein and the philosopher Henri Bergson, that took place in Paris on April 6, 1922.
So, what was the bone of contention in this historical debate?
The central contention was on the true nature of time in relativity. Einstein had proceeded in 1905 to model relativity based on the operations of clocks (and meter sticks), but Bergson contended that relativity, at its fundamental and true form, should model a form of time he would refer to as “real duration”.
The notion of the philosopher’s time was born from Bergson’s sentiment that the quantitative analysis of time in relation to the operations of clocks, as Einstein had explained time in relativity, was not enough to unravel the entire mystery of time. This inquiry into the deeper essence of time beyond clocks constitutes the notion and the investigation of the philosopher’s time.
Henri Bergson and Albert Einstein
Einstein was more concerned about physical time as we quantify using clocks, and not any other notion of time, even though in the debate he recognized and distinguished between two notions of time, which are psychological time and physical time. Psychological time refers to time as we perceive it, while physical time is that which we measure using clocks.
Henri Bergson was of the opinion that the mathematical framework of relativity was satisfactory but that it does not apply to clocks as Einstein had thought, but to a deeper essence of time, or what I stated we would simply call the philosopher’s time, which Einstein attempted to repudiate.
Bergson was convinced that simultaneity which was a consequence of Einstein’s relativity would have no consequence in relation to clocks unless it has a deeper significance in the domain of absolute experiential time.
Einstein, on the other hand, insisted that relativity can only be applied to clocks since they are quantifiable or verifiable and not some sort of metaphysical time as Bergson contended.
In summary, Bergson contended that time is experiential, in that it is intimately connected to our experience of the universe, while Einstein contended that time is what clocks measure, which in itself is external to our experience of the universe.
Henri Bergson in his doctoral thesis Time and Free Will: An Essay on the Immediate Data of Consciousness had distinguished between the physical mechanistic time of physics and ‘real duration’, and he saw the physicist acceptance of the operations (in space) of clocks as a quantitative measure of time as a major flaw in our understanding of time.
So, in this article, how do we seek to address the Bergson-Einstein debate? Well, let’s begin by defining the central question raised by the debate.
The Central Question of the Bergson-Einstein Debate
Bergson rejected the physicist mechanistic explanation of time which was Einstein’s position. So, all of Bergson quest to unravel time was driven by a search for a non-mechanistic explanation of time. Thus, it can be stated that the debate between Bergson and Einstein was centered on the question:
Is time mechanistic or non-mechanistic?
Or in another manner:
Is time externally observable or internally experiential?
I would be answering the above questions in this article.
Einstein in an effort to silent the criticism of Bergson quipped that “the philosopher’s time does not exist.” But is this really true? If you have been following this blog, and if you have gotten your own copy of the theory of the universe, then you would have realized that my stance and the stance of Henri Bergson on the nature of time are similar.
But I don’t describe the philosopher’s time in the exact manner Henri Bergson did. I described it differently, and in a manner unthought-of. I want to give you in this article the true understanding of time and what it really is, and as you would realize it relates to Bergson view. The great truth in Bergson’s conception of time is that it is experiential and not external, and I would show you how.
In this article, we would ride upon the contention of the nature of time from the Einstein-Bergson debate to define absolute space and other aspects of absolute science necessary for an encompassing understanding of the universe.
The Frame of the Philosopher
Before I proceed to elucidate the true definition of the Philosopher’s time, I want you to know that the debate between Einstein and Bergson is very relevant for today’s science. We have been seeking the unified field theory for a century now, and even Einstein sought it for 30 years and failed to find it.
Disappointingly, since we carried the baton of this great and noble task, we also haven’t made any substantial progress in this direction. Why? This is because, like Albert Einstein, we have ignored the Philosopher’s time, and not just the Philosopher’s time alone, but the Philosopher’s space and also the Philosopher’s stone.
We have completely ignored the deeper essences of space and time, and have proceeded to understand the universe on our own terms ignoring the ultimate perception of things by the Great Philosopher. Listen: at the beginning of creation, the Philosopher masterfully weaved the universe by His own metaphysical space, time and stone, and not by our own physical space, time and stone.
While we know that meter sticks and clocks represent our own space and time, what represents our own stone is mass. We think of the universe in terms of mass. It is a very pervasive and important quantity in relative science.
But now I want you to know that the Philosopher’s space and time are absolute space and time and the Philosopher’s stone is inertia. Understand this. I want you to ascend to the higher metaphysical science which is the science of the Philosopher and the true understanding of all things, and even the unified field is to be found in His higher science which I sometimes call absolute science.
In absolute science, inertia is the only substance, and it is, in fact, the content of all existence. I also define it in alchemical terms as the materia prima of all things.
So, what is absolute time? Listen: all motions whether uniform or accelerated motions involve inertia. You and any other body in the universe and even light and gravity which are limits of inertia cannot move without inertia. Every motion involves inertia.
Definition of Absolute Time
Now, absolute time which I have said has two forms is an essence in the universe which flows regardless of inertia. While bodies move with regard to inertia, time flows regardless of inertia.
Our clocks or physical time which we have wrongly taken for true time is made of mass and its hands or pointers move with regards and because of inertia. Our clocks cannot by any capacity reveal or manifest this fundamental independence of absolute time from inertia. This independence of absolute time from inertia is the true non-mechanistic nature of time and its two forms in the universe.
What am I pointing out to you concerning the nature of time? I want you to know that if inertia is zero or absent, the hands of your clock by which you quantify physical time will not move and you won’t be able to measure physical time, but absolute time flows on, even when inertia is zero or absent. This is the true scientific essence of time.
We even have the sense of “duration” in the absence of motion because absolute time flows on even in the absence of inertia. Our clocks with marked demarcations or divisions in space cannot capture this unending flow of time in the absence of inertia.
Now, even if the physicist decides to dismiss this insight as also a form of psychological time Einstein talked about, I would want you to also know that absolute time has an implication that is very important to the physicist. I will discussed this implication shortly.
However, before I proceed to the definition of absolute space, I will like to inform you that the nature of absolute time that is very paramount for the physicist emerges from the deeper insight that absolute time has two forms which are outlined below:
- Uniform time
- Accelerated time
Definition of Absolute Space
I cannot discuss the aspect of the nature of time that is relevant for the physicist without also showing you the true definition of absolute space. What is absolute space? Absolute space in its two forms is that which flows with regards to inertia.
Absolute space, unlike absolute time, cannot flow without the presence of inertia. Absolute space is fundamentally dependent on inertia. Inertia, is importantly, the distinguishing factor between absolute space and time.
What am I pointing out to you concerning the nature of space? I want you to know that if inertia is zero, your meter stick will still extend and you will be able to measure physical space, but absolute space does not flow when inertia is zero or absent.
Your perception of space around you arises because inertia is present everywhere in the observable universe as gravi-electromagnetic wave. In the absence of inertia, absolute space is undetectable in the universe, and the use of meter sticks cannot reveal this all-important nature of absolute space to us.
Also, like absolute time, absolute space has two forms which are:
- Uniform space
- Accelerated space
The definitions above for absolute space and time are their definitions within the context of absolute relativity and in this blog. Now, let’s proceed to describe their experiential nature.
The Experiential Nature of Absolute Space and Time
Now, the experiential nature of absolute space and time manifests in our investigation of the sensation of inertia. The orthogonality of uniform space and time is responsible for our non-sensation of inertia during uniform motion, and one can even contend that our non-sensation of inertia during uniform motion is primarily due to the fundamental independence of the flow of absolute uniform time from inertia.
Also, during accelerated motion, the orthogonality of accelerated space and time is responsible for our non-sensation of inertia during accelerated motion (due to gravity), and one can also even contend that our non-sensation of inertia during accelerated motion is primarily due to the fundamental independence of the flow of absolute accelerated time from inertia.
We sense inertia sometimes, especially when we accelerate by an external action which is not gravity, because of the non-orthogonality of accelerated space and uniform time represented by the accelerated velocity.
Our externalized notion of time as what clocks measure has prevented us from realizing this all-important consequence of time. True time which is important for the physicist, as well as the philosopher, is responsible for our sensation and non-sensation of inertia, and this cannot be detected or even deduced using clocks. Understand this.
More so, since the orthogonality of the respective forms of absolute space and time is responsible for the non-sensation of inertia during motion, it goes on to even show us the limit of our externalization of space as what our meter sticks measure.
Absolute space in conjunction with time is responsible for our non-sensation of inertia. Both space and time are experiential entities and not externalizations as modern physics teaches us.
So, whenever I refer to the experiential nature of absolute space and time, I refer to their influence on our sensation and non-sensation of inertia, and not in any other sense, at least not yet.
In this article, I want you to realize the aspect of the philosopher’s time that is important for the physicist, and it is the influence of time on our sensation and non-sensation of inertia. I do not seek to elucidate absolute time in relation to memories, dreams, perception etc. as Bergson had described.
Absolute space and time in their true nature are intimately connected to our experience of the universe, and this is relevant to our understanding of the unified field. This proposition goes even further, for the deductions of relativity in their true mathematical interpretation and form apply to absolute metaphysical space and time and not relative physical space and time.
In special relativity, what should dilate during uniform motion is not time as measured by clocks, but uniform time as experienced by the body in motion, and what should contract during uniform motion is not space as measured by meter sticks, but uniform space as experienced by the body in motion.
Also, in general relativity, what should expand and also contract is not just space or spacetime as measured by external meter sticks and clocks, but accelerated space or accelerated spacetime as experienced by the body in accelerated motion.
Bergson’s notion of experiential time and by extension experiential space are the bedrocks of relativity. They constitute the true spacetime of the unified field. And importantly, they reveal to us the purely Euclidean nature of the universe, which rids us of the blinding complexities of modern physics.
The blinding complexities of modern physics which have done so much to hamper our progress towards the unified field is relatable to our insistence on only the physicality of space and time and not on any other notion of space and time that may be very important to the physicist as well as to the philosopher.
Absolute space and time upon which the true understanding of the universe lies are experiential. This profound realization brings us to the deeper understanding of Euclidean laws as the true experiential geometry of the universe and not just an externalization.
Now, absolute relativity informs us that all the events in the universe are of two kinds, which are:
- Uniform events
- Accelerated events
The entire uniform events of the universe are events that occur in uniform space-time, while the entire accelerated events of the universe are events that occur in accelerated space-time. So, we must be meticulous when we describe events in the universe.
Therefore, we have two kinds of worldlines in the universe. The uniform continuum encompasses all the events, past, present and future, that are imprinted on uniform space-time worldliness, while the accelerated continuum encompasses all the events, past, present and future, that are imprinted on accelerated spacetime worldlines.
The entire events of the universe, past, present and future, imprinted on the continuum are not imprinted on physical spacetime but on absolute spacetime. The entire consequences of relativity are rooted in absolute space and time.
The existence of absolute space and time which are experiential constitute our prior notion of space and time which was of central concern to Bergson argument. What absolute relativity has achieved is to expose the true nature of absolute space and time which since scientific history have been difficult to investigate in any scientific way.
This article importantly extends Bergson notion of experiential subjective time to absolute space, and it informs us that these essences cannot simply be externalized and reduced to the operations of clocks and meter sticks.
I want you to know that Bergson’s view about the experiential nature of time and by extension of space is very important for the physicist understanding of inertia. We should not like Einstein dismiss this great truth. Time ain’t all about clocks and space ain’t all about meter sticks.
How we ourselves experience time and space beyond the operations of clocks and meter sticks are very relevant to post-modern physics. At our fundamental understanding of the universe, absolute space and time due to their qualitative nature, in that they both have two forms, are responsible for our sensation and non-sensation of inertia.
Inertia is an inherent property of all motion, and this all-important insight which unlocks the entire mystery of the cosmos is important for the physicist, and in fact for all scientist. We organically and subjectively experience absolute space and time.
Like Bergson, I want you to realize that we experience time, and not the physical or psychological time, but absolute time. In my future articles, I would be relating all this to the operations of the mind. Experiential absolute space and time are central to being.
Henri Bergson Relaxing
I want you to also know that Bergson’s experiential proposition of the universe arises from the qualitative nature of absolute space and time, while Einstein’s externalized proposition of the universe arises from the quantitative nature of absolute space and time.
So, the philosopher and the physicist were in their debate really standing on two different but inseparable aspects of the cosmos.
Einstein mechanistic and objective views of time and also of space are still preserved in post-modern physics, in that the consequences of relativity, such as the dilation and contraction of space and time are applicable to absolute space and time.
This shows us a metaphysical comprehension of proportion which is the major concern of quantitative science, and which Einstein defended.
However, absolute space and time are entirely perceptible and objective in the metaphysical universe by the Philosopher that weaved all things. Absolute time exists as an externalization in the frame of the Philosopher, just as clocks exists as externalizations of time to us. For now, we cannot measure the quantity of true absolute time or by ourselves truly externalize time, but we can experience the quality of time.
The great and noble call of post-modern physics is for us to further probe the nature of absolute time in a manner that brings us to a more profound and direct experience of it, whereby in due time, the true experiential nature of the universe which is important for the scientist becomes well understood.
The time has come for man to take his physical eyes off clocks, and realize that he organically experiences time, and should also realize that he is the true center or focus of physics, and as the the ancient philosophers would say “the measure of all things.”
The portal to the adequate harnessing of cosmic forces lies in this approach. We shall attain the true measure of the stature of man as we harmonize our internal experiences and mental activities with the true flow of time, taking our understanding of the universe away from physical space and time and placing it on metaphysical space and time.
I remain your man,
– M. V. Echa
You can also read these articles to get further understanding of the Bergson-Einstein debate: