Published September 12th 2013.
Me: Good afternoon Mr. Bergson.
Bergson: Good afternoon.
Me: I’ve always been fascinated by your concept of “time”.
Me: Yes. I believe you call it “duration”.
Bergson: The concept of time isn't what everybody understands in their day to day life. For me it should be considered as “space”.
Me: As in a space-time continuum? By reading Mr Foyle’s book it seems that your concept of time is something like that. Is there a fundamental difference between “time” and “space” or are they interchangeable?
Bergson: The properties of “space” and “time” are different. What is the same are the properties of “space” and “duration”. Our common concept of time isn't accurate to apprehend the experience of time, hence the need for another concept and word. "Time", as we understand it, is a mix of the concept of space and the experience of time. As such it’s not a good concept, because it’s not accurate enough. "Duration", as I see it, is the concept of time purged from the concept of space, i.e., from what we think is time but in reality is only space.
Me: Does it mean that the “past” works as a “present” that is really not “present” anymore? How can we interpret the concept of “future”?
Bergson: The “future” is a “present” that is yet to materialize.
Me: Are you saying that future stuff only exists on the realm of possibilities that are waiting to exist? Is that it?
Bergson: It means the present cannot be extended in order for us to see what future will be like. There is no oneness between future and present, whereas there is congruity in our common conception of space. That’s why we think "time" the way we think "space" (through oneness between all concepts).
Me: I think I’m starting to see the “light”. I think using your definition of time, I can now distinguish between "abstract time" and "concrete time" (that you, Mr. Bergson call "duration"). The "abstract time" is the one used in physics. The "concrete time/duration" is the one I must use to think of our human experience.
Bergson: Indeed. They both have different properties. In my view, “time” considered as "duration" transcends consciousness.
Me: Now you’ve got me all confused once again…
Mr. Bergson: (Good grief. This guy is as dumb as a doornail…). How can I put this? Many philosophical questions are not real problems, i.e., they’re made-up issues caused by the use of wrong concepts. This makes it impossible for us to visualize and understand them.
Me: (What an arrogant shit. I’ll go and hit the pool instead, and keep on behaving in a generally inane and pointless manner. I’ve always hated philosophy…). Thanks very much for you time, Mr. Bergson. It was a very informative discussion.
Bergson: (this churl doesn't have enough mental power to understand basic philosophical issues... I’ll go make fun of Kant instead because here in the After-Life I’ve got nothing better to do. What I did with “Time and Free Will” was not enough…)