10 | CR Book V, Chapter 1
contradictory process liberates energies that make us free and powerful.
The self-contradictory identity of organisms is a source of, and a home
for, material contradictions.
Our self consists of what we own, or of what belongs to us. Certain
things, our properties, have a greater "closeness" to us than others. We
can trust and depend on them as being more permanently associated
with us. In this way an inward nucleus of selfhood seems to organise
facts around itself. Direct observation appears to reveal degrees of
essentiality, say in plants, in the sense that there are various degrees
of correlation between the organism and its various features. We may
find correlations without exceptions, others with some very few excep-
tions, and again others which follow the binomial curve more or less
closely. In objects in general we can, through the study of correlations,
co-variations and functions, measure degrees of closeness and intimacy
in the interrelations of various facts. In this way, we may hope to arrive
at clusters of facts, which, independent of spatial arrangements, belong
functionally together. Yet we soon have to give up the hope that by this
approach we may reach the firm ground of objective units, when we take
into account the factor of time.
[1941 fragment of remake of Book IV, Chapter 2]
[1941 Book IV, Chapter 3 - Actions and agents]
BOOK V - LEVELS OF DURATION
Chapter 1 - Time and Duration - The range and extent of units
depends on the duration or time we take into account. "Duration" is
a thing's existence or persistence in time, or the prescribed or allotted
term of an event. IIt depends on the vicissitudes of the external environ-
ment, and on the rhythm of the thing's self-contradictory nature itself.
We speak of "time" in many senses. We are faced with a multitude
of times – private and collective times, mechanical, physical, popular,
poetical, or mythical time. We may ask which is the true and real time
in which we live, and in which things and events have their being. It is
often assumed that we live in a mechanical, or in a conceptual time. This
assumption is not borne out when we consult our experience of time.
Mechanical time, defined as flowing along uniformly and evenly
without respect to anything external, and conceived in abstraction
apart from any relations to sensible objects, is not found in any real
event, nor read off from any event. It is postulated, and as a merely
ideal reality it idealises the earth into a perfect time-keeper. Mechanical
time is not the real time. Even in physics it proved inadequate for the
description of real changes.
Popular, poetical and mythical time are more concrete than
mechanical time. Time is invested with some of the emotionally
significant features of events and experiences in time. Mythical time,
as conceived between 750 B.C. and 350 A.D., and as Zervan, Kala and
Chronos an object of religious worship, poetical confabulation and
pictorial representation, expresses the experience of time in symbols
which represent the reality of time as legitimately and adequately as
the "t" of our physical formulæ.
From another angle we may distinguish: (1) the experience of
duration; (2) an experience of the dimensions of time – before and
after, earlier and later, past, present and future; (3) the experience of
time as a force; (4) the concept of time as a form. Conceptual time is
uniform and homogeneous, unified, abstract, endless, continuous,
irreversible and quantifiable. All these and many other experiences of