Bergson's Theory Of Deep-seated And Superficial States

Bergson's psychology throws further light on a central doctrine of

catholic Christology. It not only makes conceivable, as we have shown

above, the co-existence of the two natures, but it lends support to the

belief in the independent reality of His personality. Person and

nature of Christology find their modern equivalents in the Bergsonian

"deep-seated" and "superficial" states of consciousness. Bergson draws

a sh
rp line of distinction between these two. The deep-seated states

constitute the kernel of being. They are the man's existence turned

inwards. They are independent, free, creative. They are a unifying

force. Always present, they only rarely make their presence felt.

Only at moments of deep experience do they interfere with the surface

self. The superficial states form the outward-regarding existence of

man. They represent consciousness relaxed into moments of clock-time,

moments more or less external to one another. They are not truly free.

They are conditioned by the material environment. Whatever be thought

of the metaphysic of this system, recognition cannot be refused to that

part of it which rests on the solid foundation of psychological fact.

Self-analysis discloses a two-fold experience in man. The stream of

his life contains both current and undercurrent. The current is

nature, the under-current personality.