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In this chapter Jankélévitch claims that for Bergson there are, in theory, two kinds of simplicity. On the one hand, multiplication and combination of elementary and abstract simplicity yields complication. On the other hand, concrete and immediately given simplicity is intrinsically complex. He concludes that to start with the former gives rise to paradoxes, whereas to start with the latter, as Bergson’s simple intuition does, explains our continuous duration and the creative and unforeseeable newness of any free decision. The simplest of simplicities Bergson speaks of in The Creative Mind invites us first to Seriousness (i.e. extreme sobriety) and then to Joy. Joy is beatitude is beyond pleasure and pain and transcends all disjunctions and dichotomies. Bergson thus optimistically opposes the gracious intuition of an absolute, the joyous instant (i.e., almost nothing), to the nothingness of modern despair.

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