Vitalism of Bergson

Vitalism has little to do with vitality, but owes everything to vital impulse. The former depicts the tone of the physical body, while the latter is a philosophical doctrine. I am a vitalist – which does not take away my vitality, on the contrary. What is a vitalist? I am going to tell you.

The leader of the vitalists is undoubtedly the philosopher Henri Bergson. When his theses burst onto the scene of philosophical thought, some old caciques pouted. His innovative concepts, irreducible to reason, annoyingly reminded them of Nietzsche. What should not be done, this genius is frowned upon, no one has stood up for him and he is still moldy in purgatory with all his work, however fundamental. The same is true for Bergson.

Why am I a vitalist? Spiritual son of the great Nietzsche, I have a very special tenderness for Bergson. Like him, like Claude Bernard, André Lalande and others, I know that living things cannot be reduced to the laws of physics and chemistry. I observe around me as in myself the action of a vital force which transcends the laws of matter. This force at the origin of the living, some may call it god. I prefer to speak of energy, or vril, which is the vital energy.

This energy only concerns the living, and it obeys other laws than those of matter. It is probably leaving the realm of physics, at least of today physics. Without this energy, there would be no life. And I add, there would be no awakening. No spirituality. No transcendence. No surpassing oneself

French philosopher André Lalande describes vitalism as a “doctrine according to which there exists in each living being a vital principle, different both from the thinking soul and from the physico-chemical properties of the body, governing the phenomena of life”. (source)André Lalande, Vocabulaire Technique et Critique de la Philosophie

Clearly, the vitalist thinks that the material body and the spiritual soul are not the only ingredients of a living being. Added to this is vril, the vital energy, the vital impetus dear to Henri Bergson. The body, the soul and the vril, such is our triple nature.

Three people in one reminds me of something. Body, Spirit, Heart. The physical body, the immortal spirit that the seers call the aura, and the interface between the two, the astral body that I prefer to call the subtle body or Body of the Heart, on which the chakram are located.

This philosophical doctrine is opposed to the mechanism of Democritus and Descartes. It was once that of biology, which finally abandoned it, even if prominent scientist Claude Bernard underlined his points of convergence with the vitalists.

He writes: “I admit indeed that the vital manifestations cannot be elucidated by the only physico-chemical phenomena known in the raw material.” (source)Claude Bernard, Introduction à l’étude de la médecine expérimentale

For me, vitalism has put its finger on a deep reality. Our triple constitution, the inner holy trinity, what I called our three persons. But what a foggy statement! How confused were those thinking heads! They are said thinkers, I find them tinkers. What is well conceived is clearly stated … (source)

Yes there is an intuition. Yes, the Bergsonian vital impulse is an indisputable advance. Advance who pays his debt to Nietzsche. Thus progresses thought, by borrowing and mental phagocytosis. Now I express myself like Lalande! These speeches speak only of themselves.

Recurring drama of philosophers! The last century has made them go crazy. We search in vain, we invect each other. We turn in circles in his head without finding the exit. If the philosopher is unable to inhabit the rest of his body, how could he inhabit his time? Air, open the windows of your senses, you stink of the head.

A true friend of wisdom must seek it beyond and below the mind. Transcend the intellect, a pure product of the brain computer. Soak up fleshly, voluptuously pulp, sensually from the skin until the sleepy brain falls asleep.

The world stops. In the silence of your head, perceive the comets. Become a poet. Time has been playing with you too long, it now obeys you. Better than before, more often, the elements will settle on you. Your insignificant little person becomes divine seed when it is inhabited by the almighty spirit.

You are infinitely more than your animated atoms, more than your physique, more than your physique. We are much more than our short lives. The mind was not born from the brain. It blows on men as on all things, may men feed on this breath. In India, it is called prana. In the West, it is called vril.

The brain takes hold of the thoughts it receives with its parabolic antenna, the cerebral cortex. It captures the information and the images that materialize in its brightness, its aura. It is a microcosm that surrounds us, it is the holy spirit, it is our immortal soul. Virtually immortal, in fact. Believe without believing …

We have to face the facts: the space of our lives is closed. We have no way of seeing beyond. The believer takes his dreams for certainty, I take certainties for dreams. Those who believe to see something on the other side of death can never be sure.

The human condition is doubt. It is our greatness and our strength. Be the one who doubts. Be the one who acts anyway. Be an everyday hero. Be a shadow that dreams of light.

Doubt is an unpleasant mental state, but certainty is absurd. (Voltaire)


The warrior acts. Always. But he never expects results from his action.
Carlos Castaneda