time-series, both backwards and forwards; and I use as binding links the identical points in any content suggested. This construction I call the “real” series, and whatever content declines to take its place in my arrangement, I condemn as unreal. And the process is justifiable within limits. If we mean only that there is a certain group of phenomena, and that, for reality within this group, a certain time-relation is essential, that doubtless is true. But it is another thing to assert that every possible phenomenon has a place in this series. And it is once more another thing to insist that all time-series have a temporal unity in the Absolute.
Let us consider the first point. If no phenomenon is “real,” except that which has a place in my temporal arrangement, we have, first, left on our hands the whole world of “Imagination.” The fact of succession there becomes “unreal,” but it is not got rid of by the application of any mere label. And I will mention in passing another difficulty, the disruption of my “real” series in mental disease. But—to come to the principle—it is denied that phenomena can exist unless they are in temporal relation with my world. And I am able to find no ground for this assumption. When I ask why, and for what reason, there cannot be changes of event, imperceptible to me and apart from my time-series, I can discover no answer. So far as I can see, there may be many time-series in the Absolute, not related at all for one another, and for the Absolute without any unity of time.
And this brings us to the second point. For phenomena to exist without inter-connection and unity, I agree is impossible. But I cannot perceive that this unity must either be temporal or else nothing. That would be to take a way of regard-
- For this construction see p. 84, and Principles of Logic, Chapter ii.