chapter  2
46 Pages


The image is defined by its intention. It is the intention that determines that the image of Peter is consciousness of Peter. If the intention is taken at its origin, that is, when it springs up from our spontaneity, it already implies a certain knowledge, no matter how naked and despoiled it may appear to be, and which is, hypothetically, the consciousness of Peter. I admit that this knowledge is but a simple empty anticipation, a direction: but it is in every way a direction towards Peter, an expectation of Peter. In a word, 'the pure intention' is a combination of contradictory terms, since it is always intention towards something. But in the image the intention does not confine itself to aiming at Peter in an undetermined manner: it pursues him as blond, tall, with a turned up or aquiline nose, etc. It must therefore become charged with knowledge, it must traverse a certain layer of consciousness which we might call the layer of knowledge. So that, in the imaginative consciousness, knowledge and intention can be distinguished only by abstraction. The intention is defined only by the knowledge because it is only what we know in some sort of way that we represent to ourselves as an image, and conversely, the knowledge here is not simply a knowledge, it is an act, it is what I want to represent to myself. I do not restrict myself to the knowledge that Peter is blond, this knowledge is a requirement: it is what I must realize as an intuition. This knowledge is, naturally, not something which is added to an already constituted image in order to clarify it: it is the active structure of the image.