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If we want to talk about synthesis, it will be, as Husserl says, a ‘transition-synthesis’, which does not link disparate perspectives, but brings about the ‘passage’ from one to the other. Psychology has involved itself in endless difficulties by trying to base memory on the possession of certain contents or recollections, the present traces (in the body or the unconscious) of the abolished past, for from these traces we can never come to understand the recognition of the past as past. In the same way we shall never come to understand the perception of distance if we start from contents presented, so to speak, all equidistant, a flat projection of the world, as recollections are a projection of the past in the present. And just as memory can be understood only as a direct possession of the past with no interposed contents, so the perception of distance can be understood only as a being in the distance which links up with being where it appears. Memory is built out of the progressive and continuous passing of one instant into another, and the interlocking of each one, with its whole horizon, in the thickness of its successor. The same continuous transition implies the object as it is out there, with, in short, its ‘real’ size as I should see it if I were beside it, in the perception that I have of it from here. Just as there is no possibility of engaging in any discussion of the ‘ conservation of the recollections’, but only of a certain way of seeing time which brings out the past as an inalienable dimension of consciousness, there is no problem of distance, distance being immediately visible provided that we can find the living present in which it is constituted.
Phenomenology of Perception, p. 309. And a bullet in the middle.