The Problem of Living in the Now

Nobody asked but …

Gurus will tell us that we are better off in a state of mindfulness, receiving only the sensory information of the present.  Historians insist that we must learn the lessons of the past, else we will be doomed to repeat them.  Futurists try to convince us that we should plan meticulously, in order to manage the pain (or pleasure, or ennui) of unforeseen consequences.

Each of these are invitations to exclude a part of life’s experience.  The past is water over the dam; it cannot be changed.  The present is the only place where we can make choices.  And the future is in places and times that we can never reach, since the present moves with us individually according to the choices we make.

Paradoxically, each of the conceptions of time, known as past, present, or future, changes, both abstractly and concretely, with an apparent movement through time.  If we are to live in the Now, how shall we find it?

— Kilgore Forelle


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