“Your hand can seize today, but not tomorrow; and thoughts of your tomorrow are nothing but desire. Don’t waste this breath, if your heart isn’t crazy, since "the rest of your life" won’t last forever.”
― Omar Khayyám, Quatrains - Ballades
“Man…who lives in three places – in the past, in the present, and in the future – can be unhappy if one of these three is worthless. Religion has even added a fourth – eternity.”
― Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
“Zen is a liberation from time. For if we open our eyes and see clearly, it becomes obvious that there is no other time than this instant, and that the past and the future are abstractions without any concrete reality.”
― Alan Wilson Watts
“Bringing people into the here-and-now. The real universe. That's the present moment. The past is no good to us. The future is full of anxiety. Only the present is real--the here-and-now. Seize the day.”
― Saul Bellow, Seize the Day
“That we can never know," answered the wolf angrily. "That's for the future. But what we can know is the importance of what we owe to the present. Here and now, and nowhere else. For nothing else exists, except in our minds. What we owe to ourselves, and to those we're bound to. And we can at least hope to make a better future, for everything.”
― David Clement-Davies
“No longer forward nor behind
I look in hope or fear;
But, grateful, take the good I find,
The best of now and here.”
― John Greenleaf Whittier
We are living in a culture entirely hypnotized by the illusion of time, in which the so-called present moment is felt as nothing but an infinitesimal hairline between an all-powerfully causative past and an absorbingly important future. We have no present. Our consciousness is almost completely preoccupied with memory and expectation. We do not realize that there never was, is, nor will be any other experience than present experience. We are therefore out of touch with reality. We confuse the world as talked about, described, and measured with the world which actually is. We are sick with a fascination for the useful tools of names and numbers, of symbols, signs, conceptions and ideas.”
― Alan Wilson Watts
“We rest; a dream has power to poison sleep.
We rise; one wand'ring thought pollutes the day.
We feel, conceive, or reason; laugh or weep,
Embrace fond woe, or cast our cares away;
It is the same: for, be it joy or sorrow,
The path of its departure still is free.
Man's yesterday may ne'er be like his morrow;
Nought may endure but Mutability!”
― Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Complete Poems
The past,' he thought, 'is linked with the present by an unbroken chain of events flowing one out of another.' And it seemed to him that he had just seen both ends of that chain; that when he touched one end the other quivered.
― Anton Chekhov, Ward No. 6 and Other Stories
Yesterday is a cancelled check; tomorrow is a promissory note; today is the only cash you have - so spend it wisely.
― Kay Lyons
The faculty of memory cannot be separated from the imagination. They go hand in hand. To one degree or another, we all invent our personal pasts. And for most of us those pasts are built from emotionally colored memories.”
― Siri Hustvedt, The Shaking Woman, or A History of My Nerves
tags: imagination, memory, past, present
A man is a fool to live in hopes of a better tomorrow. I have a thousand, better ways today to spend what time remains ahead of me, and I have brighter, lighter and more pleasant places in which to spend it.
― Jack Whyte, Uther
“The great secret about goals and visions is not the future they describe but the change in the present they engender.”
― David Allen
"I have one aim only: to impart a fraction of the meaning of the word now.”
― Frederick S. Perls
Times of terror and the deepest misery may arrive, but if there is to be any happiness in this misery it can only be a spiritual happiness, related to the past in the rescue of the culture of early ages and to the future in a serene and indefatigable championship of the spirit in a time which would otherwise completely swallow up the material.
― Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game
“Once upon a time, began the story of you.
Many perilous, wonderful, harrowing, brilliant, delightful, profound things happened.
And yet—the most exciting twists and best turns are yet to come. And it absolutely does not matter how old or young you are.
Like a bright carpet of wonders, enjoy the unrolling of your story.”
― Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration
We are living in a culture entirely hypnotized by the illusion of time, in which the so-called present moment is felt as nothing but an infintesimal hairline between an all-powerfully causative past and an absorbingly important future. We have no present. Our consciousness is almost completely preoccupied with memory and expectation. We do not realize that there never was, is, nor will be any other experience than present experience. We are therefore out of touch with reality. We confuse the world as talked about, described, and measured with the world which actually is. We are sick with a fascination for the useful tools of names and numbers, of symbols, signs, conceptions and ideas.”
― Alan Watts
tags: philosophy, present
Our past cannot be changed, and to be preoccupied with it is inefficient in time and effort. Likewise, by fretting over the future, we only exhaust ourselves, making us less able to effectively respond when the future is actually upon us. By worrying about a mishap that may or may not take place, we’re forced to undergo the event twice—once when imagining it and once again if and when we actually experience it.”
― H.E. Davey, Japanese Yoga: The Way of Dynamic Meditation
tags: future, meditation, past, present, worrying, yoga
Basically, if the mind stays in the present, it’s impossible to worry. Upon careful consideration, it becomes clear that human beings are capable of worrying only about an event that has already transpired or one that may take place in the future (although the occurrence might have just happened or may be about to happen in the next instant). The present moment contains no time or space for worry.”
― H.E. Davey, Japanese Yoga: The Way of Dynamic Meditation
“The past is a distraction, a source of envy, enmity, bitterness. Only the present matters, for only in the present can we shape the future.
Cut loose the past; it is dead weight.
Let the Extirpation continue. Let it never end.”
― Stephen Baxter, Exultant
We must remember that there is a great difference between a myth and a miracle. A myth is the idealization of a fact. A miracle is the counterfeit of a fact. here is the same difference between a myth and a miracle that there is between fiction and falsehood -- between poetry and perjury. Miracles belong to the far past and the far future. The little line of sand, called the present, between the seas, belongs to common sense to the natural.”
― Robert G. Ingersoll
“Stay present for the “now” of your life. It’s your “point of power.”
― David March
The past is bound to be fragmentary, bound to be reconstructed, bound to be reinvented. It serves only to collect the truths of today. If our present is the child of the past, our past is the child of the present. And the future will be the harvester of our bastard offspring.”
― Amin Maalouf, Orígenes
Imagination sees the complete reality, - it is where past, present and future meet... Imagination is limited neither to the reality which is apparent - nor to one place. It lives everywhere. It is at a centre and feels the vibrations of all the circles within which east and west are virtually included. Imagination is the life of mental freedom. It realizes what everything is in its many aspects ... Imagination does not uplift: we don't want to be uplifted, we want to be more completely aware.”
― Kahlil Gibran
“Writers are never fully present because they’re always imagining a different version of the way things are happening; imagining the past in a different way, imagining the present in a different way, imagining the future in a different way.”
― Jessica Soffer
“The future depends on what we do in the present.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
“In the West we cling to the past like limpets. In Haiti the present is the axis of all life. As in Africa, past and future are but distant measures of the present, and memories are as meaningless as promises.”
― Wade Davis, The Serpent and the Rainbow
“It only takes one thought in one moment to alter the course of your life.”
― Mark O'Brien
"There are two schools of thought about the resilience of time. The first is that time is highly volatile, with every small event altering the possible outcome of the earth's future. The other view is that time is rigid, and no matter how hard you try, it will always spring back toward a determined present. Myself, I do not worry about such trivialities. I simply sell ties to anyone who wants to buy one...”
― Jasper Fforde, The Eyre Affair
“When you are truly LIVING IN THE PRESENT, you don’t Regret the Past and you don’t Worry about the Future.”
― Michelle Parsons
“We are told we must choose — the old or the new. In fact, we must choose both. What is a life if not a series of negotiations between the old and the new?"
[Speech upon being awarded the Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels (Peace Prize of the German Book Trade), Frankfurt Book Fair, October 12, 2003]”
― Susan Sontag