Quotes about the past

A collection of quotes on the topic of past, paste, future, use.

Best quotes about the past

Eckhart Tolle photo
Mark Twain photo
Léon Bloy photo

„Suffering passes, but the fact of having suffered never passes.“

—  Léon Bloy French writer, poet and essayist 1846 - 1917

Review of Existential Psychology and Psychiatry, Volume 19, Association of Existential Psychology and Psychiatry., 1984 [Association of Existential Psychology and Psychiatry., 1984]

Mark Twain photo
William Shakespeare photo

„What's past is prologue.“

—  William Shakespeare, The Tempest

Source: The Tempest

Oscar Wilde photo
Oscar Wilde photo
F. Scott Fitzgerald photo

„So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.“

—  F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Closing lines
Source: Quoted, The Great Gatsby (1925)

Aristotle photo

„Happiness depends upon ourselves“

—  Aristotle Classical Greek philosopher, student of Plato and founder of Western philosophy -384 - -321 BC

An interpretative gloss of Aristotle's position in Nicomachean Ethics book 1 section 9, tacitly inserted by J. A. K. Thomson in his English translation The Ethics of Aristotle (1955). The original Greek at Book I 1099b.29 http://perseus.uchicago.edu/perseus-cgi/citequery3.pl?dbname=GreekFeb2011&getid=0&query=Arist.%20Eth.%20Nic.%201099b.25, reads ὁμολογούμενα δὲ ταῦτ’ ἂν εἴη καὶ τοῖς ἐν ἀρχῇ, which W. D. Ross translates fairly literally as [a]nd this will be found to agree with what we said at the outset. Thomson's much freer translation renders the same passage thus: [t]he conclusion that happiness depends upon ourselves is in harmony with what I said in the first of these lectures; the words "that happiness depends upon ourselves" were added by Thomson to clarify what "the conclusion" is, but they do not appear in the original Greek of Aristotle. Rackham's earlier English translation added a similar gloss, but averted confusion by confining it to a footnote.
Variant: Happiness depends upon ourselves
Source: See http://www.mikrosapoplous.gr/aristotle/nicom1b.htm#I9 for the original Greek and Ross's translation; Thomson's translation can be viewed on Google Books https://books.google.com/books?id=9SFrNWmO654C&dq=%22happiness+depends+upon+ourselves%22+aristotle&focus=searchwithinvolume&q=%22happiness+depends+upon+ourselves%22+.
Source: Rackham's translation of this passage is available here http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0054%3Abook%3D1%3Achapter%3D9%3Asection%3D8

F. Scott Fitzgerald photo

„Can’t repeat the past?…Why of course you can!“

—  F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Source: The Great Gatsby

All quotes about the past

Total 4315 quotes past, filter:

Marek Żukow-Karczewski photo

„The history of the castle at Wiśnicz Nowy is enlivened by many legends. Many well-known artists visited the castle in centuries past. Till now, many elements of old architecture (towers, chapel) have survived, together with some details of interior design.“

—  Marek Żukow-Karczewski Polish historian, journalist and opinion journalist 1961

The castle of Kmita and Lubomirski at Wiśnicz Nowy, "Aura" 2, 1991-02, p. 18-20. http://agro.icm.edu.pl/agro/element/bwmeta1.element.agro-bd5a073d-07bd-4353-9edc-6bf8ea3d43c5?q=de70f1df-826d-4538-9cee-535aa9902521$5&qt=IN_PAGE

Marek Żukow-Karczewski photo

„Sensitiveness to beauty of the world continues, and efforts to preserve it were also made in the past.“

—  Marek Żukow-Karczewski Polish historian, journalist and opinion journalist 1961

Enchanted by beauty (three forgotten relations), "Aura" 1, 1998-01, p. 17-19. http://yadda.icm.edu.pl/yadda/element/bwmeta1.element.agro-article-d2f0773c-592e-4250-8f73-558234a9140e?q=3c417fdf-4051-4e84-83b2-9eb4fc33b1e0$1&qt=IN_PAGE

Tom Hiddleston photo
Marek Żukow-Karczewski photo

„For several years we have witnessed climatic irregularities that prompt fear and anxiety about the conditions of our future existence. However, the climatic anomalies occurred also in the past when the blame for environmental destruction could hardly be put on humans.“

—  Marek Żukow-Karczewski Polish historian, journalist and opinion journalist 1961

Weather anomalies in Poland's past, "Aura" 7, 1990-07, p. 6-8. http://yadda.icm.edu.pl/yadda/element/bwmeta1.element.agro-545c16f1-b48e-46e2-a0d2-6a4babeeeea0?q=89e2d267-8e35-4c74-b570-25a195714d27$8&qt=IN_PAGE

Michael Jackson photo
Frank Iero photo
Hatake Kakashi photo

„This place makes me think about the mistakes I've made in the past… and I've made so many of them.“

—  Hatake Kakashi, book Naruto

To Yugao, about Obito's name engraved in the Memorial Stone

Anaïs Nin photo
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva photo

„Brazil is in a solid position. In the past, if the United States sneezed, we caught pneumonia. Today, if the United States sneezes, we sneeze too.“

—  Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva Brazilian politician, 35th president of Brazil 1945

" Interview transcript: Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/6d42ae3a-110b-11db-9a72-0000779e2340.html in: Financial Times, July 7, 2006

Rabindranath Tagore photo
Corrie ten Boom photo
Selena Gomez photo
George Orwell photo
George Orwell photo

„The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.“

—  George Orwell English author and journalist 1903 - 1950

This is often attributed to George Orwell book 1984. We cannot find it inside. Perharps this is post-mortem paraphrase of his quote "Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past".

Paramahansa Yogananda photo
Louis Zamperini photo
Carl Sagan photo

„You have to know the past to understand the present.“

—  Carl Sagan American astrophysicist, cosmologist, author and science educator 1934 - 1996

James Baldwin photo

„I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.“

—  James Baldwin, book The Fire Next Time

"Me and My House" in Harper's (November 1955); republished in Notes of a Native Son (1955)
Source: The Fire Next Time

Robert Penn Warren photo
Joe Strummer photo

„Everyone has got to realise you can't hold onto the past if you want any future. Each second should lead to the next one.“

—  Joe Strummer British musician, singer, actor and songwriter 1952 - 2002

Interview for Sounds Magazine on 17 July 1982. [Armed Combat, Sounds Magazine, 17 July 1982]

Richard Wurmbrand photo
Tina Turner photo

„I am strong. I lived through a divorce, separation from my family. I never let it break me down. I’m not an alcoholic. I’ve never smoked, I’ve never done drugs. I’ve floated through the disaster of my past clean. I arrived here undamaged.“

—  Tina Turner singer, dancer, actress, and author 1939

Tina Turner is a soul survivor http://www.express.co.uk/entertainment/music/141823/Tina-Turner-is-a-soul-survivor, Daily Express, 22th of November 2009

Erich von Manstein photo
Cannonball Adderley photo

„There's no future without the past and anybody who doesn't really understand where jazz has come from has no right to try to direct where it's going.“

—  Cannonball Adderley American jazz alto saxophonist 1928 - 1975

Interviewed by the "Chicago SEED", November 1968

Paul of Tarsus photo

„How unsearchable his judgments [are] and past tracing out his ways [are]! For “who has come to know Jehovah’s mind, or who has become his counselor?“

—  Paul of Tarsus, book Epistle to the Romans

Romans 11:33 http://www.jw.org/en/publications/bible/nwt/books/romans/11/, NWT
Epistle to the Romans
Context: O the depth of God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How unsearchable his judgments [are] and past tracing out his ways [are]! For “who has come to know Jehovah’s mind, or who has become his counselor?”

Keanu Reeves photo
Mwanandeke Kindembo photo
Nikola Tesla photo

„All that was great in the past was ridiculed, condemned, combated, suppressed — only to emerge all the more powerfully, all the more triumphantly from the struggle.“

—  Nikola Tesla Serbian American inventor 1856 - 1943

A Means for Furthering Peace (1905)
Context: It is not a dream, it is a simple feat of scientific electrical engineering, only expensive — blind, faint-hearted, doubting world!... Humanity is not yet sufficiently advanced to be willingly led by the discover's keen searching sense. But who knows? Perhaps it is better in this present world of ours that a revolutionary idea or invention instead of being helped and patted, be hampered and ill-treated in its adolescence — by want of means, by selfish interest, pedantry, stupidity and ignorance; that it be attacked and stifled; that it pass through bitter trials and tribulations, through the heartless strife of commercial existence. So do we get our light. So all that was great in the past was ridiculed, condemned, combated, suppressed — only to emerge all the more powerfully, all the more triumphantly from the struggle.

Albert Einstein photo

„Past is dead
Future is uncertain;
Present is all you have,
So eat, drink and live merry.“

—  Albert Einstein German-born physicist and founder of the theory of relativity 1879 - 1955

Alicia Keys photo
Eckhart Tolle photo

„Nothing ever happened in the past that can prevent you from being present now; and if the past cannot prevent you from being present now, what power does it have?“

—  Eckhart Tolle German writer 1948

A New Earth (2005)
Variant: Nothing ever happened in the past that can prevent you from being present now, and if the past cant prevent you from being present now, what power does it have?
Source: A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

Rainer Maria Rilke photo
Immanuel Kant photo
George Burns photo
T.S. Eliot photo

„For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.“

—  T.S. Eliot, book Four Quartets

Variant: For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning."

Source: Four Quartets

Julia Quinn photo

„She had been born for this man, and she had spent so many years trying to accept the fact that he had been born for someone else…“

—  Julia Quinn American novelist 1970

Source: Romancing Mister Bridgerton

Aldous Huxley photo
Padre Pio photo
Christopher Paolini photo
Paulo Freire photo

„Looking at the past must only be a means of understanding more clearly what and who they are so that they can more wisely build the future.“

—  Paulo Freire, book Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Source: Pedagogia do oprimido (Pedagogy of the Oppressed) (1968, English trans. 1970), Chapter 2

Johnny Cash photo

„You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don't try to forget the mistakes, but you don't dwell on it. You don't let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.“

—  Johnny Cash American singer-songwriter 1932 - 2003

Variant: You build on failure. You use it as a stepping sone. Close the door on the past. You don't try to forget the mistakes, but you don't dwell on it. You don't let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.

Fritjof Capra photo
Bruce Willis photo

„You can't undo the past but you can certainly not repeat it.“

—  Bruce Willis American actor, producer, and musician 1955

US Magazine. Issue 249.

Leonard Bernstein photo

„The Rhapsody is not a composition at all. It's a string of separate paragraphs stuck together — with a thin paste of flour and water… I don’t think there has been such an inspired melodist on this earth since Tchaikovsky… but if you want to speak of a composer, that's another matter.“

—  Leonard Bernstein American composer, conductor, author, music lecturer, and pianist 1918 - 1990

Of George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue
"Why Don't You Run Upstairs and Write a Nice Gershwin Tune?", in The Atlantic Monthly, April 1955.

Giuseppe Verdi photo

„I wish that every young man when he begins to write music would not concern himself with being a melodist, a harmonist, a realist, an idealist or a futurist or any other such devilish pedantic things. Melody and harmony should be simply tools in the hands of the artist, with which he creates music; and if a day comes when people stop talking about the German school, the Italian school, the past, the future, etc., etc., then art will perhaps come into its own.“

—  Giuseppe Verdi Italian composer 1813 - 1901

Io…vorrei che il giovane quando si mette a scrivere, non pensasse mai ad essere né melodista, né realista, né idealista, né avvenirista, né tutti i diavoli che si portino queste pedanterie. La melodia e l’armonia non devono essere che mezzi nella mano dell'artista per fare della Musica, e se verrà un giorno in cui non si parlerà più né di melodia né di armonia né di scuole tedesche, italiane, né di passato né di avvenire ecc. ecc. ecc. allora forse comincierà il regno dell'arte.
Letter to Opprandino Arrivabene, July 14, 1875, cited from Julian Budden Le opere di Verdi (Torino: E.D.T., 1986) vol. 2, p. 60; translation from Josiah Fisk and Jeff Nichols (eds.) Composers on Music (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1997) p. 126

Milkha Singh photo

„Endurance is composed of four attributes: eagerness, fear, piety and anticipation (of death). so whoever is eager for Paradise will ignore temptations; whoever fears the fire of Hell will abstain from sins; whoever practices piety will easily bear the difficulties of life and whoever anticipates death will hasten towards good deeds.
Conviction has also four aspects to guard oneself against infatuations of sin; to search for explanation of truth through knowledge; to gain lessons from instructive things and to follow the precedent of the past people, because whoever wants to guard himself against vices and sins will have to search for the true causes of infatuation and the true ways of combating them out and to find those true ways one has to search them with the help of knowledge, whoever gets fully acquainted with various branches of knowledge will take lessons from life and whoever tries to take lessons from life is actually engaged in the study of the causes of rise and fall of previous civilizations.
Justice also has four aspects depth of understanding, profoundness of knowledge, fairness of judgment and dearness of mind; because whoever tries his best to understand a problem will have to study it, whoever has the practice of studying the subject he is to deal with, will develop a clear mind and will always come to correct decisions, whoever tries to achieve all this will have to develop ample patience and forbearance and whoever does this has done justice to the cause of religion and has led a life of good repute and fame.
Jihad is divided into four branches: to persuade people to be obedient to Allah; to prohibit them from sin and vice; to struggle (in the cause of Allah) sincerely and firmly on all occasions and to detest the vicious. Whoever persuades people to obey the orders of Allah provides strength to the believers; whoever dissuades them from vices and sins humiliates the unbelievers; whoever struggles on all occasions discharges all his obligations and whoever detests the vicious only for the sake of Allah, then Allah will take revenge on his enemies and will be pleased with Him on the Day of Judgment.“

—  Ali, book Nahj al-Balagha

Nahj al-Balagha

Peter Handke photo

„A fine thing: suddenly to forget about one’s history, one’s past, to stop feeling that one’s present happiness is endangered by what one used to be.“

—  Peter Handke Austrian writer, playwright and film director 1942

Source: Das Gewicht der Welt [The Weight of the World], p. 7

Karl Popper photo
Sia (musician) photo

„A shot in the dark
A past lost in space
Where do I start?
The past and the chase
You hunted me down
Like a wolf, a predator
I felt like a deer in the lights“

—  Sia (musician) Australian singer 1975

She Wolf (Falling to Pieces), Nothing But the Beat 2.0 (2012). Cowritten with David Guetta, Chris Braide and Giorgio Tuinfort.

Giuseppe Verdi photo

„Let us turn to the past: that will be progress.“

—  Giuseppe Verdi Italian composer 1813 - 1901

Tornate all'antico e sarà un progresso.
Letter to Francesco Florimo, January 5, 1871, cited from Francesco Florimo Riccardo Wagner ed i wagneristi (Ancona: A. G. Morelli, 1883) p. 108; translation from Charles Osborne (ed. and trans.) Letters of Giuseppe Verdi (London: Victor Gollancz, 1971) p. 169.

Jagadish Chandra Bose photo
Zhang Zai photo

„To ordain conscience for Heaven and Earth, to secure life and fortune for the people, to continue the lost teachings of past sages, and to establish peace for all future generations.“

—  Zhang Zai Chinese philosopher 1020 - 1077

Complete Works of Master Zhang, "Supplements to Reflections on Things at Hand", as quoted in Wang Chunyong's Famous Chinese Sayings Quoted by Wen Jiabao, trans. Chan Sin-wai (Hong Kong: Chung Hwa Book Co., 2009), p. 10
Original: (zh) 为天地立心,为生民立命,为往圣继绝学,为万世开太平。

Jim Carrey photo

„I think we're past the time in history where you have to come out and say, "you know I'm just happy all the time! I'm a joker, I'm a crazy man!"“

—  Jim Carrey Canadian-American actor, comedian, and producer 1962

you know kind of thing. I think people understand I can turn that switch on but I'm also a sensitive, normal human being with feelings and I know how to express those too.
Fun with Dick & Jane: An Interview with Jim Carrey http://www.blackfilm.com/20051216/features/jimcarrey.shtml by Wilson Morales in Features, BlackFilm.com (December 2005)

Will Smith photo
F. W. de Klerk photo
Albert Camus photo
Karen Blixen photo
Rodney Dangerfield photo

„I saved a girl from being attacked last night. I controlled myself.“

—  Rodney Dangerfield American actor and comedian 1921 - 2004

Variant: I saved a girl from being attacked last night. I controlled myself.

William Gibson photo
Maya Angelou photo
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn photo
Bill Cosby photo

„The past is a ghost, the future a dream and all we ever have is now.“

—  Bill Cosby American actor, comedian, author, producer, musician, activist 1937

Alan Moore photo

„The past can't hurt you anymore, not unless you let it.“

—  Alan Moore, V for Vendetta

Source: V for Vendetta

Giovanni Boccaccio photo
Stephen King photo

„When it comes to the past, everyone writes fiction.“

—  Stephen King, book Joyland

Source: Joyland

Henri Bergson photo
Zadie Smith photo

„… the wicked lie, that the past is always tense and the future, perfect.“

—  Zadie Smith, book White Teeth

Variant: A past tense, future perfect kind of night.
Source: White Teeth (2000)

George Orwell photo
Sadhguru photo
Gabriel García Márquez photo

„He was still too young to know that the heart's memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good, and that thanks to this artifice we manage to endure the burden of the past.“

—  Gabriel García Márquez, book Love in the Time of Cholera

Variant: .. the heart's memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good, and [that] thanks to this artifice we manage to endure the burden of the past
Source: Love in the Time of Cholera

Fernando Pessoa photo

„My past is everything I failed to be.“

—  Fernando Pessoa, book The Book of Disquiet

O meu passado é tudo quanto não consegui ser.
Source: The Book of Disquietude, trans. Richard Zenith, text 100

Richard Rohr photo

„Change is not what we expect from religious people. They tend to love the past more than the present or the future.“

—  Richard Rohr American spiritual writer, speaker, teacher, Catholic Franciscan priest 1943

Source: Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life

William Faulkner photo

„The past is never dead. It's not even past.“

—  William Faulkner, book Requiem for a Nun

Act 1, sc. 3; this has sometimes been paraphrased or misquoted as "The past isn't over. It isn't even past."
Source: Requiem for a Nun (1951)

Tove Jansson photo
George Orwell photo
Virginia Woolf photo
Sherman Alexie photo
Roberto Bolaño photo
Robert Jordan photo
Eugene O'Neill photo
André Breton photo
Sarah Dessen photo

„Your past is always your past. Even if you forget it, it remembers you.“

—  Sarah Dessen, book What Happened to Goodbye

What Happened To Goodbye (2011)
Source: What Happened to Goodbye

Walter Benjamin photo
George Orwell photo

„We may not have a future, but you can't deny we have a past.“

—  Susan Beth Pfeffer, book Life As We Knew It

Source: Life As We Knew It

Jimmy Carter photo
Haruki Murakami photo

„Dreams come from the past, not from the future. Dreams shouldn't control you--you should control them.“

—  Haruki Murakami Japanese author, novelist 1949

Source: Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman: 24 Stories

Jean Webster photo