„The present is only understandable through the past, with which it forms a living continuity; and the past is always grasped from our own partial viewpoint within the present.“
— Terry Eagleton British writer, academic and educator 1943
Source: 1980s, Literary Theory: An Introduction (1983), Chapter 2, p. 62
„It would seem like the present. He has a broader present. But his present lies ahead, not back. Our present is related to the past. Only the past is certain, to us. To him, the future is certain.“
— Philip K. Dick American author 1928 - 1982
The Golden Man (1954)
Context: "He can look ahead. See what's coming. He can — prethink. Let's call it that. He can see into the future. Probably he doesn't perceive it as the future."
"No," Anita said thoughtfully. "It would seem like the present. He has a broader present. But his present lies ahead, not back. Our present is related to the past. Only the past is certain, to us. To him, the future is certain. And he probably doesn't remember the past, any more than any animal remembers what happened."
"As he develops," Baines said, "as his race evolves, it'll probably expand its ability to prethink. Instead of ten minutes, thirty minutes. Then an hour. A day. A year. Eventually they'll be able to keep ahead a whole lifetime. Each one of them will live in a solid, unchanging world. There'll be no variables, no uncertainty. No motion! They won't have anything to fear. Their world will be perfectly static, a solid block of matter."
"And when death comes," Anita said, "they'll accept it. There won't be any struggle; to them, it'll already have happened."
„Best not to mix the past with the present. The present paints the past with gold. The past paints the present with lead.“
— Henry Rollins American singer-songwriter 1961
„The accounts that history presents have to be paid. Past has to be reconciled with present in the life of a nation. History is an insistent force: the past is what put us where we are. the past cannot be put behind until it is settled with.“
— William Pfaff American journalist 1928 - 2015
Source: Barbarian Sentiments - How The American Century Ends (1989), Chapter 1, Dead Stars, p. 3.
— A.J.P. Taylor Historian 1906 - 1990
Mon the Rangers
The Trouble Makers: Dissent over Foreign Policy, 1792-1939 (1957)
„Histories that that show past injustices or crimes can be used to argue for redress in the present.“
— Margaret MacMillan Canadian historian 1943
„But we can't escape into the future like we can escape into the past. So those of us who are not certain of things, and there are an awful lot of us, often rush back to the past. And each one has a particular past he prefers to the present. Sometimes I feel that any past is preferable to the present.“
— Tom Baker English actor 1934
„We learn in the past, but we are not the result of that. We suffered in the past, loved in the past, cried and laughed in the past, but that’s of no use to the present. The present has its challenges, its good and bad side. We can neither blame nor be grateful to the past for what is happening now. Each new experience of love has nothing whatsoever to do with past experiences. It’s always new.“
„Remember the refrain: We always build on the past; the past always tries to stop us. Freedom is about stopping the past, but we have lost that ideal.“
— Lawrence Lessig American academic, political activist. 1961
„The past can be told as it truly is, not was. For recounting the past is a social act of the present done by men of the present and affecting the social system of the present.“
— Immanuel Wallerstein economic historian 1930 - 2019
Wallerstein (1974) The modern world system capitalist agriculture and the origins of the European world economy in the sixteenth century. New York: Academic Press.
„The past does not only draw us back to the past. There are certain memories of the past that have strong steel springs and, when we who live in the present touch them, they are suddenly stretched taut and then they propel us into the future.“
Source: The Temple of the Golden Pavilion
„A preoccupation with the future not only prevents us from seeing the present as it is but often prompts us to rearrange the past. (1954), p. 75“
— Eric Hoffer American philosopher 1898 - 1983
The Passionate State Of Mind, and Other Aphorisms (1955)
„No matter how happy I had been in the past I do not long for it. The present is always the moment for which I love.“
— Jamaica Kincaid Antiguan-American novelist, essayist, gardener, and gardening writer 1949
Source: The Autobiography of My Mother
„The provincial cultures of the past and the present have not always been loyal to the true interests of the human race.“
— Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Indian philosopher and statesman who was the first Vice President and the second President of India 1888 - 1975
Kalki : or The Future of Civilization (1929)
Context: The East and the West are not so sharply divided as the alarmists would make us believe. The products of spirit and intelligence, the positive sciences, the engineering techniques, the governmental forms, the legal regulations, the administrative arrangements, and the economic institutions are binding together peoples of varied cultures and bringing them into closer reciprocal contact. The world today is tending to function as one organism.
The outer uniformity has not, however, resulted in an inner unity of mind and spirit. The new nearness into which we are drawn has not meant increasing happiness and diminishing friction, since we are not mentally and spiritually prepared for the meeting. Maxim Gorky relates how, after addressing a peasant audience on the subject of science and the marvels of technical inventions, he was criticized by a peasant spokesman in the following words : "Yes, we are taught to fly in the air like birds, and to swim in the water like the fishes, but how to live on the earth we do not know."
Among the races, religions, and nations which live side by side on the small globe, there is not that sense of fellowship necessary for good life. They rather feel themselves to be antagonistic forces. Though humanity has assumed a uniform outer body, it is still without a single animating spirit. The world is not of one mind. … The provincial cultures of the past and the present have not always been loyal to the true interests of the human race. They stood for racial, religious, and political monopolies, for the supremacy of men over women and of the rich over the poor. Before we can build a stable civilization worthy of humanity as a whole, it is necessary that each historical civilization should become conscious of its limitations and it's unworthiness to become the ideal civilization of the world.
„The past is rich in lessons from which we would greatly profit except that the present is always so full of Special Circumstances.“
— Mignon McLaughlin American journalist 1913 - 1983
The Complete Neurotic's Notebook (1981), Unclassified
Ibid., p. 118
The Book of Disquiet
Original: Vivo sempre no presente. O futuro, não o conheço. O passado, já o não tenho.
„Writing the history of the present is always a very different thing from writing the history of the distant past. The history of the distant past depends entirely on literary and documentary sources; the history of the present always involves unwritten material as well as documents. But the difference was much greater in the days of Thucydides than it is now.“
— J. B. Bury Irish historian and freethinker 1861 - 1927
p. 82 http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo1.ark:/13960/t2g73zj2z;view=1up;seq=100
The Ancient Greek Historians (1909)