„The past is always with us, for it feeds the present.“

Source: A Town Called Dehra

Last update Sept. 9, 2021. History
Ruskin Bond photo
Ruskin Bond15
British Indian writer 1934

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„Pleasure is always in the past or in the future, never in the present.“

—  Giacomo Leopardi, book Zibaldone

Il piacere è sempre o passato o futuro, non mai presente.
29th September 1823, Festival of Saint Michael the Archangel.
Zibaldone (1898)

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„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."

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„The present enables us to understand the past, not the other way round.“

—  A.J.P. Taylor Historian 1906 - 1990

Mon the Rangers
The Trouble Makers: Dissent over Foreign Policy, 1792-1939 (1957)

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„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.

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„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

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„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.

Fernando Pessoa photo

„I always live in the present. The future I can't know. The past I no longer have.“

—  Fernando Pessoa, book The Book of Disquiet

Ibid., p. 118
The Book of Disquiet
Original: Vivo sempre no presente. O futuro, não o conheço. O passado, já o não tenho.

J. B. Bury photo

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