„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

Last update May 7, 2019. History
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Tom Baker42
English actor 1934
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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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„We never escape our past. It is mirrored in our present. It repeats itself in our future.“

—  Morris West Australian writer 1916 - 1999

Marius Melville in Ch. 17
Cassidy (1986)

William Gibson photo

„The past is past, the future unformed. There is only the moment, and that is where he prefers to be.“

—  William Gibson, book All Tomorrow's Parties

Source: All Tomorrow's Parties‎ (2003), Ch. 4 : Formal Absences of Precious Things, p. 21

Charles Sanders Peirce photo
John F. Kennedy photo
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George Orwell photo
Fredric Jameson photo

„If we are unable to unify the past, present, and future of the sentence, then we are similarly unable to unify the past, present, and future of our own biographical experience or psychic life.“

—  Fredric Jameson American academic 1934

Source: Postmodernism: Or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (1991), Chapter 1: The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism

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„Sometimes, I feel the past and the future pressing so hard on either side that there's no room for the present at all.“

—  Evelyn Waugh British writer 1903 - 1966

Source: Brideshead Revisited: The Sacred and Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder

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„Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.“

—  John F. Kennedy 35th president of the United States of America 1917 - 1963

Variant: Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.

Letitia Elizabeth Landon photo

„The Future is more present than the Past :
For one look back, a thousand on we cast;
And hope doth ever memory outlast.“

—  Letitia Elizabeth Landon English poet and novelist 1802 - 1838

(1834-1) (Vol.40) The Future, compare Ethel Churchill (or The Two Brides) I, 31
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Anaïs Nin photo

„We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made of layers, cells, constellations.“

—  Anaïs Nin writer of novels, short stories, and erotica 1903 - 1977

The Diary of Anaïs Nin Vol. 4 (1971); as quoted in Journal of Phenomenological Psychology Vol. 15 (1984)
Diary entries (1914 - 1974)
Context: We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another, unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made of layers, cells, constellations.

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