The past is only a thought in the present moment

Posted: March 10, 2013 in cognition/consciousness, Story

I was reading Proust’s A Remembrance of Things Past, and some of the Pali canon at the same time. Basically the insight that Proust had, which inspired his masterpiece, was that the past is in the present. The only way we know the past is as an experience in the present moment. A thought, a smell, a memory is something happening right now that we are calling “past.” We don’t experience the past outside the thought of the present moment. Then my mind made this jump. Well, if the past is like that, that must be what the future is like, too. There is just the thought in the moment. The whole burden of past and future, of time, of time-created stories, all collapsed into a simple thought in the moment. To relate to the moment is so simple. If we try to relate to the past, it’s huge. It gets back to the whole question of psychology and dharma. Past and future make up our stories.

via Empty Phenomena Rolling On | Tricycle.


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