Live In The Now

Why should my future goals matter more than those I have now? It is not just that they are remote, even hypothetical. They may be less worth striving for:

'Why should a youth suppress his budding passions in favour of the sordid interests of his withered old age? Why is that problematical old man who may bear his name fifty years hence nearer to him now than any imaginary creature?'

Caring about your self as it will be in the future is no more reasonable than caring about the self you are now.

[John Gray]
George Santayana
Straw Dogs, p.105

By joining the race for better theories, more logical social relations, more immediate forms of expression and more authentic lives, revolutionaries only perpetuate the grand social myth of a final resolution and perfect unification; a myth which fixes our sights on an ever-receding horizon and prevents us from turning our attention to the here and now.

[Sadie Plant]
The Most Radical Gesture, p.143

Idler: You have Cynthia saying, “I’m tired of thinking of the present as an insignificant preamble to the future.” I don’t think that thought consciously occurred to me as an adolescent, but it does now.

: I didn’t have it that well articulated when I was 17, but I do remember thinking, “my whole life is anticipation, everything I’m doing in school is to serve some future purpose”. All people would say is, “what are you going to do when you grow up?” Wait - you mean we’re not people right now? You’re being moulded to be a little drone worker in the system, to be responsible, patriotic, God fearing … and that rubs off. It’s hard to enjoy the moment when you’re a teenager. I would tell the actors, “No matter how much fun it is now, you’re thinking about what’s happening next.” Bowling ball through the windshield, oh, we’re out of beer, oh, get the beer, oh, have a gun pulled on you, oh, where’s the party. That’s how I remember it. An evening would be over and it was like, well, nothing happened.

[Richard Linklater]
Interview with The Idler, full text here.

We produce not for a concrete satisfaction but for the abstract purpose of selling our commodity ... In the same way we regard our personal qualities and the result of our efforts as commodities that can be sold for money, prestige, and power.

The emphasis thus shifts from the present satisfaction of creative activity to the value of the finished product. Thereby man misses the only satisfaction that can give him real happiness - the experience of the activity of the present moment - and chases after a phantom that leaves him disappointed as soon as he believes he has caught it - the illusory happiness called success.

[Erich Fromm]
The Fear of Freedom, p.224-6

The key to your life and my life, Michael, is not locked away in childhood to be recovered by remembering and analysing; it is found in your death and who you are then - and the moment of death is any moment.

I may die in a veterans' hospital with Alzheimer's or gasping with tubes and wires and oxygen or smashed and tangled against a tree in a car crash, or I may drop dead at a corporate board or directors meeting. These are not, however, literally any more revelations of my image than this moment now.

In other words, we have to take care we don't take death too literally, as we take childhood. Time is not the primary factor; an image is not cumulative, and the late stages of life are not the fullest and finest presentation of one's seed

The oak tree is not any more itself after four hundred years and at the moment of its felling. It is always itself [...]

[James Hillman]
We've Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy - And the World's Getting Worse, p.64

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