Past, Present, and Future

The past is a mnemonic impression of an event extended in duration, the extension being a psychic device to render the event perceptible and conceivable as a consecutive incident. There is no such 'ens' or 'thing-in-itself' as the 'Past', which only implies an 'event' that has been extended in imagination into a succeeding 'event' and so on ad infinitum.

The 'past', therefore, is only a method of indicating replaced elements in the seriality of extension in a hypothetical 'time'. The 'past' has no autonomous existence whatever, nor has the 'present', which is purely theoretical, since it has no duration, and the 'future', which is only a speculation concerning the possible extension of events in the same hypothetical seriality.

The serial development of any kind of dream-story is an aspect of the mechanism of its presentation, whereby it is elaborated conceptually.

The attribution of actuality to such contrivances, however ingenious, is gratuitous.

'Life', therefore, as a series of events, is imagined and not 'lived', as every kind of dream is, and 'Time', if anything at all, is surely and very literally 'all my eye'!

Note: 'Causation', dependent on 'Time' (duration, extension) is a laboratory instrument only, and itself, as a 'thing' entirely illusory.

(© HKU Press, 1965)

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