On past, present and future

We never keep to the present. We think of the past and we anticipate the future as if we found it too slow in coming and were trying to hurry it up. We are so unwise that we wander about in times (the past and future) that do not belong to us, and do not think of the only one that does (the present). So vain that we dream of times that are not and blindly flee the only one that is.

The fact is that the present usually hurts. We push it out of sight because it distresses us, and if we find it enjoyable, we are sorry to see it slip away.

Let each of us examine our thoughts; we will find them wholly concerned with the past or the future. We almost never think of the present, and if we do think of it, it is only to see what light it throws on our plans for the future. The present is never our end. The present is never our goal. The past and present are our means – the future alone our end.

Thus we never actually live, but hope to live, and since we are always planning how to be happy, it is inevitable that we will never be so.

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