The Present Includes Past and Future

We tend to think of Past, Present and Future as events external to ourselves which we see, suffer, experience by force of circumstances. But Past, Present and Future are nothing of the sort! They are notions of our own which we apply to our experiences of life.

We have a little search-light in our minds, and that which it lights up is what we think is the Present. It seems to be mounted on a mechanical appliance which moves in inaudible jerks every fraction of a second. What it has illumined we call the Past, what it will, or may, illumine we call the Future. There is no reason to attribute movement to that which is lit up: movement is an illusion inherent in the source. It is surprisingly like the projection of a cinematographic film during which the only movement is that of the film itself, both light and screen being immobile. In both cases the Present, the individual 'still', is never perceived, and the sequence of these produces the illusion of motion. Our attention is the motive-power of the Time-apparatus.

Science too, science particularly, has been deceived into assuming the external reality of what is perceived, whereas we know now, and can see, that the apparently external is a mind-projection of our own apparatus.

(© RKP, 1960)

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