By Promod Puri
“The past is history, future is a mystery, but today is a gift……”, stay in the present and enjoy the moments. These are some of the many favored in-vogue quotes.
The favorite quotations or advisories suggest our prospects belong to the moments we live in. We are told to live, feel, and enjoy the era of the present, rather than being prisoner of the past or future.
But the now moments are related to past and present.
Past, present, and future are interlinked, and compliments to each other with indelible events, experiences, karmas, and imaginations. The act of managing the future involves gathering and distilling the right information from the archives of the past within the time span of the present.
The independence of “now” does not exist.
Understanding and embracing the “power of now” are in fact related to past and future moments. Any expression of the “now” moment like, “I am very happy and enjoying myself,” is compared to the past or future moments.
The comparison or contrast with past or future moments gives “now” its valuation.
Our past is an assortment of both joyous, rough, memorable, and learning experiences. Whereas, our future lies in the prospect of imagination.
Imagination is an inspiring concept that is very natural foresight in the life of an individual as well as the society we belong to. Civilizations have been created, nourished, and developed on our ability to contemplate the future.
No doubt, anxieties, worries or concerns often become parts of our contemplation, but so do the dreams. In this package, destiny is created thru our forward-looking karmas of the present which influence our future. Progress comes by prospecting in the future.
Flights to the future with optimistic imaginations are the thrills and promises of the prospective unknown.
Prospecting is natural. It is a functional activity of our cognitive powers. Sighting the future is both a conscious and unconscious activity. We can’t stop it while realizing, dealing, or playing with the moments of the present.
In these moments, our moods also swing like a pendulum, moving back and forth, from past to future while creating new flashes for the present.
Sometimes, journeys to the past contribute to the pleasures of the present. The past is a treasure like an old photo album. It is an asset and a companion. Ask the person lying on a hospital bed for a long time. Or when a fatal blow to the past happens to a person with dementia. Moments of the present do not offer a “gift” here.
Moreover, for society, the past is not merely history, but it is a heritage as well. The identity of a society is based on its culture.
Past, present, and future are interlinked, and compliments to each other with indelible events, experiences, karmas, and imaginations. The act of managing the future involves gathering and distilling the right information from the archives of the past within the period of the present.
Time does not cover the innate past, or cause a pause to our imaginations for the future. It does not flow like a river. It does not fly either. Time rather spreads out. In this spread, past, present and future reside forever.
It is our mind which ferries us around for stopovers at our memories and spurs us to conceive our imaginations, as well as bringing us back to the present. And life’s journey continues while sailing through our past, present, and future.
(Promod Puri is a journalist and writer. He is the author of “Hinduism Beyond Rituals, Customs, And Traditions”, a book which explores the rational, secular and progressive nature of Hinduism.)