On the Illusion of the Past Tense and the Fierce Pursuit of the “Knowing”

On the Illusion of the Past Tense and the Fierce Pursuit of the “Knowing”

Posted on:May 05 2015
Captured by:Austin M
Method:Previous Writings

Is the present tense a blank canvas? If the past, as we conceive it, is a present tense experience (and it is), then one may conclude that the present is separate from the past. But is this conclusion wholly accurate? The “stuff of me” is a composite of the past so that even my present tense conception is shaped by the chain of present tense events, which have become my history. I want to escape the past, and I can develop a series of propositions that insulates me from my intellectual past, but it cannot protect me against my ontological past.

I am trapped within time. It is only as I experience this phenomenon that I am able to reflect on the possibility of existing outside of time. Still, I struggle with the notion of existing and the notion of timelessness. The “ing” of the concept “exist” implies time. Existence is some sort of forward projection. If this is the case, then one needs a new expression that is somehow connected to existence but is fundamentally different. My tiny mind cannot reconcile existence and timelessness. There must be another property that transcends both a god-property.

However, how can the mind trapped within time contemplate such a property? What is infinity without time? How could the ultimate be both infinite and timeless? If the two concepts are identical, then we must eliminate their notion of duration. I cannot separate infinity from at least one “end” of forever, and yet I cannot reconcile infinity with any concept of time. My incipient nature is killing me on every level.

I cannot know, yet it seems better to know that I cannot know then not to know that I cannot know what I must know. There are some who say that I do not need to even try to know, much less know that I cannot know However, once one reflects on the nature of existence and the ultimate risk of nonexistence or, more importantly, when one reflects on the possibility of the ultimate as transcending existence, how can one not seek to know? Either way, I am dying. Either way, I am fading into nonexistence (or so it seems). I would rather die in a fierce, if futile, charge toward the knowing.


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