It would add much to human happiness, if an art could be taught of forgetting all of which the remembrance is at once useless and afflictive... that the mind might perform its functions without encumbrance, and the past might no longer encroach upon the present.
Every person alive today derives much benefit from comforts and pleasures that in the past were not available. All of the latest inventions and findings of technology serve us to a remarkable degree. For all this we should be full of appreciation and gratitude.
When a person is born, he finds the world in a certain organized fashion. As he grows up, he tries to adjust himself to the assumptions that are accepted in the world. He views each event that occurs with the same perspective as the other people of his generation. These perspectives originated in the past and have been handed down from parents to children. These assumptions are taken for granted to such an extent that most people react to the accepted perspective of the world as if they were laws of the universe that cannot be changed. They are accepted as reality and are not challenged. Only a small minority of people obtain the necessary wisdom to look at the world with complete objectivity. They take a critical look at teach and every thing and try to understand everything as it really is instead of accepting the general prevalent outlook. Those who try to investigate the origin of every perspective will perceive everything in a much different light than is commonly accepted.
Moaning over what cannot be helped is a confession of futility and fear, of emotional stagnation - in fact, of selfishness and cowardice. The best way to "snap out of it" is to stop thinking about yourself, and start thinking about other people. You can lighten your own load by doing something for someone else. By the simple device of doing an outward, unselfish act today, you can make the past recede. The present and future will again take on their true challenge and perspective.
Pride looks back upon its past deeds, and calculating with nicety what it has done, it commits itself to rest; whereas humility looks to that which is before, and discovering how much ground remains to be trodden, it is active and vigilant. Having gained one height, pride looks down with complacency on that which is beneath it; humility looks up to a higher and yet higher elevation. The one keeps us on this earth, which is congenial to its nature; the other directs our eye, and tends to lift us up to heaven.
By analyzing your worries, you will become aware that all worry is useless. Worries fall into two categories: worrying about the past and worrying about the future. As regards to the past, worry will not change the situation. You are compounding your suffering or loss by your present worrying. If you are worrying about something that might happen in the future, do what you can to protect yourself and prevent a loss. If there is nothing you can do, all your worrying will make no difference. So why waste your present moments worrying?
Our reverence for the past is just in proportion to our ignorance of it.
The drama in our time is a great man fallen, who has reached the last degree of his degradation, and at the same time continues to pride himself on his past of which nothing now remains.
When you make a mistake, don't look back at it long. Take the reason of the thing into your mind, and then look forward. Mistakes are lessons of wisdom. The past cannot be changed. the future is yet in your power.
When looking back at your past suffering, feel joy. They have already benefited you by atoning for your misdeeds and at present you no longer feel pain from those past misfortunes.
It is not I that belong to the past, but the past that belongs to me.
Every man's life lies within the present; for the past is spent and one with, and the future is uncertain.
It is not the weight of the future or the past that is pressing upon you, but ever that of the present alone. Even this burden, too, can be lessened if you confine it strictly to its own limits.
At any rate it is now quite clear that neither future nor past actually exists. Nor is it right to say that there are times, past, present and future. Perhaps it would be more correct to say: there are three times, a present of things past, a present of things present, a present of things future. For these three exist in the mind, and I find them nowhere else: the present of things past is memory, the present of things present is sight, the present of things future is expectation.
There is no more dangerous misconception than this which misconstrues the arms race as the cause rather than a symptom of the tensions and divisions which threaten nuclear war. If the history of the past fifty years teaches us anything, it is that peace does not follow disarmament - disarmament follows peace.
Our life is always absolute: that’s all there is. The truth is not somewhere else. But we have minds that are trying to burn the past or the future. The living present - Buddhahood - is rarely encountered.
You define the present in an arbitrary manner as that which is, whereas the present is simply what is being made. Nothing is less than the present moment, if you understand by that the indivisible limit which divides the past from the future. When we think this present as going to be, it exists not yet; and when we think it as existing, it is already past.
Do not grieve. Misfortunes will happen to the wisest and best of men. Death will come, always out of season. It is the command of the Great Spirit, and all nations and people must obey. What is past and what cannot be prevented should not be grieved for... Misfortunes do not flourish particularly in our lives - they grow everywhere.
Bring the history of the past not as a gloomy memento mori, but as a friendly forget-me-not, whose lessons we may recall with love.
That God is eternal, is agreed by all who possess reason. What then is eternity?... Eternity is the complete and simultaneous possession of endless life in a single whole... God lives ever in an eternal present, his knowledge transcends all movement of time, and abides in the indivisibility of his present; he grasps the past and the future in all their infinite extent, and with his indivisible cognition he contemplates all events as if they were even now taking place.