Wednesday, November 15, 2006


What I love about this course is the actual amount of reading I'm able to do. And in DOING that reading, the absolutely fascinating things I'm able to discover. Today, it's St. Augustine's Confessions:

"But how can the future be diminished or absorbed when it does not yet exist? And how can the past increase when it no longer exists? It can only be that the mind, which regulates this process, performs three functions, those of expectation, attention, and memory. The future, which it expects, passes through the present, to which it attends, into the past, which it remembers. No one would deny that the future does not yet exist or that the past no longer exists. Yet in the mind there is both expectation of the future and remembrance of the past. Again, no one would deny that the present has no duration, since it exists only for the instant of its passage. Yet the mind's attention persists, and through it that which is to be passes towards the state in which it is to be no more. So it is not future time that is long, but a long future is a longexpectation of the future; and past time is not long, because it does not exist, but a long past is a long remembrance of the past."

Confessions, Chapter XI, Bk 28

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