The Present

Issue #22 — 4.7 minute read

👋 Hey phi-lazy-phers

As mentioned in last week’s issue, a fundamental pillar of meditation is returning one’s attention to the present moment. It’s important to remember, though, we can do this whenever we want, not just when sitting quietly on the floor with our eyes closed. In any situation, we can always pause, take a breath, and observe what is actually happening.

With that in mind, I tried my best to be present as I found ideas & quotes from philosophers to present the present as though it were a present.


Eckhart Tolle

Most humans are never fully present in the now, because unconsciously they believe that the next moment must be more important than this one. But then you miss your whole life, which is never not now.


Tennessee Williams

Has it ever struck you that life is all memory, except for the one present moment that goes by you so quick you hardly catch it going?


Coreta Kent

Life is a succession of moments. To live each one is to succeed.


Sam Harris

How we pay attention to the present moment largely determines the character of our experience and, therefore, the quality of our lives. Mystics and contemplatives have made this claim for ages—but a growing body of scientific research now bears it out.


Thich Nhat Hanh

Live the actual moment. Only this actual moment is life. Don’t be attached to the future.


Pema Chödrön

Now is the only time. How we relate to it creates the future.


Alan Watts

I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.



The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today… The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.


Mary Jean Irion

Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so.


Sam Harris

The reality of your life is always now. And to realize this, we will see, is liberating. In fact, I think there is nothing more important to understand if you want to be happy in this world.


Søren Kierkegaard

The unhappy person is one who has his ideal, the content of his life, the fullness of his consciousness, the essence of his being, in some manner outside of himself. The unhappy man is always absent from himself, never present to himself.


Leo Tolstoy

If, then, I were asked for the most important advice I could give, that which I considered to be the most useful to people of our century, I should simply say: in the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you.

Although this is a (mostly) philosophical newsletter, I’d love to close with some poetry I came across while researching this week’s topic. Below is a poem by Kalidasa written sometime during the 4th-5th century A.D. that summarizes the thoughts above better than anything I could articulate.

Look to this day:
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence.
The bliss of growth,
The glory of action,
The splendour of achievement
Are but experiences of time.

For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision;
And today well-lived, makes
Yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well therefore to this day;
Such is the salutation to the ever-new dawn!


✌️ Until next week, happy philosophizing.

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