Now is the only sphere of life that you can live. Not the past, nor the future.
Just imagine that you don’t breathe now, but attempt to survive on the air you breathe in the past, or the air you are about to inhale in the future.
You cannot live that way, because you can only live with now. But people tend to forget that.
The past is memory. If it is memory, it is unreal. A failed businessman remembering his past glory would not make him rich. The future is vision. Vision is anticipation. The future can only become real when it has become now.
The past is important, so is the future.
The past is memory that nourishes your now, and the future is the vision that makes your now meaningful.
Even then, only now is real. Live the moment!
The ancient masters were subtle, mysterious, profound, responsive.
The depth of their knowledge is unfathomable.
Because it is unfathomable,
All we can do is describe their appearance.
Watchful, like men crossing a winter stream.
Alert, like men aware of danger.
Courteous, like visiting guests.
Yielding, like ice about to melt.
Simple, like uncarved blocks of wood.
Hollow, like caves.
Opaque, like muddy pools.
Who can wait quietly while the mud settles?
Who can remain still until the moment of action?
Observers of the Tao do not seek fulfilment.
Not seeking fulfillment, they are not swayed by desire for change.
Tao Te Ching, Chapter 15, translated by Gia-fu Feng and Jane English
Thanks to Alice Popkorn for the picture.