It is always the problem of any and very serious attempt to grasp at tense - how does one step beyond the NOW- the bright blink of the present-. for the Now is always rather a stroppy and utterly complete moment in which all time is caught.
the Now is therefore the home of the presence of the past. a past that is rendered both different but essentially harmless, confined as it is to memory alone,and plundered accordingly The past becomes place to discover origins for the present, or else an endless teacher or a land of a few taundry myths and lessons. What is always lost is its own rhythms and patterns. The Past is not other country for the present merely the fixing of the boundaries for this country. The fact that past is always other than that present - always saying more than happened, and that other blind the possibilities lay caught up in it, is thereby reduced to a series of tale moral points. Or to put in another way, the present overcomes the inadequacy the past inspires n it- the feeling that the pas could have gone anywhere else but it (and so is greater) by inverting the relation. The pas is where things are to be learned in the present, or the story of this now and its triumph are t be read. it is the story of lost opportunity learnt (in this present)- and not merely a sorry tale of cock ups that then leads to this pretty pas, but could have just as easily gone elsewhere.
The future by contrast is fixed at permanent worry. Trend lines from the present (if not the past) of distorted into the future. - with two results. Firstly on a global level worry of the basis that what is happening now always happens or continues to happen or happens again. a worry that has a good rational behind it . After all our real future always depends upon what others hidden and visible are doing now in places we do not imagine. The (hidden) future is out there (if invisible). Unable to get at these hidden others doing their stuff, we worry about them or the only way we can by bending the present elsewhere and in the face of rhyme or reason. The future becomes the warping of he present (in which some of those hidden others are Brugel like surely somewhere caught). In contrast of course we have a second option on our future. We believe in t as we believe in ourselves and out own purpose. we therefore simply assume is the place to mine for our own possibility. Or perhaps better where all the bright fantasies we have about ourselves for all we know might be true. The future becomes then the whirling storybook for the present- the place my hopes and dreams my giving it heart, becomes real. This is the point of the cellbrity shows of course- it is all our futures made present.
Recently between these two be have created a third presence for the future- the one our believes create. If we all belief a thing we know then something happens - an economy is ruined or petrol runs dry or....Mass belief is a social power of considerable power. Well within limits. we all have to believe in the same way of course, and what actually happens form that realization of the initial presence of belief, what we individually conclude from it, or where the events that follow on from that belief are always very open and complex, and so other than our beleives.
The trouble with these nets for time- these kind of now in the past and now of the future, is that then tend to dominate the mind (and be the naturally ally of every claim to have self). hey tend then to be the theories we look to, the ones we assume. an other voices for the future (scientific futures based on probability for example, not possibility or philosophical futures based on not controlling the present, on it slipping elsewhere in the grasping or else the role of law to great lines that cut trough tense and are the same in spite of it) Are lost. We get caught in the same old story (one sees it clearly in politics, where every trend in the present is extended, every leader always failed or not - where change becomes hydraulic or organic - and never any real sense of time frame and timing actually lost.
Worse than that, is the fact that these presents, in the hands of media organization which are by economic necessity lazy and need quick simple stories, becomes engines of war, eroding every other possible tense, and any other way to understand the world. it all becomes then about the fantasies of the present a present where one or tow facts and a bit of local knowledge are cobbled together to become a rule a rule for us all; A rule which makes 'good' newspaper copy, but bad law: The problem the not that the present is wrong, but that it is fast becoming so dominant that other thoughts are slipping out of minds, other ways to understand - the irony being that when this happens we will actually lose control of the present itself. and far darker fantasies than the ones we imagine for ourselves are likely to take over.