I like the old saying, “A watched pot never boils.” Or as I prefer to say, “a watched clock never ticks.” In other words, our awareness of time tends to slow it down. That’s why people say, “Time flies when you’re having fun.” When you’re not paying attention to time, it appears to go by faster, whereas when you wait impatiently (which really just means you’re paying too much attention to time) time appears to go slower.
But is this just appearance? Or is it, as Einstein explained, relative. Perhaps time does stretch or shrink depending on our awareness of it. As people grow older they usually say that time speeds up. Children tend to feel the years pass more slowly.
The point I’m coming to is how most spiritually minded people (as opposed to religiously) tend to say, “Live in the Now!” It’s an interesting statement, because how else can we live? The past is a memory and the future is a dream. All we know is this very moment. Or do we?
A question that one needs to ask him/herself is, what is real? As in The Matrix, “How do you define real? If real is what you can feel, smell, taste and see, then ‘real’ is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain.” So those memories of the past and dreams of the future can be as real as the present. You can literally feel, smell, taste, and see them.
Who is to say that we need to live in the Now? Who created that rule? In my opinion, both past and future are just as valid as the present. If we forgot the past, we would learn nothing. If we ignore the future, how could we prepare? I feel that our minds are in all three times at the same time. After all, by definition, they can be separated by mere fractions of a second. They can come so close together that they can be seen as all the same moment.
Live in the Now, Past, or Future. However you see fit. The Force shall free you.