Quotes with past
When I'm not writing or tweaking my computer, I do embroidery. When I'm not plunging into the past, tweaking, or embroidering, I'm reading books about history, computers, or embroidery.
How can I tell ... that the past isn't a fiction designed to account for the discrepancy between my immediate physical sensations and my state of mind?
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (1980)
August 1914 is the axial date in modern Western history, and once past it we are directly confronted with the present-day world. The sense of power over the material universe with which modern man emerged, as we have seen, from the Middle Ages, changed on that date into the opposite: a sense of weakness and dereliction before the whirlwind that man is able to unleash but not to control. That feeling of danger has persisted and grown stronger, and our generation knows it as uncanny awareness of the explosive quality of man's secular powers -- and now, alas, with the possession of atomic weapons, the word must be taken literally.
Irrational Man: A Study in Existential Philosophy (1958)
I'm no Matt Damon, my goal was to be a character actor. I never thought I would get leads the way that I've been able to in the past two years.
The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.
Tocqueville opened a door I could enter. I saw the present in the past. It was accessible, imaginable.
About his book Parrot and Olivier in America (2010) that was loosely based on events in the life of Alexis de Tocqueville.
To enable man to understand the society of the past and to increase his mastery over the society of the present is the dual function of history.
What is History?, 1962
A revolution is not a trail of roses.... A revolution is a fight to the death between the future and the past.
Speech on January 2nd, 1961
We live in the present, we dream of the future and we learn eternal truths from the past.
Alas, why does my mind have to walk through the dust of the past every day?
Twenty Seven Thousand Aspiration Plants (1983)
Spirituality tells the seeker not to live in the hoary past, not to live in the remote future, but to live in the immediacy of today, in the eternal Now.
Everest Aspiration (1977)
All perception is of the past. The present is always suspended in possibility & never ends.
I experience true freedom when I can accept, understand, and move on from the conditioning of the past.
All women are aware of that moment when suddenly the boys don't look at you. It's a fairly common thing, when suddenly you no longer attract that instant male attention because of the way you look. I never really knew how to enjoy beauty, but it took the form of a subconscious arrogance, expecting things, all muddled up with celebrity. Then you begin to deal with it. In the 1970s I was amazed to be talked about as a 60s sex symbol. I wasn't that person, as if I were a doll from the past. I had to learn to come to terms with that. It's funny, it's silly, the ridiculousness of having asked so much of celebrity. Then it becomes really interesting and very much part of the excitement of the life you're living now, knowing you're approaching the end of it.
Interview with New York Times, published April 18, 2007.
I cannot even talk about waste without being indignant. My introduction to Hollywood was a society that used it, sniffed it and threw it away. We've become a bit like that ourselves in the past 30 years. There's an attitude among the successful people of spend and spend, flaunt and flaunt, and don't think of anyone else.
I dare say I am compelled, unconsciously compelled, now to write volume after volume, as in past years I was compelled to go to sea voyage after voyage. Leaves must follow upon each other as leagues used to follow in the days gone by, on and on to the appointed end, which, being Truth itself, is One -- one for all men and for all occupations.
Some Reminiscences (1912)
We are not animals. We are not a product of what has happened to us in our past. We have the power of choice.
Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.
The chief lesson to be derived from the study of the past, is that it holds no simple lesson, and...the historian’s main responsibility is to prevent anyone from claiming that it does.
I wanted to play it with an economy of words and create this whole feeling through attitude and movement. It was just the kind of character I had envisioned for a long time, keep to the mystery and allude to what happened in the past. It came about after the frustration of doing Rawhide for so long. I felt the less he said the stronger he became and the more he grew in the imagination of the audience.
Clint: The Life and Legend (1999). On playing the Man With No Name character.
People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.
Without a vivid link to the past, the present is chaos and the future unreadable.
Book Business, 2001
History cannot be reduced to simply bringing texts and ancient documents to the light of day. Whether one wishes or not, it is a thoughtful recital that each generation consecrates to its past, rethought each time in a new way, reformulated by the resurgence of new events and problems.
[History is] not objects, mere shells of the past, hieroglyphic whorls. It [is] perceived relationships, patterns formed by passion and power.
Year of the French
If you believe that feeling bad or worrying long enough will change a past or future event, then you are residing on another planet with a different reality system.
Mostly it’s not a lot of that stuff anymore with shooting and killing and dying and blood. I'm getting a little older, you know. The running and the jumping and killing, it's a little past me.
Interview in The New York Times (2010)
There cannot be any better cross-section of America and I think the soldiers represent the best we have. Today's soldiers are brighter and smarter, perhaps in a different way, than past generations because they've been brought up in the computer and information age.
Perhaps myself the first, at some expense of popularity, to unfold the true character of Jefferson, it is too late for me to become his apologist. Nor can I have any disposition to do it. I admit that his politics are tinctured with fanaticism, that he is too much in earnest in his democracy, that he has been a mischievous enemy to the principle measures of our past administration, that he is crafty & persevering in his objects, that he is not scrupulous about the means of success, nor very mindful of truth, and that he is a contemptible hypocrite.
A cynic is not merely one who reads bitter lessons from the past; he is one who is prematurely disappointed in the future.
On the Contrary (1962)
There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry towards religious beliefs of others begins. Religious beliefs are sacred to people, and at all times should be respected and honored. As a civil rights activist of the past 40 years, I cannot support a show that disrespects those beliefs and practices.
Explaining why he quit "South Park" in 2006 following episode mocking Scientology.
There is a lot of sadness in my past life. My father beat me. It was difficult to take being beaten and then going on stage. He was strict; very hard and stern.
History is essential to wisdom and statesmanship. It teaches the young the virtues of freedom. By apprising them of the past it will enable them to judge the future; it will qualify them as judges of the actions and designs of men; it will enable them to know ambition under every disguise and knowing it, to defeat its views.
I like dreams of the future better than the history of the past.
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Commencement address delivered by Steve Jobs at Stanford University on June 12, 2005
In studying man’s past we are also, inevitably, studying ourselves. In doing so, our empathetic capacity is our most valuable, and most humane, tool of understanding.
Decoding the Past, 1983
The people have it in their hands to restore morality, wisdom and direction to of our foreign and domestic affairs, and regain the religious base which in times past assured general integrity in public and private life.
It is my earnest hope, and indeed the hope of all mankind, that from this solemn occasion a better world shalll emerge out of the blood and carnage of the past.
The present time is the raw material out of which we make whatever we will. Do not brood over the past, or dream of the future, but seize the instant and get your lesson from the hour. The man is yet unborn who rightly measures and fully realizes the value of an hour.
Pushing to the Front or, Success Under Difficulties (1894)
I'm interested in the way in which the past affects the present and I think that if we understand a good deal more about history, we automatically understand a great more about contemporary life.
Time interview, Jan. 21, 1998
Freedom is control in your own life. I have more control now than in the past, and I'm learning the value of saying no. That's very important.
The balance between price in past achievements and consciousness of present shortcomings is difficult to strike.
The past is the present....It’s the future too. We all try to lie out of that but life won’t let us.
Bureaucracy defends the status quo long past the time when the quo has lost its status
But as, in ethics, evil is a consequence of good, so, in fact, out of joy is sorrow born. Either the memory of past bliss is the anguish of to-day, or the agonies which are have their origin in the ecstasies which might have been.
The moment that I realized my name was going to be said in the same sentence as children and sex, that's really intense. That's something I knew from that very moment, whatever happens past that point, something's out there in the air that is really bad.
Believing that fundamental conditions of the country are sound and there is nothing in the business situation to warrant the destruction of values that has taken place on the exchanges during the past week, my son and I have for some days been purchasing sound common stocks. We are continuing and will continue our purchases in substantial amounts at levels which we believe represent sound investment values.
When experience (which is history) is not retained...infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
I think that an artist is a bit like a computer. He receives information from the world around him and from his past and from his own experiences. And it all goes into the brain.
If you want the present to be different from the past, study the past.
With the historian it is an article of faith that knowledge of the past is a key to understanding the present.
We will define history as a mental construct of the past based on evidence which has been carefully subjected to the tests of validity and then critically and systematically ordered and interpreted to present a story of [humans’] interaction with other [humans] in a society.
Probing the Past
Let go of the past and go for the future. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagined.
It is the fact about the past that is poetic; just because it really happened, it gathers round it all the inscrutable mystery of life and death and time. Let the science and research of the historian find the fact, and let his imagination and art make clear its significance.
History of England
I think that the loud roar of irresponsible liberalism ... is being quieted down by a reasoning public. I think the pendulum is swinging back. We're remembering that the past can't be so bad. We built a nation on it. We have to look to tomorrow.
Human imagination has given us powers unlike anything in the past. Our immediate challenge is to deal with the consequences of human imagination, and to use this special gift of the human species on behalf of all life.
Imagine: What America Could Be in the 21st Century (2000)
The great achievements of the past were the adventures of the past. Only the adventurous can understand the greatness of the past.
I opened my eyes and I could see, but I couldn't remember anything from the past.
About her stroke during an interview with Diane Sawyer, 2007
The worst possible enemy to society is that man...is cut loose in his standards of judgment from the past; and universities which train men to use their minds without carefully establishing the connection of their thought with that of the past, are instruments of social destruction.
History...is not [merely] the past. It is an intellectual process...[the function of which is] to cleanse the story of mankind from the deceiving visions of [a] purposeful past.
Each has his past shut in him like the leaves of a book known to him by his heart, and his friends can only read the title.
History can come in handy. If you were born yesterday, with no knowledge of the past, you might easily accept whatever the government tells you. But knowing a bit of history -- while it would not absolutely prove the government was lying in a given instance -- might make you skeptical, lead you to ask questions, make it more likely that you would find out the truth.
You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train