Amongst the projects I’ve undertaken at the moment one is the sanding of a wooden staircase. It is painstaking work and very repetitive in its nature. It is an opportunity to think though. It makes me think about time and our perception of it. There is a popular philosophic movement called ‘presentism’ in which it is argued that only the present is real. The only tense which matters is the present one. This is not great news for my ‘sand one stair at a time’ staircase, which exists in a kind of limbo. It is niether a sanded staircase or an unsanded one. A bit like Shrodinger’s cat it is in two states at the same time. If the past has no reality there can be no truths about it.
Direct recall is reduced to mere perception, as is knowledge curated collectively, i.e history.
I cant bring myself to accept this point of view. The notions of ‘earlier’ and ‘later’ presuppose consciousness, which I very much believe in. The act of ‘doing’ presuppose both faith in a future and a past. To genuinely ‘live in the moment’ would neutralise all things, including the ability to think and for that process to produce conclusions.