but that is only an appearance. Man lives in the past. Through the present he passes, but he remains rooted in the past. The present is not really time for the ordinary consciousness. For the ordinary consciousness, the past is real time, the present just a passage from the past to the future, just a momentary passage. The past is real and the future also real, but the present is unreal for the ordinary consciousness. Future is nothing but the past extended. Future is nothing but the past projected again & again.
The present seems to be non-existential. If you think of the present, you will not find it at all because the moment you find it, it has already passed. Just a moment before when you had not found it, it was in the future. For a buddha-consciousness, for an awakened being, only the present is existential. For ordinary consciousness, unaware, sleepy like a somnambulist, the past and future are real, the present is unreal. Only when one awakens is the present real; and the past and future both become unreal.
Why is this so? Why does one live in the past? --> because mind is nothing but an accumulation of the past. Mind is memory: all that you have done, all that you have dreamed, all that you wanted to do and could not do, all that you have imagined in the past, is your mind. Mind is a dead entity. If you look through the mind, you will never find the present, because the present is life, and life can never be approached through a dead medium. Life can never be approached through dead vehicles. Life cannot be touched through death.
Mind is dead. Mind is just like dust gathering on a mirror. The more dust gathers, the less the mirror is mirror-like. And if the layer of dust is very thick, as it is with everyone, then the mirror does not reflect at all. Everybody gathers dust. Not only gathers, but clings to it, as if it is a kind of treasure. The past is gone; why does one cling to it? And, cannot do anything about it. One cannot go back & undo it.
So, why does one cling to it? It is not a treasure. But, if one does cling to the past & thinks that it is some kind of treasure then, of course, one's mind will want to live it again and again in the future. One's future cannot be anything but a modified version of one's own past --> a little refined, a little more decorated. But it is going to be the same because the mind cannot think of the unknown; the mind can only project the known, that which one has known previously.
You fall in love with a woman and the woman dies. Now how are you going to find another woman? The other woman is going to be a modified form of the dead woman; that is the only way one knows. Whatsoever is done in the future will be nothing but a continuation of the past. It can be changed a little -- a patch here, a patch there, but the main part will remain the same, just the same...