Volker Schlöndorff – The Enlightenment


What is time?
Who can actually explain it ?

Who can articulate even a thought about it in any way?

And yet, what is more familiar and ever-present than time? So what then is it?
If no one ask me, I know. If I have to explain it, I could not.

All I affirm to know is that there would be no time past if nothing passed by
And there would be no future if nothing came towards us
And there would be no present if there was not something that existed

How is it then that these two concepts of time exists…
the one past and other future…
since the past is no more and the future is not yet

But if the present was forever present and did not pass
it would not be the present but eternity

On the other hand, there was never a time when there was notime
But if the present only exists in order to become the past
how can we say that it does exist at all, since its very being is soon lost?

Or should we assert that time only exists because if tends not to exist?

What is clear is that neither the past nor the future exist at all
The past does not exist, because it is no more
and the future does not exist, because it did not yet come to be

Do I therefore have to say, that there is only one time, the present time?
Or could we instead posit that there are three distinct times…
Namely, the present of the past…
the present of the present…
And the present of the future

The only time we can actually experience is the present time
but in our soul we do feel nevertheless three different times…
There is the present of the past, which is remembrance…
There is the present of the present, which is contemplation…
And there is the present of the future, which is expectation

In the course of our life all actions I premeditate for the future
once I have completed them, enter into the past

In the course of time,
the more we live…
the more our experiences become remembrance

All things expected are diminished by entering the present
And this happens in the time of a single day
as it does in that time of our lives

I do confess, oh my lord,
that I don’t yet know what time it is…

You, my God, will bring me Enlightenment,
you will be my lantern…
I will come towards your light…

You, my God, will make my darkness bright…
And brighter, and brighter, and bri…


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