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The irony is there is no such thing as the past or the future it is always a concept in our head. In fact, there has never been a past nor a future

that actually exists -- it is just this moment shimmering in eternity forevermore. That doesn’t mean that the concepts of past or future aren’t useful -- because without them we might become like idiots unable to see patterns repeating themselves and tying ourselves in knots since we were unable to plan for the future nor learn from the past. On closer scrutiny we never leave the present moment even has we reflect on the past and imagine a future, we are always doing that in the “present”. We can’t really stop ourselves from pondering both past and future and their is nothing wrong with that provided that we are aware of living “immediately” as we extract the wisdom from past mistakes and plan for a future that enhances our well being as a means to accessing the presence of now.

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Nov 21, 2022·edited Nov 21, 2022Liked by Massimo Pigliucci

Thanks, Massimo, for a very clear and helpful reflection.

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Nov 21, 2022Liked by Massimo Pigliucci

Very lucid essay. Thank you, Massimo.

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"we simply have to do our best while we can"; presumably we need to use our judgment to decide just how much is "our best", since otherwise one can make oneself unhappy and ineffectual by attempting more

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Thank you Massimo for another quality article! It and Paul’s comment made me remember a part from Meditations (V.26) “... the soul. See that it never becomes involved with them(pleasures/pain of the flesh): it must limit itself to its own domain, keep the feeling confined to their proper sphere.” Alot of times I find myself triggered by philosophical quotes as I making the daily progress of emotions and impression, if graphed would look like high peaks and valleys, instead of more like a wave with balanced crests and troughs. Further, to be content all the time seems crazy, but to have the courage to practice proper judgment is what makes a difference, without seeking edumania? Talk about it, edumania, seems only to be a motivator?

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Maks, eudaimonia is a process, not a final stage. Every time we strive to live a better, more ethical, more meaningful life, we strive for eudaimonia. It really isn't about contentment. Well, unless you are an Epicurean or a Pyrrhonist...

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Ok so the statements that say to achieve eudaemonia should be understood more as to experience it and to properly recognize it, rather then have it at the end. One of these proper qualifier is having the able to live in present, and fully understand what that means as it relates to other virtues?

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Yes, I tend to think of eudaimonia as a quest and a process, not something that is obtained at the end. That said, Aristotle thought that one's life could not be judged to be eudaimonic until after they were dead. Because they could still royally screw up until the very last...

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Nov 21, 2022Liked by Massimo Pigliucci

Lol great, thank you!

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Paul, yup. Hence Epictetus' insistence on the so-called discipline of assent, which is all about refining our judgment.

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founding

Lovely piece. Very clear about the Epicurean living for the moment. Can’t get my head around applying Stocism to the moment. I will read this article in the evening. Thank you.

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Naresh, think of Epictetus' insistence that we need to pay attention (prohairesis) to the here and now, because that's the only time and place where our agency is efficacious.

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