The present (or now) is the time range associated with the events perceived directly for the first time, not as a recollection (perceived more than once) or a speculation (predicted, hypothesis, uncertain). It is a period of time between the past and the future, and can vary in meaning from an instant to a day or longer. It is sometimes represented as a hyperplane in space-time, typically called "now", although modern physics demonstrates that such a hyperplane cannot be defined uniquely for observers in relative motion.
- The Now, that indivisible point which studs the length of infinite line
Whose ends are nowhere, is thine all, the puny all thou callest thine.
- If you are living in the past or in the future, you will never find a meaning in the present.
- Fausto Cercignani in: Brian Morris, Simply Transcribed. Quotations from Fausto Cercignani, (2013), p. 9.
- The present is an infinitesimal between two infinites. 'Tis a line (a thing without breadth or thickness) moving across the surface of Eternity. The present is no more, by the time you have said, This is present.
- Henry Harland, The Lady Paramount (1902), Ch. VII.
- We are always acting on what has just finished happening. It happened at least 1/30th of a second ago. We think we’re in the present, but we aren’t. The present we know is only a movie of the past.
- Ken Kesey, As quoted by Tom Wolfe in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (1968) Ch. 11
- The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present.
- Abraham Lincoln, Annual Message to Congress (1 December 1862)
- Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act, — act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, A Psalm of Life.
- Don’t shortchange the future, because of fear in the present.
- Barack Obama, 10 Downing Street reception speech, April 1 2009.
- There was nothing for it but to pace through just behind or ahead of the spooling present that was never there, caught in the nonexistent interval between the nonexistent past and the nonexistent future.
- Kim Stanley Robinson, Galileo's Dream (2009), Ch. 13, p. 282.
- Past and to come seems best; things present, worst.