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According to conviction, I am not simply what I am doing now. I am also what I have done, and my conventionally edited version of my past is made to seem almost more the real me than what I am at this moment. For what I am seems so fleeting and intangible, but what I was is fixed and final. It is the firm basis for predictions of what I will be in the future, and so it comes about that I am more closely identified with what no longer exists than with what actually is
I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.
If we live, we live if we die, we die if we suffer, we suffer if we are terrified, we are terrified. There is no problem about it.
No one imagines that a symphony is supposed to improve in quality as it goes along, or that the whole object of playing it is to reach the finale. The point of music is discovered in every moment of playing and listening to it. It is the same, I feel, with the greater part of our lives, and if we are unduly absorbed in improving them we may forget altogether to live them.
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