01 June 2017

from Lawrence, SATURDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: To live in the present.


Dear Friends,

Don't forget that in June we start our summer change and now meet on
SATURDAY until the end of July.

This change is ironic since have gotten used to our Sunday schedule we
now have this change which is also the topic of our meeting: To live in
the present

This is a topic not totally new for us and was very relevant during many
meetings in the past, for example "The here and now."

To live in the present, is also a topic that goes back to early
philosophy regarding issues of change: for example Heraclitus who is
supposed to have said, we cannot step in the same river twice? The
"present" has also been a difficult topic to discuss because it's too
fleeting and too nebulous. Not to mention that we tend to be more
concerned about the future than anything else. The future is very easy
to talk about, we can invent the future, and the past is too painful to
go back there.

It goes without saying that the present we are interested in is human
present. Indeed is there a present that is not measured by human
criteria. What's the present for a fruit fly?

And when does the present stop and the future or past begin? In terms of
language form the concept of the present is one of time. But when we
want to talk about the present as time we don't really use the word,
present, we would usually use "now".

Indeed, the "here and now" does mean the present; look at your watch.
But the present of our topic, is not necessarily the "here and now".
Maybe in terms of a time frame or period, living in the present, would
mean more like living in the current context of our life; that is our
current situation. This may or may not involve us in a fixed time frame,
indeed I would argue that what we are talking about is not measured in
hours and days.

Maybe 'to go with the flow' represents our topic more faithfully than
living in the "here and now". Living in the "here and now" gives us the
feeling of indeterminism; as if we floating in time. For example, living
in the context of what is happening this week or this month. But living
in the present might mean more like adapting our life to the present
circumstance. This does not mean that we exclude the idea of the future.

If, for example, during the present, the economy is down and jobs are
precarious, maybe we should save more and be more careful and not spend
more than we can afford. During a time of prosperity we might even
legitimately consider moving to better dwellings.

The other issue for us is what do we mean by "live"? Do we mean to
survive, to live a normal life, at least normal by our standards, or to
live the good life, rich and comfortable or simply above average?

The key point here is that things change in real life. They might change
for the better, but most probably they'll change for other things that
are so different that the vortex we find ourselves in is just as bad as
things going bad.

Maybe, whilst it makes sense to live in the present and go with the
flow, there are two very difficult challenges we have to deal with. The
first is that to keep the "present" stable in our life we need to know
what it takes to achieve this stability. And secondly, we need to
anticipate external factors that can change our life completely and, of
course, deal with these threats.

The conclusion must therefore be that although the present might feel
comfortable, it is no less prone to change than the future.

Best Lawrence

tel: 606081813
Blog: http://philomadrid.blogspot.com.es/
MeetUp https://www.meetup.com/PhiloMadrid-philosophy-group/

PhiloMadrid Meeting
Meet 6:30pm
Centro Segoviano
Alburquerque, 14
28010 Madrid
Metro: Bilbao
Open Tertulia in English every
Thursdays at Triskel in c/San Vicente Ferrer 3.
Time: from 19:30 to 21h

from Lawrence, SATURDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: To live in the

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