Culture Magazine

Future Day is Present Day (March 1st)

By Realizingresonance @RealizResonance

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Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.

Today is Future Day, but today is not a future day. Future Day is celebrated on the present day when that day happens to be March 1st, as today happens to be. Next year’s Future Day is a future day, a calendar day not a realized day, and by the time we get to celebrating on that particular day it will obviously be the present day at that time. Of course Future Day celebrates not the present day, but the time beyond the present day. I want to take this Future Day to say that The Future is Not Real.

The future is all that could be. The future is all that might later be. But the future is not what is already. Since we push the future away from ourselves by awaking into the present day each morning, since each step nudges the future just further down our path, the consequence is that we never really get there. The future is the ultimate can that we kick down the road, the ultimate carrot on a stick that we follow. We just can’t quite reach it, touch it, hold it. The future is a forecast ephemeral, an intangible anticipation, a ghost of a potential present moment possibly experienced at a later time. The future is a conception of a part of time, but not itself a part of time in actual realized occurrence. The future is a pre-realized state, just over the horizon of realization as it unfolds perpetually in the present. For this reason the future is not a real time.

There is an independent objective reality outside of my mind’s perceptions, thoughts, and beliefs about a reality. This is Realism, and under this ontological paradigm the idea of reality is closely tied to the idea of existence. Things that exist are real, and to be real a thing must exist. It is from this assumed axiom about the connection between reality and existence that my ideas about the future’s reality emerge. The present is the time of realization, when real things come into existence through the process of change, and this places the future always out of the range of existence. For this reason the future is not a real time.

Events that happened really happened, while events that are yet to occur may, or may not, really occur. In the present we have events that happened, creating the conditions and contextualization for the events that are happening, but the events that have yet to possibly occur are never in existence as things are actually occurring. This asymmetry of real living experience should be central to the question about what in time is real for us. For this reason the future is not a real time.

Today is Future Day. It is about having a holiday to celebrate the future, because the great and wide-open future is at least as important as those particular occurrences from our history that we celebrate. As a professional forecaster and a wannabe futurist philosopher, I think for me every day is Future Day. So I wanted to use this March 1st, 2013, this official Future Day, to re-express my philosophical thesis that The Future is Not Real.

Perhaps this might seem like a pessimistic view for Future Day, an anti-celebration, but on the contrary, to say that the future is not real is a most hopeful definition. If the future is not real then what happens next is not set, we still have a chance to realize new things into existence, the chance to make new choices. The more concrete our future the more determined, and I for one believe that my creative free will, and the creative free wills of other minds are positioned to influence destiny.

If you never realized that Future Day existed until now, and you missed your chance to celebrate this year, then you are in luck. Future Day is on the calendar, and March 1st, 2014 is a pre-realized date, ready to be planned and prepared for today. That is the beauty of the unrealized future. Check out FutureDay.org to get ideas for how you can celebrate the future next year and for years to come.

Jared Roy Endicott

Future Day is Present Day (March 1st)
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