eternal now


Alternative formsEdit


eternal now (uncountable)

  1. (religion, philosophy, psychology) The condition in which all reality is experienced in the present, with the past contained only in memory and the future only in anticipation or speculation.
    • 1879, MacDonald, George, chapter 2, in Sir Gibbie:
      For the bliss of the animals lies in this, that, on their lower level, they shadow the bliss of those—few at any moment on the earth—who do not "look before and after, and pine for what is not," but live in the holy carelessness of the eternal now.
    • 1884, Evans, Warren Felt, The Divine Law of Cure, page 107:
      We never go beyond the present. [] Tomorrow never comes. Our existence is enclosed within the divine moment, the eternal now.
    • 2010 November 9, Schama, Simon, “My vision for history in schools”, in Guardian (UK)[1], retrieved 2 January 2019:
      Who is it that needs history the most? Our children, of course. [] Unless they can be won to history, their imagination will be held hostage in the cage of eternal Now: the flickering instant that's gone as soon as it has arrived.
    • 2012 January 14, Davies, Lucy, “Yul Brynner: a photographic journey”, in Telegraph (UK)[2], retrieved 2 January 2019:
      Brynner used photography as a way to stay in love with his day job, filling hours spent waiting on film sets by strolling among friends and crew with a Leica slung around his neck. His images reveal a talent for accruing images of subjects utterly at ease in his presence and rare treasures indeed when seen alongside stilted studio publicity visuals. [] These are some of the most noted names of the era and—whether in stylish monochrome or courtesy of Kodachrome’s pinks and yellows—they appear rapt and relaxed, exhilarated to be living their kind of life in a sun-drenched, eternal now.
    • 2018 October 18, Haberman, Maggie, “A President Who Believes He Is Entitled to His Own Facts”, in New York Times (USA)[3], retrieved 2 January 2019:
      He quoted a former speechwriter for Mr. Bush, Michael Gerson, about Mr. Trump: “He lives in the eternal now—no history, no consequences.”
  2. (religion, philosophy) The nature of God's existence which is outside of time; the nature of a soul's existence in a supposed timeless afterlife.
    • 2009 July 27, Critchley, Simon, “Heidegger's Being and Time, part 8: Temporality”, in Guardian (UK)[4], retrieved 2 January 2019:
      [Heidegger] is trying to avoid any conception of time that begins with a distinction between time and eternity. On this understanding of time, classically expressed in Augustine's Confessions, temporality is derived from a higher non-temporal state of eternity, which is co-extensive with the infinite and eternal now of God.