——The distinction between the factual and the historical is fatal to the truth when the factual is allowed to be viewed as neutral. Or to say it another way, at a base level there are no facts in a historical inquiry.. But the maneuver is always made, facts are presumed as both historical and neutral, and a thesis is built which eventually will lay claim to being true, as if we lived through it all..
——The confusion originates in mistaking the historical inquiry with that involving the facts of perception. It is treating history as a sort of crime scene investigation. For truth and fact are potent allies in perception, at least ideally. They are on the same plane, in the same category; as are false statements, misperception–all on the same level, in the same arena in a present tense investigation. Of course this yanking of data from one realm to another originates in an assumption, the blandest of all assumptions, that the past is simply a former present time. That its content is simply a matter of survival, through generations trading . . . . An always vanishing reality, but then reappearing! A former setting, systematically replaced by nature and all its invisible agents.
——-But if the past had the strength of the present, the strength of a total field of inquiry, the strength of reality, it would not have gone by–that is what I say.  I say the present hurts. It persists with a stubborn sense of itself as alive, that does not know of passing away. It is what we observe, and say of life, that it clings and claims, it gives pleasure even ruthlessly. There must be a perpetual present, and a past consisting of . . . what? Something else?  The past is wavering, attached like a tail on a kite. But something more than strong winds, and logic, and continuity perpetuates the now. The present time is not intending to just go on record, it seeks to become the thing itself. Is this not right? Doesn’t the world seek to devour you?  I think I just glimpsed a power of the present, a perpetual re-enactment, that is not mere momentum of the already existing, but fed from a different power, fed from totally elsewhere, like a pagan underworld. A god-like power, Atlas holds the spinning globe, and sheer magnetism draws everything into competition to survive. It does not work to say the world was once set in motion and just goes on.  I will now say that the present is a perpetual phantom enactment coming out of the blue. We are a people forgetting where they live, they who live in the whirling magic of time and space, I mean pure, hard-as-nails reality.
——I didn’t say it was an illusion. I just said it was fatal to the truth. There is no truth whatsoever in a merely present inquiry–I can hope you see that; while I keep trying to wrap up this section of the book I am writing, but the book is endless, and building itself from within..
——And yet! How can this spontaneous world, then, be familiar?  The past, something other than a former time (for as we see, time devours us on the spot), would have to be an inspiration from within, an idea, derived by suggestion; a category born out of contemplation, or built defacto out of memories, like a general storehouse. Too many choices here, but one thing is clear: the past is free of all the extra rubbish of perception, and the pain of experience too. It simply tells you that you have lived, but in saying so it scraps the world, and builds a time free zone, standing in another location than life. This past is not here, and never was. .
——This past is produced in thought, by contact with the world, lighting up another terrain that must already be built, out of another substance. So I travel further in this adventure. The past in this sense is more than an idea conjured up by the thinker, springing freely into his mind as a pure category, for it is content-laden at the outset of its appearance. This past is encountered, a inevitable production.. A person who experiences the past in this way then carries it around, as an exaltation, and a burden.  It is both finished and yet it must relate to the world he is living in. He would like to add to it–. Yet, it is not simply the past of this world. It is way more than that, for it carries the promise of truth, which this world does not. And this personally held past is not the same as the indifferently learned about history, randomly encountered in books, or learning which has jealously assigned all its content-sources to the material world, stripping them of the miraculous.  “Why jealously?” someone will ask.
——Because life is jealous of eternity, I will say–and leave it at that. Still, there is a vestige of the belief in a past already there, a past standing elsewhere ready made. It is there in the notion that the past actually happens in the same kind of reality we experience right now. This fallback position (for it is no idea, but a cop-out, the crime never being solved), this farce of an actually happening past, in which all data is neutral, equivalent to what is perceived, like it could burn you, and therefore culpable of research and investigation, this unfortunate and stressful illusion!, is thoroughly modern. I say it is typical vanity. I say this is psychological, and it substitutes for religion–it summons the very latest methods of investigation, indiscriminately lording over past and present. The idea that reality has been the same throughout relieves the religious impulse, which is to answer mystery. It wipes out mystery, this idea that reality was born before we were here, and we have appeared during its stretch over the ages of time. But the past I am talking about is transhistorical, random scenes crop up and are linked by meanings that suggest you outlast it. And yet, you see, the past I am talking about is the one produced by being alive and always getting the sense that this, right now, is the one and only world. I see that the world in itself does not suggest any solution of itself, any necessity for a foundation, but indeed it floats like a beautiful, forlorn globe, travelling in the weirdly focused sky.  And I see that my thoughts, and my desperately happy expressions, supply the promise of events .  .  .