what he sought was always something lying ahead, and even if it was a matter of the past it was a past that changed gradually as he advanced on his journey, because the traveller's past changes according to the route he has followed: not the immediate past, that is, to which each day that goes by adds a day, but the more remote past. Arriving at each new city, the traveller finds again a past of his that he did not know he had: the foreignness of what you no longer are or no longer possess lies in wait for you in foreign, unpossessed places.
The past that Southerners are forever talking about is not a dead past-it is a chapter from the legend that our kinfolks have told us, it is a living past, living for a reason. The past is a part of the present, it is a comfort, a guide, a lesson.
The past doesn't exist. There is nothing to be sorry for. Today is when we start to live. Look... look at the sea. The sea has no past. It is just there. It will never ask us to explain. The stars, the moon are there to light our way, to shine for us. What do they care what might have happened in the past? They are accompanying us, and are happy with that; can you see them shine? The stars are twinkling in the sky; would they do that if the past mattered? Wouldn't there be a huge storm if God wanted to punish us? We are alone, you and I, with no past, no memories, no guilt, nothing that can stand in the way of... our love.
Who really can face the future? All you can do is project from the past, even when the past shows that such projections are often wrong. And who really can forget the past? What else is there to know?
In the Past, People who had been repeating the same words from back then will make you understand. That's your weakness, causing Severe painful memories you had encountered back in the Past. In the future, say something different YOU haven't said before from the past to the present. That's their weakness, and the Past isn't useless, study it and it will shape your Future.
History is about the past. Yet it exists only in the present - the moment of its creation as history provides us with a narrative constructed after the events with which it is concerned. The narrative must then relate to the moment of its creation as much as its historical subject. History presents an historian with the task of producing a dialogue between the past and the present. But as these temporal co-ordinates cannot be fixed, history becomes a continuous interaction between the historian and the past. As such, history can be seen as a process of evaluation whereby the past is always coloured by the intellectual fashions and philosophical concerns of the present. This shifting perspective on the past is matched by the fluid status of the past itself.
The past is dangerous, not least because it cannot go away. It is simply there, never to change, and in its constancy it reflects the eternity of God. It presents to the young mind a vast field of fascination, of war and peace, loyalty and treason, invention and folly, bitter twists of fate and sweet poetic justice. When that past is the past of one's people or country or church, then the danger is terrible indeed, because then the past makes claims upon our honor and allegiance. Then it knocks at the door, saying softly, "I am still here." And then our plans for social control-for inducing the kind of amnesia that has people always hankering after what is supposed to be new, without asking inconvenient questions about where the desirable thing has come from and where it will take us-must fail. For a man with a past may be free; but a man without a past, never.