Jason Clark has this great post I just came across, on “The past of the Future: Why we live in the now.” Following something he read he argues that we are trapped in the ever present ‘now’, totally losing any sense of past or future.
below is my response looking at it from the angle of ‘desire’ instead of ‘information.’
on the level of ‘information’ I totally agree with you. But on the level of ‘desire’ I think it is totally opposite.
Because of capitalism’s endless need for new desires, creating new opportunities for consumption, we are always forced into the future where we hope to find satisfaction–but it never comes, it is always in the future. and conversely, we are trapped into a pastward gaze of regret b/c of all the failed attempts at satisfaction–this is called ‘buyers remorse’ for a reason.
The problem I see facing the church in Theocapitalism, is how to regain the present, a present totally full of gratetude and thanksgiving, living contently. Then the past will be redeemed and the future fulfilled.
We live in a fantasy of a future (my next sexual encounter, getting a raise, buying a car that will symbolize my status) that we never embrace the present. Also, our culture is fixiated on the ‘new and improved’ and everything ‘faster/better’ that we live discontent with the present, looking toward the future.
But of course this is an individualized future (of personal desire), not a social future of uptopian dreams.
So it is a bit of both: concerning information and concrete planning, our culture is trapped in the “now”; concerning our desire (which inform our consumption) we are trapped in a future of false hope and a past of regret.
But I would say, pastorally, our concern is to help people live into the present full of contentment (not letting the future rule them) and without guilt or regret (not letting the past rule them). But we also, along the information level, need to teach church history especially (past), and a proper doctrine of eschatology (future).
anyway, those are my thoughts on the topic.
What do you think our problem is? Are we stuck in the ‘Now’, or stuck in the ‘Future’ never able to embrace the present?