I’ve seen it said that the present is overdetermined by the past. One question – is there is any room left for the present to escape its determinants?
From the evidence of the splendor of one ordinary life, there does seem to be some slippage of attention upon the past – enough to open a wedge of space for some other word to sneak past the censors. Were this not true, I would be stuck with a bland midwest palate. Now there is hot sauce!
Evolutionary mutations seem to be a present adaption to the present setting, not a previous one. If such is the case, there may even be room for a tendril of a future state to pull and tug, beckon and call from a wider tomorrow.
There is a difficulty with a transcendent tomorrow—any purposeful intention regarding our present decision-making. Whether it is called a moral-arc or a Living G*D, whether working at the systemic or personal level, whether conscious or patterned, the very idea of “tomorrow” begins an overlay of a multiverse of options.
It is this overlay that brings a past (enumerated or imagined) into conversation with a present (controlled and controlling) and a future (potential and determined to seven generations). Along with this trinity are the infinite points between them. Taken together, we are both stuck and at loose ends. We are as indecisive as any theoretical cat until we dare look and risk losing information, we’ll never know if a next step will find us facing down an infectious grin or entering yowling fangs.
Whichever of multiple certainties we come to inhabit, there will yet be a question of our expectation of finding mercy or bringing mercy. If both are not part of our traveling kit and ready-at-hand, the odds are we will be overdetermined toward violence.