Ortega Gassett: Constant Preoccupation

Hence living is always, ceaselessly, restlessly, a doing. Why is it not realised that all doing implies bringing something future into effect? Including the case when we give ourselves up to remembering. We recall a memory at this moment in order to effect something in the moment following, be it only the pleasure of re-living the past. This modest secret pleasure presented itself to us a moment ago as a desirable future thing, therefore we ‘make remembrance of things past.’

 

— Jose Ortega Gassett

Revolt of the Masses, 1930

(from «link»)

Quote in Context:

 

Whether we like it or not, human life is a constant preoccupation
with the future. In this actual moment we are concerned with the
one that follows. Hence living is always, ceaselessly, restlessly, a
doing. Why is it not realised that all doing implies bringing
something future into effect? Including the case when we give
ourselves up to remembering. We recall a memory at this moment
in order to effect something in the moment following, be it only the
pleasure of re-living the past. This modest secret pleasure
presented itself to us a moment ago as a desirable future thing,
therefore we “make remembrance of things past.” Let it be clear,
then, that nothing has a sense for man except in as far as it is
directed towards the future. Questions which most keenly
interested the period, and one hears, for example, of devotio
moderna, a kind of vanguard of “mystical theology.”