The Future Pushes Us, The Past Pulls Us

This quote appears at the end of the book, The Great Gatsby. It encapsulates the push and pull we as humans feel as we struggle between living in the future and the past. We are constantly trying to move forward in our lives, looking toward the future, hoping for the best. But as we do this, we are perpetually jolted back by the memories of our past. As much as we try to move forward, like “boats against the current’, we are always pulled back by an impalpable force.

Our lesson is to live in the present. But our Ego fights it. The Ego is the powerful current in which we battle. We are just tiny boats in a vast sea trying to keep afloat as we sail through life.

“Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter – tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms further… And one fine morning –

 So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”