Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Relate this to Bergson's remarks on duration:
Granted that inner duration, perceived by consciousness, is nothing else but the melting of states of consciousness into one another, and the gradual growth of the ego, it will be said, notwithstanding, that the time which the astronomer introduces into his formulae, the time which our clocks divide into equal portions, this time, at least, is something different : it must be a measurable and therefore homogeneous magnitude.-It is nothing of the sort, however, and a close examination will dispel this last illusion. When I follow with my eyes on the dial of a Time, as dealt with by the astronomer and the physicist, does indeed seem to be measurable and therefore homogeneous (108) clock the movement of the hand which corresponds to the oscillations of the pendulum, I do not measure duration, as seems to be thought ; I merely count simultaneities, which is very different. Outside of me, in space, there is never more than a single position of the hand and the pendulum, for nothing is left of the past positions. Within myself a process of organization or interpenetration of conscious states is going on, which constitutes true duration.pg.50 ereader. Time and Free Will
End of Section II.:
Time past and time future
Allow but a little consciousness.
To be conscious is not to be in time
But only in time can the moment in the rose-garden,
The moment in the arbour where the rain beat,
The moment in the draughty church at smokefall
Be remembered; involved with past and future.
Only through time time is conquered.
Compare the thought behind this to Bergson's almost presentist consideration of the apparent pointlessness of having a consciousness which is constantly being drawn away from the present where it really is. Eliot's critique of time is based on the concept of duration which has no extension. Time whose essential reality is duration becomes derealised by being spatialised. It is taken to be an extended quanitative thing.
But it might be asked whether pleasure and pain, instead of expressing only what has just occurred, or what is actually occurring, in the organism, as is usually believed, could not also point out what is going to, or what is tending to take place. It seems indeed somewhat improbable that nature, so profoundly utilitarian, should have here assigned to consciousness the merely scientific task of informing us about the past or the present, which no longer depend upon us.page 16 ereader Time and Free Will
From the beginning of Section V:
Words move, music moves
Only in time; but that which is only living
Can only die. Words, after speech, reach
Into the silence. Only by the form, the pattern,
Can words or music reach
The stillness, as a Chinese jar still
Moves perpetually in its stillness.
Not the stillness of the violin, while the note lasts,
Not that only, but the co-existence,
Or say that the end precedes the beginning,
And the end and the beginning were always there
Before the beginning and after the end.