Reading: “Principles of Topological Psychology” by Kurt Lewin.
He’s making an interesting point about the difference of Time between Physics and Psychology. Notice how potential future events have effects upon the present situation of Julien?
This would appear to be the future affecting the past, which is the present and, in fact, it does: quite strongly so.
To comprehend the psychological state requires a present POV as well as the significant past AND future events to understand the present mental state more fully.
Try to follow all the different timelines and their directions and strengths that are affecting the situation. There’s many.
Julien, his mind intent on his proposed enterprise, could think of noth- ing to say. The conversation languished. “I wonder if this is the way I shall behave on the occasion of my first duel?” the young man asked himself; for he had too much distrust of himself and others not to be aware of the mental condition he was in. Any danger would have seemed preferable to him in his mortal agony. How he prayed that Mme. de Rnal might think of some forgotten domes- tic duty and return to the house! The restraint that he was obliged to put on liimself produced an appreciable alteration in his voice; Mme. de RnaPs voice, too, was beginning to tremble, but Julien did not notice it; the conflict between duty and timidity was too severe to admit of his thinking of anything outside himself. The great clock of the chateau struck the third quarter past nine, and he had not had courage to attempt anything. Disgusted with his pusillanimity, he said to himself, “When that dock strikes ten I will do what I have been promising myself all day to do, or I will go up to my room and put a bullet in my brain.” After a period of suspense and anxiety it seemed a century during which Julien in his tense emotion thought his reason must desert him, the dock above his head struck ten. Each stroke reechoed in his bosom as if the hammer had fallen on his heart. Finally, . . .
Stendah’s “Rouge et Noir”
and yet, in the end, the future *isn’t* affecting the present.
Also, the past isn’t affecting the present.
The present psychological state is the present psychological state and it is the beliefs ABOUT the past and the future that are affecting behavior.