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Is the future in front of you or behind you?
Posted: Posted December 23rd, 2018 by chiarizio
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In your concultures or conlangs, do people think of the future as ahead of them and the past behind them, because that’s the direction time is moving?
Or do they think and say the past is in front of them because they can see it, and the future is behind them because they can’t see it?

I’m thinking that one of my concultures —— probably Adpihi/Reptigan —— will think of the past as below them and the future as above them. Archaeologically and paleontologically that will be accurate. The journey through time will be a climb instead of a walk or a boat ride.

I’m also toying with the idea 💡 of making one conculture think of the future as being to the East and the past as being Westward. You can’t see much very clearly in either direction after sunset before sunrise.


Just answer for your main conculture on the poll.
If you have other concultures, especially if they have different answers, please post about them!


There are 3 Replies

Does your conculture refer to your offspring and their offspring and their offspring etc. as your descendants?

When they talk about events in their ancestors’ lives, do they refer to “ascending to the Age of the Antonines” or the like? (cf. Edmund Gibbons’s writings.)


In keeping with talking as if the past were below the present and the future were above the present, Adpihi and Reptigan effectively call the people we would call “descendants”, something like “ascendants” instead.

If one were to use the term “descendant”, they’d take that to mean “antecessor” or “ancestor” or “predecessor” or somesuch.

The past “is” down, and down “is” past.
The future “is” up, and up “is” in future.

Posted January 2nd, 2019 by chiarizio
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Puzzled that six people answered the poll but noöne commented.

Edited February 26th, 2019 by chiarizio
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In my multiracial fantasy builtworld,

I think the Humans will go with
Future=East Past=West

But I think both Elves and Dwarves will go with
Future=Up Past=Down

I haven’t decided about MerCentaurs yet?

Posted April 16th, 2019 by chiarizio
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