Intellectually, of course not, there is only the present moment encompassing all happenings.
Experientially, I'm not completely certain.
What we do here definitely isn’t intellectual; I’ll never ask you to take anything on face value – so yes, keep focused on the experiential side of things. Otherwise it would be like trying to convince you of something – only adding to your existing conditioning.
Likewise with goals and future events, NOW is the only time for those events to occur.
Indeed, you can see that even thoughts of the past or future only happen in the present. In my experience, the thoughts themselves are real of course, they are actually happening in the now, but the contents of those thoughts are an illusion, almost like a virtual reality.
However, when I visualise in my head a memory from the past, or talking to someone in the future, I lose awareness of the body doing the dishes etc., and see only the images and hear the voices. The body continues to do the dishes but it feels 'real' stepping into the past or future.
Let's look at the seeming reality of those visualizations –
Did you ever watch a compelling movie and find yourself cheering for the leading character? It's all fantasy, and yet when we mistake the fantasy for reality we engage with the characters and their various ups and downs. Do you see we do the same thing with characters in our thoughts? It's all a story, a fantasy, there's nothing there in reality.
Here's a little exercise to demonstrate how the mind mistakes the imaginary character in thought for a real being, and tries to protect it, it's what we might call the 'jump test'.
Step 1: Stand in a room where you have some quiet and some space
Step 2: Close your eyes and imagine as vividly as you can that you are standing on the roof of a tall building. Feel the wind around you, hear the traffic and noise of the street below, check if it's night or day, have a look around and note what you can see - engage as many senses in the imaginary experience as you can.
Step 3: In your imagination walk to the edge of the building - look at how far the street is below, see the traffic and people if there are any, see your feet on the edge.
Step 4: Both in your imagination, and with the physical body, take a step forward over the edge.
Observe how the body reacts, as the imaginary characters falls - did you reach the bottom, landing on the ground?
Try that exercise again until you can successfully fall and land.
The laws of physics don't apply to the imagination - why is it so difficult to fall to the bottom?
Is the 'I' in these visualisations something real, or is it a thought 'believed' to be real?