I walk into the coffee shop to meet a friend. He tells me the latest news he just heard on TV. As he speaks, the story is after me and gradually coming before me. However, the part of the story that is still after me, is already before my friend. My After is Before him. Not only that, but as he was hearing the story for the first time, it was already Before the news anchor. While the story was still After the news anchor it was already Before the editor. Still After the editor, it was already Before the audience that heard the speech in question. Still After the audience, it was already Before the speaker in his mind as he prepared to speak.
When I speak, thoughts are After me and soon become Before me. The fact that I realize these thoughts means that the thoughts are Before me. What is After my ears is already Before my mind. Can we go a step deeper? Who or What were my thoughts Before when they were still after my mind?
Where do my thoughts come from? This reminds me of the Ash’arite legacy including the distinction between kalam lafzi and kalam nafsi (outward vs. inner speech). The Ash’arites come to mind then, which may lead us to occasionalism, and then to vicarious causation through the back door!