10 October, 2008

Reflections on the Past

10th October 2008

Directly related to the previous chapter – The Retrospective Age – this present chapter will be about how we deal with our own past, on an individual basis. And since I am only one individual, myself, this will be about how I consider my own past. Nothing too personal though, at least, nothing you can’t relate to.

When you feel your past was mostly wasted, and that you didn’t live as much as you wish you had, you feel rather bad, like you have lost something that you will never get back. But let’s see how that goes with a great past. You regret that it’s gone, because you’ll never get it back either. Different pasts, similar results. So basically, whatever kind of past you have, it makes you sad. Although, you can see it from a different angle: my past sucked, and I am glad it’s over with. Does that work? You tell me. Personally, I find that everything in my past makes me sad, whether it was sad, because it was sad, or good, because it’s over. There seems to be no escape from being sad about the past. Except maybe to simply look ahead.

Sometimes I live with the illusion that one’s past condenses into something, and that if I had had a great past, it would solidify into a solid block of happiness which would sustain me on a daily basis. But as I said before, if someone had such a block of happiness, in sad times, they could look back on it and feel extremely depressed that they have no such happiness right then. The present moment is all, the past is only remembered.

So what matters is right now, yes? It doesn’t do to try to live your entire past in this moment, because it can’t be done, and whichever way you go about it, you end up being sad. Which brings me to this puzzling question: how long is the present moment? How much time between it being present and then passed? I don’t have a clue. So anyway, next.

If looking back always makes us sad, we might as well look ahead, correct? But then that too can have its problems. You may worry about your future, rather than look forward to it. So we should really stick about the present moment. But I digress.

I don’t know where to go from here.

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