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Off topic: The Past is Gone (We must forgive ourselves before we forgive others)
Thread poster: José Luis Villanueva-Senchuk
José Luis Villanueva-Senchuk  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:27
English to Spanish
+ ...
Dec 7, 2002


Some thoughts for the weekend...

My only comment: we must forgive ourselves before we forgive anyone else.

Hope you enjoy it,


\"The Past is Gone\"

All truth can be imagined

All fear can be afraid

The past is gone

No truth ever happened

No paths were led astray

The past was gone

before today too long

ago it left our senses

to minds for dreaming on

You see I saw something

You hear different things

The past is gone

What I saw not your blame

What I heard not the same

The past has been

and won\'t be again

split by differences

in thought conversation

Some hate may be feared

Some regret may be forgot

The past is gone

Some sad washed by tears

Some joy may be or not

The past was never real

to me of yours revealed

from your own mind

compared to what I feel

No time heals all wounds

No wounds cross all time

The past is gone

My truths have their tomes

My paths must be mine

The philosophy behind \"The Past is Gone\" ...

\"For the most part truth is only the consensus on what was remembered. If there is no agreement, there is no truth. Many situations of the past are linked to some sort of hard data: photographs, receipts, or recorded communications. A basis of truth on these is again, a human interpretation. A receipt for flowers could be seen as the proof of love or guilt, a charming photograph can be evidence of an affair or have been an innocent snapshot of good times, and angry emails might directly reflect a persona or only an emotional outburst. Nothing is for certain; there is no truth.

When we believe something to be moral, true, and right we defend it. We cannot let go of the things we believe in, lest we be lost to ourselves. When others do not agree we are inclined to resent them, especially as it pertains to personal histories. A lingering glance at the perceived past no longer becomes the reference for reminiscing, but rather a negative reminder in forms of pain, embarrassment, frustration, anger, and hate.

People can deal with bad or inconsistent memories by concealing them, by recognizing them, or by feeling empowered by them to do \"good\", e.g. correct wrongdoings. This usually comes out as an attack on the people who are \"bad\", although they might have completely different memories of the same situation. A protagonist defeating an antagonist is justice and a victory, while the opposite is wrong and a loss. What is right is determined by the morals of the just, but the morals may be equal even when the roles are reversed. We can all be someone\'s demon and we can all be someone\'s savior, sharing all the while similar morals with those around us.

We like to believe, for the most part, that we are good and what we do is good. Mistakes we make may be admitted, but do not mar our opinion of ourselves regardless of their frequency. Evil may be knowingly committed as a guilty pleasure (chocolate!), but the extremes we do not dabble in for fun; they come as mistakes. It\'s healthy and important to recognize mistakes, correct them as humanly possible, but not to dwell on them. Then there is the issue of what mistakes we know we\'ve made and those that other people perceive we have, based on their own assumptions of the past.

Absolution can only come from our own consciences. The difficulty of convincing ourselves of forgiveness may be non-existent or non-achievable depending on the situation, what people were involved, how much we value our morals, and most importantly how keenly we feel guilt. A guilty conscience isn\'t always wrong or evil. If a person values honesty and lies to someone, they should feel the guilt keenly otherwise they don\'t really value honesty. Guilt is a reflection of how seriously we feel about the things we believe in. A hypocrite would be someone that lies about their values or, even more truly, feels intense guilt but buries it. It\'s important to absolve guilt by correcting mistakes as thoroughly as possible, but it\'s also important to move on when all that can be humanly done has. Many of us will acquire quite a sum of guilt throughout our lifetimes and take many unresolved mistakes to our graves. Moving on means remembering, but not dwelling; how could we forget? There will be plenty of time for pondering later, especially depending on your religious preference and view of the after-life.

I have made my own share of mistakes, opinions of my character, interpretations of my past and reoccurring memories from it, and guilt that I will not dwell on but will probably follow me until the end of my days. I have received my share of blame and it will be there despite my accepting or denying it. Blame is present as long as the blamer dwells, and I seem to have caught the infatuation of someone with stupendous capabilities there. I could continue this to recount reasons, or perhaps excuses, for wrong every thing I feel I have done or those, which others feel were wrong. I could recount my entire past and blast down accusations on a per-item basis, but it would be unseemly to accompany a poem with that garbage. However, I do plan on journaling these things elsewhere to protect myself and what I remember, for what it\'s worth. I don\'t know every side to what I\'ve done, but I know enough of them.

What I do know is that I am still human; I will make more mistakes in the future and no amount of \"friendly\" advice will change that fact. I will continue to feel guilty about things that I\'ve done and try to patch them up in the only ways I know how: friendship and assistance. I haven\'t always giving generous helpings of either, but it was always my intention and I do believe I am a good person.\"


[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-12-07 05:54 ]

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Jacek Krankowski  Identity Verified
English to Polish
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I wish the past were gone Dec 7, 2002

What a topic! Thank you, Pepelu, for this food for thought. It also ties in with my recent question about whether we are a construct of memory.


On 2002-12-07 05:49, Pepelu wrote:

Moving on means remembering, but not dwelling

I wish this were true of many international conflicts. I cannot help quoting for instance Amos Oz, a noted Israeli writer whose novels have been translated into 30 languages in over 35 countries, who tells how his grandmother always told him that the only difference between the Jews and the Christians was that the Christians believed the Messiah had already come and the Jews believe that he has yet to come. She told him, \"Look, we should just let things be. One day, the Messiah will come, and he\'ll settle the issue for himself. If he says, \'Hello, it\'s good to see you again,\' then the Jews will have to admit the Christians were right and apologize. If he says, \'Hello, it\'s nice to meet you,\' then the Christians will have to admit the Jews were right and apologize to us. Until then, there\'s nothing to be done about it.\"

Let us move on!


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Jacek Krankowski  Identity Verified
English to Polish
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P.S. Dec 8, 2002

The reason I reacted with that global reflection above was probably tat I was just reading an article about Hannah Arendt from which I would like to translate for you a few thoughts:

\"To come up with a non-fanatic response to fanaticism we have to cultivate yet another ability which is unusual to the human condition—the ability to forgive and to keep promises. (...)

Our ‘new world’ is not entirely new. Today’s globalization resembles the age of the Roman Empire which used to encompass the whole world. (...) Christianity was the response to that globalization. How should we respond to the challenge of globalization today? (...) Our response has to consist in an unconditional respect for the variety, pluralism, and a dialog of people of different traditions, cultures, languages and religions. (...)

Hannah Arendt was a German émigré, an American, a Euro-Atlantic cosmopolitan. But she also attached a great importance to the fact that she was Jewish. (...) Here is the message I see here: In this world of Euro-Atlantic globalization, let us seek such a kind of universalism which will affirm our own identity. (...) We only can genuinely and with dignity participate in the world of globalization if we are conscious of our roots and our cultural uniqueness. (...) We keep building [as Hannah Arendt did] our small polis, islands of freedom and truth which, we firmly believe, one day will become an archipelago of freedom.”

(Adam Michnik, editor-in-chief of Gazeta Wyborcza, 7.12.2002)

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