Stored personal memories along with handed down collective memories of stories, legends, and history allows us to collate our interactions with a physical and social world and develop a personal code of survival. In essence, we all become self-styled sages, creating our own book of wisdom based upon our studied observations and practical knowledge gleaned from living and learning. What we quickly discover is that no textbook exist how to conduct our life, because the world has yet to produce a perfect person – an ideal observer – whom is capable of handing down a concrete exemplar of epistemic virtues. We each draw upon the guiding knowledge, theories, and advice available for us in order to explore the paradoxes, ironies, inconsistencies, and the absurdities encountered while living in a supernatural world. We mold our personal collection of information into a practical practicum how to live and die. Each day we define and redefine who we are, determine how we will react today, and chart our quest into an uncertain future.
Time stretches and calms, but still we reach, for we belonged then. We want to know. Sometimes that knowledge is painful, or inconvenient, or even damning. But it is essential. It exposes us for what we have been, and can be.
People say you're born innocent, but it's not true. You inherit all kinds of things that you can do nothing about. You inherit your identity, your history, like a birthmark that you can't wash off. ... We are born with our heads turned back, but my mother says we have to face into the future now. You have to earn your own innocence, she says. You have to grow up and become innocent.
We do not teach history, we recreate the experience. We follow the chain of consequences - the tracks of the beast in its forest. Look behind our words and you see the broad sweep of social behavior that no historian has ever touched.
In many ways my life has been rather like a record of the lost and found. Perhaps all lives are like that.
The beast lives unhistorically; for it 'goes into' the present, like a number, without leaving any curious remainder.
The Englishman left months ago, Hana, he's with the Bedouin or in some English garden with its phlox and shit.
Emotion is ‘recognition’. When treasured moments are identified in the jungle of our personal history during a visual or aural encounter, we capture magic sparks from our past, arousing flashes of insight and revealing an inner flare. These instants of recognition may kindle enthralling emotion and fulfilling inspiration. (“Those journeys of love”)
Perception of a self is not simply about actuality. Human beings’ identities are self-generating and people constantly revise and recreate the story of their being. Coming-into-being, not being, is the highest expression of reality. We only attain the fullest knowledge of a living thing including ourselves when we know what it was, understand what it now is, and understand what it can become. We do not know the truth of a living thing’s existence until we discern its entire history from development to demise.
We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. We forget the loves and the betrayals alike, forget what we whispered and what we screamed, forget who we were.
Telling our personal story constitutes an act of consciousness that defines the ethical lining of a person’s constitution. Recounting personal stories promotes personal growth, spurs the performance of selfless deeds, and in doing so enhances the ability of the equitable eye of humanity to scroll rearward and forward. Every person must become familiar with our communal history of struggle, loss, redemption, and meaningfully contemplate the meaning behind our personal existence in order to draft a proper and prosperous future for succeeding generations. Accordingly, every person is responsible for sharing their story using the language of thought that best expresses their sanguine reminiscences. Without a record of pastimes, we will never know what were, what we now are, or what we might become by steadfastly and honorably struggling with mortal chores.
What drew him back was something altogether more personal, to a history where, in the pain and longing of adolescence, he was still standing on the corner of Queen and Albert Streets waiting for someone that he knew would never appear. He had long understood that one of his selves, the earliest and most vulnerable, had never left this place, and this original and clearest view of things could be recovered only through what had first come to him in the glow of its ordinary light and weather...it was the light they appeared in that was the point, and that at least had not changed.
Ego is the central figure of our personal history, based upon the past and looking into the future. Ego is the deepest dream of the Consciousness.
There's a phenomenology of being sick, one that depends on temperament, personal history, and the culture which we live in.
Having contact sheets for all sorts of episodes in your life seemed to me intriguing and desirable. So much of my own history is beclouded by time, but a few sharp rays, in the form of pictures, falling upon a given day would resuscitate whole contexts. And from this archipelago of moments, scenes, episodes, you could see the larger tectonic movements of your life forming and unforming. You would be reminded of who you are. Or at least of who you were.
With the sensation that he was passing through the Looking-Glass, Max stared at his father as if he had never seen him before—simultaneously impressed and unnerved at the thought that, after all these years, he still knew so little about him.
Now, what’s stirring in this murky sea of complexity and foolishness is an almost suffocating need to breathe fresh history.
The secret of our emotions never lies in the bare object, but in its subtle relations to our own past.
Our parents tell us the story of our beginning and they have total control over it--they know they've changed it, and we know they've changed it, but we just let them. They massage the details to reflect who we are now, so that there will be a sense to it: you are this because that. We gave you a blanket with birdies on it and now you're a pilot, how lovely! All so that we think of ourselves as being in . . . not just a story, but a good story. One written in full command of their craft. Someone who abides by the contract with the audience, even if the audience is us. Everyone loves a system. Everyone relaxes.
If chained is where you have been, your ams will always bear marks of the shackles. What you have to lose is your story, your own slant. You'll look at the scars on your arms and see mere ugliness, or you'll take great care to look away from them and see nothing. Either way, you have no words for the story of where you came from.