To continue yes…

To continue yesterday’s meditation on the transitoriness of things: I’ve been thinking a lot about my 25 year-old self lately. Okay, he hasn’t been around since 1981, but he’s been occupying a lot of my available brain space these days. He was basically a serious fellow, I suppose, preoccupied with what some would consider serious things, but his daily life was pretty simple and he had a rather happy-go-lucky approach to the tasks of the day. Waking up early for reading and tea, rattling off to the office in his 69 VW Bug, spending the hours until evening at decidedly low-level clerical tasks which he nevertheless mostly enjoyed, heading back to the house to water garden and orchard before dinner and bed: where has he gone? I like him because his vision was mostly unclouded by disappointment and by that grim awareness of personal and societal flaws so inexorably on its way. And I would like to be him again, a feckless task, of course, both because 1981 seems now hopelessly irretrievable and because, as one of my childhood friends said decades ago, you can’t put the Kool Aid back into the package once it’s been mixed. And because my 25 year-old self died years ago. This is what most people think, though I consider him to be living just where he always did, in 1981, on a plane of existence now unavailable to me except in terms or more or less dim memory, but living nonetheless. Yet even the possibility that he is really dead is not sad or alarming to me in the slightest. Indeed, I would rather be alarmed at the thought that my young self could somehow be dragged kicking and screaming into today, where he most decidedly does not belong. I rejoice to think that he is serenely just where he is. And so, to speed things up into the future: why should I worry about my current 57 year-old self someday being dead? When the world has moved on to 2075, for example, will he not be most peacefully abiding in 2012? Would I want him to be anywhere else? No, I would not. He has far too much to do right here. Like getting that third cup of morning tea, for example, and getting the dogs their breakfast. His later avatars may have to live in some unimaginable future, but he will not. That is something he will most thankfully be spared.

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2 comments on “To continue yes…

  1. dappled says:

    “His later avatars may have to live in some unimaginable future, but he will not.” Wonderful.
    Yes, my idea of the nature of time – it’s all simultaneous and forever – would have it so.

    • leifhendrik says:

      To me it appeared self-evident at a certain point that our personal past is not just a memory or idea but an actual physical place, far distant from the one we experience today. The world we knew on June 1, 1981, for instance, was located in an entirely different part of the universe, due to the way entire solar systems and galaxies travel through space, and because of the constant physical expansion of the cosmos. It also seems evident to me that we ourselves exist simultaneously in the present and in every separate moment of our personal past. Our physical self and our consciousness are not merely what we know today, in other words, but the sum total of every single second we have ever existed–all of them existing at once. The past only seems past and static but is actually quite dynamic and alive. It is we ourselves who are so limited!

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