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Passions in Poetry

Looking Back

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rwood
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0 posted 07-09-2007 02:22 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

Some people say “never look back.”

Some say they never want to forget where they came from.

Some keep track of the milestones in order to feel they are moving forward.

Philosophically, what or which principle, if any, do you find yourself applying most when it comes to hindsight?
All of this came to me, today, after I broke my computer jump-drive. 5 years worth of work, *Poof.* Gone. I’m not exactly sure how I feel about it. I’m partly alright with it, because the company said they “might” be able to retrieve the info. But there’s a part of me that says, “It’s a sign. Move on, do new things, forget about it.” But maybe that’s because I feel it’s over: Broken beyond repair. When I look at it, the Scots-Irish in me wants to go play golf, with a mallet, but then I might end up having to pay for a green. They are disgustingly expensive, so that’s not practical, and I suppose that’s my point. How impractical of me to not back-up my back-up drive?


anyhow,

quote:
“May you have the hindsight to know where you've been, The foresight to know where you are going, And the insight to know when you have gone too far”

Anonymous-Irish blessing.



I didn’t go far enough. I think I was too near-sighted, and I’ve put the jump-drive out of my sight for now.

oceanvu2
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1 posted 07-09-2007 02:54 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Hindsight is equivalent to 20/400 vision. Even with glasses, one can barely make things out. -- anonymous Chinese proverb which I just made up.


Related question:  Why does the past seem to persist when it has no "thereness" to it?

Being a pre-computeroid, I used to put everything down on paper, then lose it.  Condolences.

Jim
Stephanos
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2 posted 07-09-2007 03:10 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
Related question:  Why does the past seem to persist when it has no "thereness" to it?


To me it lends credence to the idea of Eternity.  Our past does have a kind of "thereness", though it is "passed".  Just because we are in linear time, doesn't mean that there's not a reality that is transcendent of it;  someone who sees and intimately knows the whole line or plane.  The persistence of the past is simply a little "taste" of that reality injected into our everyday lives.  


Stephen
oceanvu2
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3 posted 07-09-2007 03:14 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Oooh-- a quasi-rational thought!  Why not archive everything on a blog spot?  Is that not part of Steve Job's notion that personal storage is obsolete?

I ain't that compu-savvy myself, but it seems reasonable.  The notion has a Colbert-like "truthiness" about it.

Best, Jim
Stephanos
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4 posted 07-09-2007 03:21 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Jim,

It's all archived already.  There are bigger books and blogs than the wirey electronic grid we've created here  


quote:
anonymous Chinese proverb which I just made up.


I'll add another proverb:

Anonymity and disclosure of authorship can't abide in the same pagoda.





Stephen  
oceanvu2
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5 posted 07-09-2007 03:30 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Stephen -- A good explanation from your POV.  I just can't make that teleological leap with you.  I'm stuck on the notion that the past and the future are illusory.

Best, Jim
Stephanos
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6 posted 07-09-2007 03:42 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Jim,

Permit me a naive question.  Why then does the future always show up in the present?  And why does the past always have bearing upon our present?


You could say it's no longer the future when it arrives, but that is playing semantics.  You recognize the reality of time just like everyone else right?

Stephen
oceanvu2
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7 posted 07-09-2007 04:01 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Stephen:

Re:  "Why then does the future always show up in the present?"


I'm not sure that it does.  I'm pretty sure that the present always shows up in the present.
  
"And why does the past always have bearing upon our present?"

I'm not sure that it does.  As a gross example, if it did, we wouldn't make the same mistakes twice.  You can construe the "we" and "mistakes" as you will.  Now, that's semantics!


"You could say it's no longer the future when it arrives, but that is playing semantics.  You recognize the reality of time just like everyone else right?"

Umm, apparently not.

On the other hand, no one has ever accused me of being anti-semantic.  

Best, Jim

[This message has been edited by oceanvu2 (07-09-2007 05:01 PM).]

Huan Yi
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8 posted 07-09-2007 04:20 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.

Apperception:

“comprehension using past experiences: the comprehension or assimilation of something such as a new idea, in terms of previous experiences or perceptions”

.
oceanvu2
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9 posted 07-09-2007 04:24 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

John:  Yup.  But the experience of appreception takes place in the present.

Best, Jim

[This message has been edited by oceanvu2 (07-09-2007 05:16 PM).]

oceanvu2
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10 posted 07-09-2007 04:44 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Three thoughts on time:

1.  "Time" is a useful, practical construct in most societies, but it isn't a "given."

2.  Most people readily experience "timelessnes,".  It occurs when one is engaged in the here and now.  Our common expression for this is "Yeesh, where did the time go?"

3.  Despite the illusory nature of time, things do seem to have a drift to them.  It's a conundrum.

If I had all the answers, I'd set up shop in a strip-mall and grow from there.

Best, Jim
Local Rebel
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11 posted 07-09-2007 06:11 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

We know that the arrow of time seems to point forward -- but, speaking of the pure physics of it -- there is no reason that it should.  In other words -- from a physics standpoint -- it's perfectly logical for time to run backwards as it is forwards -- we just know that it doesn't.  It may be entirely a construct of gravity, I don't remember everything I know about it at the moment.

But, to Reggie's question -- It seems to me to be completely disrespectful to one's self to completely abandon our past.  Not that there aren't things that should be left alone -- but, to just say "Acuna Matada" would seem to indicate that everything past was wasted.  Not a healthy attitude in the long run.
oceanvu2
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12 posted 07-09-2007 06:20 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Hi Rebel!  Can we not say, though, that everything past was past and not load it up with "wasted?"

Best, Jim
Stephanos
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13 posted 07-09-2007 06:26 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
I'm not sure that it does.  I'm pretty sure that the present always shows up in the present.


What is the future but the not-yet-occuring present?  It is semantics.  The fact that the present differs from one moment to the next demands your recognition of the past and future.  If you can answer what happened yesterday (and if you do so in your everyday type conversations) then I'm sure what you are saying has more to do with a kind of detached philosophy than everyday life.


quote:
Stephen: And why does the past always have bearing upon our present?

Jim:I'm not sure that it does.  As a gross example, if it did, we wouldn't make the same mistakes twice.


It doesn't logically follow that the past has no bearing on the future simply because someone may make the same mistake twice.  After all, they may also not, out of rememberance, make the same mistake twice.


I'll also point out that you're referring to the subjectivity of introspection, not the objectivity of the past determining the future.  The fact that you had a wedding determines your relationship with your wife today.  The fact that you were born from your parents determines who you are genetically today.  You cannot separate past from present, it flows into it, deterministically.  

quote:
Umm, apparently not.


Um, do you plan, or ever have regrets or nostalgia?  If so, then your philosophy of time at least seems to lack pragmatic confirmation.


Stephen.
Essorant
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14 posted 07-09-2007 06:26 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

If the present was a square and then became a circle, we may remember the present when it was a square in our mind and call it "past" because it is not a square anymore, but the square didn't cease to exist, it simply became a circle and continues to exist as a circle.  To say that the square is not there anymore is a mistake.  For it is right there: It is now the circle!

Everything is present and exists forevermore, just not always in the same shape.

Local Rebel
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15 posted 07-09-2007 06:28 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

How about "make new friends, but keep the old"?
oceanvu2
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16 posted 07-09-2007 08:56 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Hi all, and thanks for not throwing this line of discussion out the window, and thanks, Rebel for bring this back to Regina, my country cousin!

None of the notions I've put forward are unique to me.  They are my simplified representations of long, long lines of not necessarily western insight.  I'm not proselytizing, I'm just looking at stuff.

So, having a go at comments:

Rebel:  "How about "make new friends, but keep the old"?  

Love it!

Essorant:  Your example is way off, but your conclusion is dead on!

Stephen, my sincere and contentuous friend:

quotes/response:

"What is the future but the not-yet-occuring present?  It is semantics."

Here's another way to look at it:  What is the future but the not yet to have occurred?  If it hasn't occured yet, how does it exist except within the framework of your universal view, shared by many, not by all?  Not semantics, fundamentally different train of thought.

  "The fact that the present differs from one moment to the next demands your recognition of the past and future."

Not at all.  The present does not differ from one moment to the next.  It is always and immutably the present. (Sometimes I crack myself up at my pretentiousness.  I'm not pontificating, Stephen, just postulating!)

  "If you can answer what happened yesterday (and if you do so in your everyday type conversations) then I'm sure what you are saying has more to do with a kind of detached philosophy than everyday life."

How does this differ from the detachment of a Christian philosophy, which I truly respect?  As you don't think of this as "detachment,"  I don't think other approaches to the present are detached, either.

"It doesn't logically follow that the past has no bearing on the future simply because someone may make the same mistake twice.  After all, they may also not, out of rememberance, make the same mistake twice."

This is illogical, Setphen.  It is the same as saying "If cows flew once, they just might fly again."


"I'll also point out that you're referring to the subjectivity of introspection, not the objectivity of the past determining the future."

Nope, I'm not.  I'm questioning whether past and present even exist outside the now.
  
"The fact that you had a wedding determines your relationship with your wife today."

Nope, it doesn't, except for the fact that the legal act of marriage involves certain legal consequences.  Does it have anything to do with the nature of our relationship beyond that?  Nah.  Can law determine the nature of a relationship beyond it's social confines?  Maybe that's semantics...

"The fact that you were born from your parents determines who you are genetically today."

Dead on, though I'm not sure of what this has to do with the nature of time.

"You cannot separate past from present, it flows into it, deterministically."

Of course you can.  The mere fact that you can make a distinction between past and present is indicative of their seperability.  

"Um, do you plan, or ever have regrets or nostalgia?  If so, then your philosophy of time at least seems to lack pragmatic confirmation."

Of course I do all of the above.  The fact that almost everyone does seems to have no effect on the nature of time at all.


Love y'all.  Stay in the moment, Jim




  


Stephanos
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17 posted 07-09-2007 09:01 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Jim

"Don't stop thinking about tommorrow" -

Fleetwood Mac
Essorant
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18 posted 07-09-2007 09:22 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant


"Your example is way off..."


Why and how?  Hopefully, since you would say that, you will now try to argue and prove it to me too.    

oceanvu2
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19 posted 07-09-2007 09:35 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Hi Essorrant!  I will do that, but it will have to be tommorow, as reality has intervened and I have to fix dinner.  

Might you in turn comment and post a witticism on your own thread in Challenge?  Lately, I've had the uneasy feeling that I've been the kiss of death on these things.

Very best, Jim

Edward Grim
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20 posted 07-09-2007 10:03 PM       View Profile for Edward Grim   Email Edward Grim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Edward Grim's Home Page   View IP for Edward Grim

Looking back huh...

The only thing that comes to mind is a lady turning into a pillar of salt.

“Well all the apostles, they’re sittin’ on the swings, sayin’ I’d sell off my savior for a set of new rings.”

rwood
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21 posted 07-10-2007 09:55 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

Jim~ Man of my peoples-- Thanks for the condolences, and the coolio proverb. Two words: “thereness” and “truthiness.” One makes me think really hard, the other makes me laugh, because “I don’t trust books, they have no heart.” (Colbert) I wanted to marry him, but he’s already taken.

Also, the movie “Peaceful Warrior” comes to mind with the point you’re trying to make. The movie blew, but it dealt with an interesting concept of living in the moment, as part of (Olympic) strength training, though they threw in a supernatural mentor/spiritual guide/guru. That’s when it stopped working for me. The two concepts seemed oil and water, blended with a healthy dose of mushrooms and lots of six-pack abs.

I’d like to read something new that really works: The philosophical with the spiritual in character and in story. Sans the mushrooms, peyote, burning bushes, Tibetan quests, etc. Something a little more homegrown with regard to an awakening. Any suggestions anyone?  

and I don’t mind sports relations, because I loved “The Natural,” and “The Legend of Bagger Vance.”

all three deal with a past, present, and a futuristic goal/pursuit.

Stephen~ Another coolio proverb. Pagoda humor looks good on you. Hmm, much to think on with “Eternity, determinism (which I don’t think I follow), regrets, nostalgia= Fleetwood Mac,” (awesome). I am hopelessly nostalgic to a very flawed degree. My writing is mostly a sentimental journey, with photographs, thousands of them which may also be gone.

John~ Great word.  Doesn’t that deal mostly with “Oh, now I get it!” for an easy example? Or if you have a better one, please expand on it. Thanks.

Reb~ I do accept the things I can’t change, but abandon, probably not. I’m wishful and a worker, which makes it easy for me to get Sidetracked. For the moment I’m grateful for the distraction because I don’t know if I can do anything about what’s passed. Healthy is definitely the substance I want to stick with. Thanks for the input.

Ess~ Well I used to be a square, now I’m more of an infinite symbol of re-shaping. Growth and refinement, or at least I like to call it refinement because I’m not getting any younger and the word seems variable enough to accept some edges. I like the morphing thing, it’s Butterfly-ish and beautiful with abstract spots here and there.

Ed~ I know. And I’m already a saltoholic.

hmmm, which garners another thought: Practical and superstitious. How can a person be both in the course of events? Whether that be from a past experience, present, or future>omen.
Stephanos
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22 posted 07-10-2007 10:12 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Regina:
quote:
determinism (which I don’t think I follow)


You do follow it, literally.  

It simply means that past events determine what the present is like.


quote:
nostalgia= Fleetwood Mac


Actually it's anticipation = Fleetwood Mac, if you think about the lyrics of that song.


Stephen.

Essorant
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23 posted 07-10-2007 02:55 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Jim,

Sorry, I doubt I may respond to the challenge.  My wit is a dried up well these days.
oceanvu2
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24 posted 07-10-2007 03:19 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Hi Essorant:  Sorry for the short shrift last night.  It really was dinner "time," so to speak.

On rereading your example, I think it was the tenses that threw me.  


"If the present was a square and then became a circle,"  makes more sense to me cast as:  If the present is a square and then becomes a circle...

I think, as your final statement confirms, you are entering the arena of change vs. transformation.  It's an arena filled with lions, which only the brave or the fool-hardy enter.  You're one of the brave ones!

As to the ending notion that the more things change, the more they remain the same. I'm in complete agreement.

Best, Jim


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