If I may quote from today’s letter:
“We do not put to the test those things which cause our fear; we do not examine into them; we blench and retreat just like soldiers who are forced to abandon their camp because of a dust-cloud raised by stampeding cattle, or are thrown into a panic by the spreading of some unauthenticated rumour.”
It seems to be very hard to actually be in the present. Will you take for granted that our ruling faculty is presented with impressions from the mind as well as from the sense organs? That memory, and thought are given up to us, similarly to the sights and sounds of the world? The mind seems to constantly scan forward and back in time. Forward, looking for problems, and backward looking for past solutions.
From an evolutionary standpoint, that makes a tremendous amount of sense. Yet, we find ourselves then pinned down by it, constantly planning and plotting for the future, and meditating and masticating the joys and pains of the past. We chew them so much, they’ve taken on a bitter taste, it seems.
We lament, for actions taken poorly, and for opportunities missed. For the hurts we thoughtlessly, and sometimes intentionally, have given to others. For the hurts and scars we ourselves bear.
But other than in memory, or the sting of it, these things do not exist. We cannot catch them in our teeth. We can recall them, but then the judgment is ours once again.
Just another impression.
So, we then must ask, how do we weigh it? Do we assent to the hurt, or the joy? Are we made better, more virtuous by it? Or is it merely another rumor from the street?
Whispers of a forgotten pain. Hints of previous pleasures.