Tuesday, August 2, 2011

i-TFTD #330: Past = Passed

#330-1. Keep in mind that half of what you knew 18 months ago is worthless today, so you need to keep learning new things.
-Dr. Heinz Kabutz, creator of Java Specialists newsletter

#330-2. The past is to be dropped not because it is bad but because it is dead.
-Anthony De Mello, Jesuit priest and spiritual author (1931-1987), in "One Minute Wisdom"

#330-3. The dust of exploded beliefs may make a fine sunset.
-Geoffrey Madan, writer  (1895-1947)

The human mind works by identifying and memorizing and applying patterns so, in a way, we rely on nothing but the past. We find it easier to criticize past beliefs that are traditions imposed ! from outside but we rarely examine our own beliefs formed by a past experience.

Thinking about the past is useful only for the purpose of analyzing it to extract lessons that may guide our future behavior, otherwise it is to be avoided. Occasional reminiscing and nostalgia, if it makes us feel good, is healthy in small doses. It is important to remember that we don’t remember anything accurately however clear the image in our mind may seem. Many researchers in recent years have conducted experiments that show how what we recall is heavily influenced by many factors such as our current knowledge and the emotions attached to events. Many things about our past—especially our cultural background, educational and economic status—are nothing but a videotape we choose to play in our minds. They may be irrelevant, inaccurate and unnecessary constraints to our current capabilities.

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