Past, Perception, Rewriting

“You are led through your lifetime by the inner learning creature, the playful spiritual being that is your real self. Don’t turn away from possible futures before you’re certain you don’t have anything to learn from them. You’re always free to change your mind and choose a different future, or a different past.’ -Illusions by Richard Bach

I remember reading the above line, years ago, when I was sixteen and pondering about it. I totally got how you could rewrite your future but I didn’t get what he meant about the past. Over the years, I came up with many interpretations for the author’s meaning. Since I haven’t met and asked him, I am still not sure what he meant by that line, but I know what it means to me.

All we have tying us to our past are our memories of it. And memory is selective. My interpretation of rewriting the past is remembering events differently. Since most of it is our mental game, we could choose to play it differently and, boom, the past is not longer what it was.

Tonight I thought of another way we tend to rewrite the past. This case is slightly different in that, the past was actually different. I was looking at some old pictures. Months after the time the picture was taken, certain events followed. These events showed that at the time the picture was taken, there was some missing information, so now when I look back at the pictures, knowing what I know now, it changes everything. In this case, I am not rewriting the past, but I am realizing how it wasn’t what I thought it was.

It’s all about perception. At times, it’s hard to differentiate between reality and perception and we conjoin them more often than we should.

Perception is why watching the same movie several times gives us different kinds of food for thought. Why the same book changes meaning with each read. Why it’s important to go back and re-explore the past, the movies, the books after each life change. Each new path. Every few years.

Not only can the past be rewritten. It is rewritten often and inevitably.

1 comment to Past, Perception, Rewriting

  • Annie

    There was a festival of sorts at our college this week organised by Input. Several documentraries and short features were screened. Among them was one called ‘Assassination Colonial Style’ about the brutal assassination of Patrice Lumumba, Former Congo PM. Lumumba was a nationalist who was murdered in 1961 and the gruesome act and the government involvement came to light only decades later when documents were declasified.

    In this case actual facts, rewrote the past. I was shocked by the cover up and the authorities who were involved in it..

    Like you said, the past changes all the time.. sometimes by facts, by knowledge you didn’t have earlier; at times by perception, by our own judgments..

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