On the future of the past

#1 Nov 21st, 2016, 16:50
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I wonder whether what I am writing is connected with spirituality or whether they are just random thoughts! I have borrowed a phrase from Aldous Huxley, who wrote an essay on "The Charms of History and the Future of the Past". I have often wondered whether I, without knowing it, romanticize the past - events as well as the places I had been to. After returning from a journey, looking at the pics or thinking about the places I had been to I feel like going back again to those places where I had been earlier. But the fact remains, that I may not have enjoyed being there so much, though I feel nostalgic now. Is it a common mindset or is it a problem that I have, I wonder. I have heard many people say that how wonderful the school or college life had been; though I do not feel the same about that. I remember my tensions of facing the exams, which did disturb me even during my PG days, though I enjoyed reading and studying. This romanticizing, it seems, is a sort of exaggeration of facts and so as unreal as a dream. Anybody interested in sharing similar thoughts?
#2 Nov 21st, 2016, 17:40
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Nostalgia is common, almost everyone feels nostalgic at some point, some more than others...and like most of the things, I have my own theory on nostalgia too

During our daily routine, some moments give us a high, resulting in spike of dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and other hormones. This is recorded in our memory and our brain, a big player that it is, uses these memories during periods of depression, low self esteem etc, or even during boredom or plain sadness.

Interesting thing is that it is not the whole event, but a moment that makes us nostalgic. So we may have had a terrible time an hour before or an hour after that moment, our brain will totally blackout those memories during nostalgic times. So if you are planning to take the same trip that made you nostalgic, most likely it will be of no use, the nice nostalgic moment was just a creation of your brain by tinkering with the actual data.

This is our brains way of making us feel good, sometimes it will go at length to club many past unrelated moments together to make a wonderful nostalgic experience, where we will not be able to clearly pinpoint the reason of feeling happy as the time in past was never one singular event.

All hail my, errr, their own brains, it is the God.
If you find my posts confrontationist, please bear, I am an old frustrated guy who has nothing better to do than sit on rocking chair and curse the world whole day
#3 Nov 21st, 2016, 21:01
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Yes, what you say is true and when I think more about this,I know that if I go there again expecting to feel better, it may belie my expectation. I have read about such feelings in some books on psychology and what the authors were telling is the fact that when we miss somebody we may feel that it would have been splendid to have that person with us, but when that person is back we may not feel so elated.In one of the books a person tells about his childhood memories of his native place, where he is not living now and expecting to revive his wonderful experience he goes back and he is disappointed to see that the place does not revive any such feeling. As you correctly point out it may be "spike of dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and other hormones and the nice nostalgic moment was just a creation of your brain by tinkering with the actual data." Thank you very much for the detailed analysis and also for reminding me what there had already been in my mind. As I already wrote" the fact remains, that I may not have enjoyed being there so much, though I feel nostalgic now"
#4 Nov 21st, 2016, 23:16
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Gosh, when we are feeling low our brain gives us a little present to cheer us up!

The world is infinitely wonderful. So wonderful, it doesn't actually need romanticising
~
Life gets aadhar every day.
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#5 Nov 21st, 2016, 23:27
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#5
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Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post Gosh, when we are feeling low our brain gives us a little present to cheer us up!The world is infinitely wonderful. So wonderful, it doesn't actually need romanticising
Or is it that we just cannot romanticise as reality sometimes is more romantic, or reality can be sometimes stranger than fiction !
#6 Nov 23rd, 2016, 16:57
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Another wonderful thing about our brain is that as a man never feels the intensity of a sad incident after a few days or does he recalls the ecstasy that he might have experienced even in recent past. It is almost the opposite action of nostalgia. I have tried many times to evoke the same feeling I had on a very joyful occasion and have always failed. So the recording gets a little hazy and the dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin effects of the joyful moment is lowered and in the case of the sad event ,endorphins masks the pain we had felt.
Nostalgia seems to be the evoking of an unreal image making us think that something was happier than it really was when it happened. Sort of hide and seek mechanism of the brain. In one case I am not able to evoke the joy and in the other, I believe that it was more joyful than it really had been.
As Jitu Yadave put it ' All hail my, errr, their own brains, it is the God."
#7 Dec 5th, 2016, 11:15
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#7

Thinking about death and dying

I have often wondered about our brain's capacity to make us forget the thoughts about death. As somebody said death is the ultimate reality in life; but we often are not bothered about death when we are not ill. When we fall ill and if it is a little serious we start worrying about death.As Shakespeare says

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death.

And Macbeth continues...

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

All of us know that this is so and yet our brain masks these thoughts and make us run and run and run or how do we live!
Last edited by narayanvee; Dec 5th, 2016 at 21:46..
#8 Dec 5th, 2016, 12:43
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#8
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Originally Posted by narayanvee View Post All of us know that this is so and yet our brain masks these thoughts and make us run and run and run or how or we live!
That is because universe wants us to spread our species, once we are done with that, the nature slowly starts giving us hint that you are no more required.

So when the hairline starts to recede, keep the grave ready
#9 Dec 5th, 2016, 21:44
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#9
Yes, I shall quote a passage from Scott Peck, the famous author of the popular book, "The Road Less Travelled". He says, "Organisms at the bottom of the evolutionary scale do not reproduce sexually.They simply clone.They bud,and their genetic material goes on and on. They literally never die, unless somebody squish them.They experience no such thing as aging or natural death. Only when you get high enough in the evolutionary scale do you find sexual reproduction, and the moment you do ,you find the phenomenon of aging and natural death. There's a price to everything." So death is the price we pay for sex/ sexual reproduction.
#10 Jan 20th, 2017, 13:35
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#10

Future of the Past....

I have been also thinking of the future of the love of the past and found some interesting materials. Dopamine is the brain’s pleasure chemical. It plays a role in gambling, drug use, and, well, love. When we fall in love, dopamine is released, making couples feel elated and energetic about each other."That someone takes on special meaning to you and you focus on this individual because the dopamine system has been activated," says a biological anthropologist. “It is what triggers very goal oriented behavior, where no one else matters but your new partner.”Dopamine can be present in both early-stage and long-term romantic love, she says.
Oxytocin is a chemical that calms and bonds couples together by promoting intimacy."It is what hugging, kissing and touching are made of," says , a visiting research associate at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ.
Oxytocin levels also rise in new moms, promoting milk production and bonding with babies.
So, if you feel the urge for a stay-at-home movie night to cuddle with your beau, it may be oxytocin at work.
So the dopamine, oxytocin effect wears off after some time. As there is the possibility of drug resistance, here what happens -may be-, the dopamine level goes down as time goes on and is not enough to make the same level of feelings which might have been there earlier. As we say familiarity begets contempt- I exclude 'children' added by Mark Twain- familiarity reduces the level of dopamine which had been there at the beginning and one loses the thrill that was there at the beginning.
#11 Apr 27th, 2017, 09:01
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#11

The plight of school boys today-lost childhood

Yesterday, a friend of mine when we met, started talking about his life as a school boy. He told me that at that time i.e. more than 60 years ago we -though we were not from the same place-did not have the facilities of students of today at any of the schools or at homes. We did not have so much information as the students of today. Today with the visual media and computers and internet even a 2nd standard student knows more than what we knew may be, as 8th standard students. But today's students are not able to understand the value of social relationship as their world has narrowed down to a very small circle and their social contacts are minimum. The biggest problem we notice is that their childhood is lost to a very great extend and the enjoyments which we could see around and enjoy are lost and the happiness we had, is not seen in the present children. At schools their work load is too heavy, many times more than we had and the free time we had is lost to them. From the 1st standard this overload begins. Even during vacations there is no respite. I do not think any body in our student days worried about classes and school.It was a time for enjoyment, visiting all our relatives living in different places and sharing a lot of time together. Is it necessary to cram the brains of these children with so much and make them almost tense as students and spoil the enjoyments of childhood? I wonder whether today's system do create better and happier human beings or is it the opposite.

I am not being nostalgic but watching the plight of children today being just disappointed.
Last edited by narayanvee; Apr 28th, 2017 at 08:09..
#12 Jul 12th, 2017, 00:20
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Two of my senior friends and myself had been to the house of two elder persons who had been very active till recently, but who are not able to go out without help now. One is a retired teacher and the second a very senior professor who had worked in more than 3 medical colleges as principal and head of the department. The retired teacher fortunately is not living alone as as he has his daughter and son in law living with him and he lives happily though a little worried about his inability to move around. But the Professor- Doctor- lives alone as his children are working in Bombay and USA. He told us that though he does not have any serious health problems he lies down most of the time as he does not like to sit or read anything much.Had been a voracious reader and a writer.He has written many books including some authoritative ones on medical subjects. He had been a very active person till 3 or 4 years ago and his present situation really disturbed me. He has 3 paid helpers at home there including a driver.Is it loneliness that made him lead a life like this, I wonder. I just have been wondering about life which just fizzle out slowly in old age and if one is compelled to live like this what is the advantage of leading an active academic life in younger days.Is it not better to have a rather inactive life so that one does not have to look back and feel sorry about the past when one is old and inactive!
#13 Jun 13th, 2018, 09:08
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#13

Future of the Past

I wonder whether it is natural for a person to lose interest in almost all physical activities after 70 or is it just a personal problem of mine. I enjoyed traveling very much earlier, not just long distance, but even going to nearby places for various purposes- for purchases, meeting friends or attending meetings of some of the organizations in which I had been active; but now I do not enjoy traveling by public transport as I cannot stand in a bus or train as easily as I could earlier. Driving also ( had a to wheeler, which I sold recently) is a mental and physical strain which I want to avoid. So I am becoming more inactive physically and I just wonder whether it is a general problem.But now I like to sit at home doing nothing or just reading writing (typing) something like these, listening to music, watching TV( real waste of time mostly) or talking over phone with who ever call me or whom I call. I feel that the reason for this inactivity is a physical as well as mental.
#14 Jun 13th, 2018, 15:19
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#14

On the future of the past

It's an age thing. Happened to me at about 22!

But seriously, yes, I think what you describe happens to some of us. There is a lot of discomfort that people even travel to India to experience, which I would try to avoid!

But you are not very old, physically fit, and mentally very active and healthy...
#15 Jun 13th, 2018, 18:13
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#15
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Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post It's an age thing. Happened to me at about 22!

But seriously, yes, I think what you describe happens to some of us. There is a lot of discomfort that people even travel to India to experience, which I would try to avoid! But you are not very old, physically fit, and mentally very active and healthy...
Mentally OK; but physically not very efficient or active.besides I am a very lazy person.

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