A “made up” past

“…we know almost nothing about our pasts. What we remember is often false. For instance, when I try to think about when I was seven years old I can just recall two or three episodes, two or three images. And I only remember them because they are always the same: I remember remembering them. A lot of people would like to have another past; some are able to make it up and believe in their own versions. The writer Bruce Chatwin, for example, according to the biography by Nicholas Shakespeare, invented such a story for himself. It appears he believed in this past, which led us as his readers to believe in it, too.

PP/AT: Do you think a made-up past can come to define somebody’s future, too? And does this idea apply to nations as well?

JA: Yes, no doubt about it: by making up a past you’re able to alter your future. That’s why the idea is so attractive. The final objective is to modify everything. Science fiction writers know that by playing with the past you are also playing with the future. There are a lot of books that explain how some so-called “traditions” were made up in a matter of days. In newer countries like Angola the temptation to create national heroes and traditions is very strong and answers a collective need. It’s been done before and it’s being done again now.”

Words Without Borders: An Interview with José Eduardo Agualusa

I have seen this happening in my own life . I try to make up a past which will make me free of guilt. Because guilt is what you feel all the while when you think of the past events .Rather than wallowing in self-misery born of a painful realization of one’s own failures I would prefer to make up my past ,which gives me a better interpretation of my visions for future Not that I try to make a romanticized past with imagined glory.It is just the thought that some of the blandest events that had happened could not have been better and that some of the painful events were not in fact all that pain-causing and could have happened any way without their origin in my own failure.

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Using visual imagination to develop memory

“Develop Perfect Memory With the Memory Palace Technique

tags: “memory palace technique”

“The Memory Palace technique is based on the fact that we’re extremely good at remembering places we know. A ‘Memory Palace’ is a metaphor for any well-known place that you’re able to easily visualize. It can be the inside of your home, or maybe the route you take every day to work. That familiar place will be your guide to store and recall any kind of information”

I have never used this technique but a similar thing I have tried to use in fixing the mind on a single continuous activity .Like for instance ,while praying .I have never properly understood how to focus my mind on God during the five or ten minutes of prayer because the mind does not remain thoughtless in the duration .In the Hindu religion idol worship is practised primarily to enable your mind to be fixed on God during prayer. But then the mind has to be fixed on a static object for a full five or ten minutes ,which is a difficult thing to do. I have therefore evolved my own method of fixing the mind on the mental activity of doing “the walk around” in the temple .Visual imagination can perhaps be used to do such a walk around .I am not sure if my thoughts do not stray during the walk around in the process of making the journey as pleasant as possible.
The obvious inconvenient question that should arise out of this is: “is this prayer?” I am not sure of the answer.