That was before my time…
Today I was listening to a conversation among two people. One person made some historical references – Abraham Lincoln, the Viet Nam war, and some references to the 1950’s. The other person said, “That was before my time”. The point of saying this to obviate any responsibility for knowing anything about the historical references.
Do we “have a time”? Do we have a “single” time? Is there an “increment of time” that we live in, and what has come before “our time” is unknown to us? It certainly is not unknowable – the internet has seen to that. “Any time” is available to us. TIME magazine has a searchable archive going back to 1923. The Internet is nearly the modern realization of the ancient Library at Alexandria. It is not that the past is “unknowable” – it’s just that some people do not want to know it. Why?
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. — George Santayana“
Without remembering the past we start over again every time. Nothing is learned and mistakes are repeated. We, perhaps, are disconnected and set adrift not knowing from whence we came or where we are going. We are “here” in the most raw and immediate sense possible. It is a “being of immediacy” from moment to moment without connectedness – nothing more.
I wonder if Jane Austen was right when she wrote,
“Life seems nothing more than a quick succession of busy nothings”