Introduction to the Prologue
“Nessa said that if I did not start writing my memoirs I should soon be too old.”
—Virginia Woolf, “A Sketch of the Past”
“When I was thirty-two years old I undertook—as earnestly as I knew how—not to remake my life, but to try to reorganize it to make it more effective…. I had become very very good at finding out what other people said, but the fact is their different theories were often in conflict. By following them—not using my own head—I had run into many troubles. It seemed very clear to me that in my own pains there had been some wrong fork—by virtue that it led to the pain—and that if I traced it all the way back in my life, I might be able to do things that would help others to avoid such pain. Because I’m convinced that we’re not here really for ourselves [sic]. We’re very here for other people…. During that time I was doing this fantastic thinking and… I came to some very fundamental conclusions. I was convinced from my first child that children have very much greater capability than they are credited with.”
—R. Buckminster Fuller, architect New York City October 28, 1969
Disclaimer: The beliefs of my past self in no way reflects the beliefs of my present self.
REMEMBER that every adult was once a child and most children will become adults. It is so much easier to understand teenagers and adults if people could put themselves in each other’s place. I think that if you know what a man was like in elementary school or high school, it tells a lot about them now. What accounts for the large disparity between children and adults is that by the age of merely twenty many people will have forgotten the majority of their childhood and will retain it by memories usually characterized by the senses, rather than by the thoughts. I tried to preserve, not really childhood memories, but childhood thoughts that would help me analyze daily things I found in my life today and see how my memories made a connection to it. You as a child are just a blurred picture of yourself. You clean up, dust off, polish, preserve, and make the colors brighter and more lasting while you learn about yourself. You let the picture fade, yellow, get weaker, and
crumple up easily when you ignore yourself. Much of the way I am now is based on what I remember when I was young. This book is perhaps not what actually happened in my childhood, but what my present self has convinced my future self has happened to my past self. For the one who controls the future controls the past. Sometimes I remember experiences but since I remember such small things I assume that I forgot a lot, but then I realize that childhood was really kind of simple, and I remember it all, that that was all there was to it. I have a plethora of home videos and pictures. That helps greatly in jogging my memory. This is why I am able to remember experiences than others my age better. One person’s memory acts the same as the world’s memory of remembrance. By detailing my life, I am making a statement about remembrance. It is with the care that I have taken to preserve my life that the world should take care to preserve its remembrance in its true form. Our experiences shape what we become and our feelings about the past shape what we were. I do not dwell in the past, but I will not forget it because it holds the core of my being, as the past holds the core of a nation’s being. To know a person (or place or thing…) you MUST understand their past. Everything affects everything else. Do not underestimate the power of thinking. A person can build character just by thinking on e’s past and reforming to be nothing like what they were. A person can build character and associate with the way they were and build meaning out of it and reform to be as close to what they were in the past. Mind you, a person of the past is NOT that same person as the person of the present; this is why authors are required to cite themselves even though they will not sue themselves.
- Referencing the Past (fantasyinmotion.wordpress.com)
- The story of the self (guardian.co.uk)
- The Century of Self | VERITAS (hwnsurf.me)