TED Conversations

Joeban Machiel Bergs

Owner, BuitengewoonZIJN

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

So, suppose you had no past. What's it like? What choices do you have? Where are your reference points? What are you like, having no past?

Here we're not talking about having a past but not remembering it or not being able to recall it. Neither are we talking about having a past but putting it aside or ignoring it. All people have a past. You have a past.

When you live in your past (or when you live from your past) you perpetuate the life you've already always lived. Nothing new shows up. If you tell the truth about it, that's not deeply satisfying and you're not nurtured by it. You're stuck and powerless, like a rat in a race.

But suppose, just suppose you ... had ... no ... past ... How would you be?

...Would you take company as it comes, and equally enjoy yourself by yourself? How would you express yourself? Fully, without holding back or avoiding being embarrassed? Would you let love nurture you rather than require it prove itself to you?...

For the sake of argument, create the experience of having no past. Stand in the experience of having no past. What's like? Having no past, What choices do you have? Where are your reference points? What are you like, having no past?

+1
Share:
progress indicator
  • thumb
    Dec 17 2011: To have no past is to have no memory, which is to have no knowledge. Nada, zip, zero cognitive skills. Vegetable.
    Or, are you proposing having a fully functioning memory with nothing in it?
    • thumb
      Dec 19 2011: Thank you Edward,

      And what if we 'choose' to have no past. How would it be? How would it be for you? What kind of possibilities do you have/see?

      Thanks, Joeban.
  • thumb
    Dec 18 2011: First and foremost it would be lonely. No relationships from which to orient oneself. One is whom one is to others.
    • Comment deleted

      • thumb
        Dec 19 2011: I guess that is what I am saying. Can you explain how it is otherwise?
    • Comment deleted

      • thumb
        Dec 19 2011: Denis, I look forward to your reply. In the meantime, might I suggest that the value of 'depth experiences' lie in the better ability to relate to others on a 'deeper' level. Without sharing from these experiences what do they mean?
    • thumb
      Dec 19 2011: Thank you Lynn and Denis,

      And what if we 'choose' to have no past. How would it be? How would it be for you? What kind of possibilities do you have/see?

      Thanks, Joeban.
      • Comment deleted

        • thumb
          Dec 20 2011: "I really doubt if I am cut out for this form of communication." (from a reply above above above above) Completely disagree! This forum, the pubic, needs thoughtful, erudite people such as yourself.

          "It often strikes me that everything is in communication with everything else ... on every level of reality ... for its own sake" Hmmm . . . wonder if this is what is called entanglement? In that case, we are still as we are to others, or is the qualifier 'for its own sake' making it more important . . . solitary . . . everlasting?

          "I do not know which of us has written this page" (from the Jorge Luis Borges excerpt). Recently, in my own writing, I expressed a similar sentiment and I beleive that other one was the "Who are we then ?!!!!!!!!", to which you referred earlier. Tell me, the 'other than Borges', is it dreams, ambition, the soul, a universal consciousness, a flight of fancy, the "Who are we then ?!!!!!!!!" ? Thank you for sharing that piece!

          What is this no future as of New Years Eve? How are you going to do that? What are the steps you will be taking? If you don't mind sharing with the world : )

          Hoping I have made a semblance of sense . . .
        • thumb
          Dec 20 2011: Yo Denis,
          Your comment about planning to have no future as of New Yera's Eve can easily be interpreted as alarming. Please correct that issue by posting a clarification right away!
      • Comment deleted

        • thumb
          Dec 20 2011: Ok, here we go Denis,

          We are meaning-seeking creatures and, unlike other animals, fall very easily into despair if we cannot find significance and value in our lives.

          When a event is happening in life, most of the time we are judging, evaluate, find it good or bad, agree on it or not, and sometimes we want to chance the event. So where is all the judging and need for chance coming from? Let say it’s coming from your past experience, the past. So what is your past doing in the moment of the event now?

          In my experience it is in the way, it is a barrier to a clear view to the future.

          If we truly want to change things (if we want a breakthrough), we need to be able to let go of the things/feelings/emotions/believes that don't 'serve' us anymore. To be able to move on. Let say that those things are a result of your past experience, than your past is in the way to your future. If you would take the past out of your view to the future and put it back where it belongs, the past, now you have a clear view to the future. Where anything is possible, because there are no barriers!

          I hope you can wrap your mind around this way of being! ;-)
      • Comment deleted

        • thumb
          Dec 20 2011: Thanks for pointing out McLuhan and your reply.

          So Denis, how would you be if you had no past? Just take a moment at your view.....

          Enjoy the view and feel free to share! ;-))))))))))))))
  • thumb
    Dec 18 2011: In this three-dimensional universe, we perceive something we call the 'arrow of time'. Now this 'arrow of time' describes how any closed system's entropy - or the process of a system becoming ordered from a previously disordered state - will eventually increase over time. This describes one of the most fundamental laws of our world. If you hold a ball in the air and leave it, it will drop to the ground. You may say that that is due to the gravitational force exerted by the Earth on the ball, but there is an underlying concept to it as well. Any potential difference in energy, or in other words and difference in potentials between two systems or more, it will always seek to bring itself to equilibrium with the surrounding larger system . This can be seen in the 'ball in the air' example I gave you. The ball you've held up is against the gravitational force. The person holding the ball is known as the constraint, something that prevents equilibrium from taking place. Now once the constraint is removed or the man drops the ball, the potential difference exists between the gravitational force and the ball's potential energy due to its height. It equalizes itself by falling to the ground. In this sense, if someone had no past, it means - in our world - they do not experience entropy, therefore they would have to be void of thermodynamic properties resembling our worlds and therefore will not exist in any point of time! Think about it....
    • thumb
      Dec 19 2011: Thank you Ram,

      And what if we 'choose' to have no past. How would it be? How would it be for you? What kind of possibilities do you have/see?

      Thanks, Joeban.
  • thumb
    Dec 16 2011: i would be...nothing,my past is what made me who i am today.Although i do regret some of my decisions and actions,although sometimes i wish i could forget all of my memories and start over as a new person...i realise they are the experiences that shaped my thoughts and my perspective of life,they are the puzzle pieces that lead to my whole image,without them i would be incomplete.
    • thumb
      Dec 18 2011: Dear Beste,

      Thank you for sharing. So given the fact that you would be incomplete without your past, let say you are already complete and having no past. How would you be?

      Thanks, Joeban.