“I fear it’s a bit too much like resting on your laurels. Too much of a sense that ‘I said some cool words’; in fact, I feel contempt for a lot of the words I’ve used in the past, and when I do quote them, it’s usually in full context because they’re part of a system of development – not soundbites.”
I generally feel that way, actually, when it comes to my own words. Maybe not contempt… but I definately see a lot of the words I’ve put together in the past as being outdated, whether drastically or subtely. Less clear or true to what I might want to get across if I were to return to it as the individual I am now. However… Its usefulness to oneself, its usefulness in ‘fishing’ (it can be good bait, pretty, attractive)… is hard to overlook. Additionally, like Khaos said, they might still be relevant (potentially more so than they would otherwise be if taken out of context).
Personally, I have to admit my fondness for quotations; they can be a starting point to a storm of thoughts. They can be a spark that lights a flame. When centering on subjects I might be focusing on at a particular time, they can be a sharp, succint little insight, or at least a different facet. They’re like tiny little gateways sometimes. The (originally) spoken ones can also lead (in a more direct manner) to people or characters that are worth my time to look into, and (especially within the confines of Force Realist communities) it’s interesting and often worthwhile to trace the origins of a quote and get a better contextual understanding of it. In fact, the quotes I’ve posted on Maleficus Amor have often linked to the discussions they originated from, or to something that relates to it.
(Taking things out of context isn’t necessarily bad either though, where in one context it might’ve meant one thing, it can also be applied to something else completely beyond the initial scope it was intended for).
In terms of my own writings… in some ways, I don’t care for the fact that I’ve got my name attached to some of them. But an old lecture can be reworked, revised, updated, and it can offer a nice starting point in trying to better express something I tried to get across of articulate in the past.
“But ruthless self-examination and honesty is also a trait of the dark aspect. As is building and rebuilding.”
One angle to consider, in regards to building and rebuilding, is that quotations can be used in the same spirit as the pieces of paper being used in the Cut-ups Exerise.
“If your most important words are words you’ve already spoken, then you should be in mourning. Because your best days are behind you.”
I agree with that. But I also think there is a vast difference between looking at past words as being the most important and using them for a thread of quotations (or, for that matter, acknowledging their enduring relevance).
I think that for me, it’s a mix of confidence – or, as some would say, vanity – and awareness of what might be useful in the vaiours ways I’ve touched on above. The latter of which is probably my focus; I can see things from different perspectives pretty well most of the time, and I can look at my own words as if they were someone elses (especially if a lot of time has passed since I wrote or spoke them).