history

Altering The Past

People say you can’t change the past, but that’s not really true. All that survives of it is our rememberance, and memory… is just as malleable and imaginary as foresight. In fact, we alter it all the time. Drug addicts in “recovery” re-cast their indulgences as a sickness, as something completely different than what it was when they were high. Their present attitude changes, and that carries over, trasnmuting their weaknessor recreation into something very different than it had always been before, when their attitude was more receptive to the idea of drug use.

Folks change what their childhood was like, all the time: the serial killer who believes, in retrospect, that mommy and daddy kicking the shit out of him was the root of his later habits; the successful corporate douche who rose out of “poverty”. None of these examples apply in a general sense, nor do they mean that there wasn’t a solid, objective reality of what has occured… but all we have is what’s with us of it, in the present moment. Memories that we almost invariably alter in one way or another, in relation to the present, and to the potentials of the future we see in those present moments.

What I’m talking about is reminiscent of a fictional force technique.

When you drop a pebble into a river, what happens? There’s a splash, and then the splash disappears. The splash is real, but the river doesn’t change. It continues on just the same.
~Darth Caedus

Above is a metaphor used to describe the nature of that technique, by one of the most notable characters to use it. He further explained it to his apprentice at one point… and told her that the change was real, but that there was no danger of altering the objective past. Desperate to believe the changes she had made were real, Tahiri pointed out that while the objective reality of the past was unaffected, that pebble is still there. His response was that yes, it was still there, but only in her mind. My point, in recounting all of this, is that you can change the present and future by altering (a persons perceptions of) the past.

He used the flow walking technique to manipulate a woman into learning from him, supporting his efforts and values, and working with him against people they had both considered family, friends, and allies for the better part of their short lives. Not unlike any real, non-fictional person that changes his perception of the past to motivate him or herself, or to gain a sense of empowerment… or even of accomplishment. The only part of the past that needs to change in order to influence the present, is the perception of it. When that is transmuted, the reality of history (personal or collective) is virtually irrelevant.

In effect, for all intents and purposes, it’s changed all the time.

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The Tales Of Idiots

I wonder, sometimes, about the things that entertain us, as a society. I wonder if it’s entropy, a sign of deteroration, sickness; I wonder if it’s just the same as ever, signifying nothing, not admirable or alarming; and I wonder if it’s an indicator of change, evolution… progression of some sort, towards something.

Look at what captivates audiences, nationwide and worldwide. Does it make sense, or not? Is there a reason for what people seek so that they might be entertained, or just a matter of swirls, ripples, and eddies that hold no more reason than the waves or currents of the ocean? People watch other people doing regular, every day things, and they’re entertained. Storytellers give them tales of greatness, fellowship, triumph, arrogance, danger, and, finally, they give tales that are real, and imitate the lives that any average person could live. On that last bit, let me put it this way: even I, unfortunately, know who Snookie is. And it spreads, enraptures, fades away… 

It could be said that the abundance of reality shows, of television itself, is a medium that allows for stories with a shelf life. Will Jersey Shore or American Pickers gain the longevity and endurance of such stories as Macbeth or The Odyssey? Are we better or worse than we have been? Are we moving toward anything; just drifting along; or are we sinking, weakening, falling into oblivion. I ask myself these questions from one side of the spectrum to the other, and many in between. And I don’t know what to make of it.

If you gaze far enough into the future though, even humanity has an end in sight. They’re all tales told by idiots, and we’re no better. So I suppose it’s best to keep ones eye on the proverbial ball and look ahead only as far as one must.

(I have no idea when I wrote this, the earliest date I can find attached to it is July 15th, 2012… might be an even older fragment of writing that that. I don’t care enough to dig through handwritten notes to see if I dated it originally though. *shrugs*)

A Fragment: Histories of the FA

Sometimes it’s good to read through older writings. That is, after all, what the Dark Wiki is for, provided for the explicit purpose of study and reflection. And though it may not be meant to demonstrate any current schools of thought, there are pieces that speak to our time all to well sometimes.

“Post ideas and lectures from knights and padawans, apprentices and masters… For if these ideas and opinions merely float around in ones head, or even if they are put forth within the chat room at a certain point in time they will only do good for a select few and not for the many. Yet, in doing as such; do not sacrifice quality for quantity.
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Post; put forth your ideas and your progress. Not because it is right, not because it is wrong; but because it is a voice that needs to be heard. Be it a whisper from the shadows or a mighty roar from the screaming cliffs. Stop, speak quietly, ponder, question and, above all else, live.”
~ Arithion (Selected Excerpts from Histories of the FA)

It’s not about politics, or chit-chat, or networking. All of that, and more, enters into the equation, but peripherally, only in relation to the more important things. It’s about engaging in something, in whatever way, and tinkering with ideas, testing them out, experimenting. Stray thoughts, systems of philosophy or metaphysics, concepts, half-fleshed out ideas, fully developed ones, interesting theories, recounting experiences, toying with those experiences mentally, to think up new things and experiment in present and future experiences to see what else might be discovered… I could go on, but you probably get the idea.