The past is another country

Posted by ESC on March 13, 2003

In Reply to: Santayana reprised posted by TheFallen on March 13, 2003

: : In general, the more remote a thing seems in time, the less its reality, and w
: : ith this goes naturally the assumption of its relatively sharp separation from
: : anything concerning our personal lives.

: : can you explain it for me, thanks!

: People (mistakenly) tend to believe that events which happened a long long time ago cannot have any significant relevance to them personally, simply because they happened so long ago.

: The statement coincidentally ties into a recent thread here dealing with Santayana's assertion that "those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

There's two ways of looking at this.

Are we talking about a person's personal history?
People separate themselves from things that happened to them years ago. There is a saying, "The past is another country." Or someone might say, "That happened to me in another lifetime."

Or are we talking about the past in general? People sometimes look upon the history as a bunch of dates and faded photographs rather than events that happened to living, breathing people a lot like ourselves.