Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Mark L

If You Could Live Your Life Over...

Recommended Posts

idn_smilie.gif


MarkydeSad wrote:

....would you change anything?

 

And if so, what??


I am of three minds about this.   I believe that we are set on a path in life that we cannot veer far from, a path that teaches us exactly what we're supposed to learn - or at least is very patient in repeating those lessons until we do learn them or time is up.  I believe that free will is largely an illusion, life is more like watching a very "rich media content" presentation while imagining that we are writing the script.  Neurology experiments continue to provide evidence that this is the case.  So I don't think we can really change anything substantial.

On the other hand, if we COULD go back and make different decisions then I wish I'd have learned to be kinder and less selfish at an earlier age as I hurt a lot of people in my life, good people who did not deserve the suffering I inflicted on them.  I'd study harder in school and be a better scientist than I am because putting more bricks in the wall of human knowledge is one of the keys to relieving human and animal suffering and making it possible for everyone to have a better life.  (compassion and wisdom are the other two requirements).  Much was given to me, I should have returned more.

On the third (gripping) hand, the person who is typing this exists because of the decisions he made and the lessons he learned from making poor decisions as well as good ones.  Changing even small matters in the past would essentialy be suicide.  Would the person inhabiting this body be a better or a worse person than "me?"  I have no way of knowing. 

Terry D.

P.S.  Having said all that, I would not get on US Airways flight 225 from Phoenix to Austin, Sept 21st, 2008, again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The law of unintended consequences is not to be taken lightly.  Not being able to see all ends (or more likely, more than some infintesimal speck of the consequences of what we do) means that starting over with better intentions might make things worse.  Who knows??

 

Oh, I've made mistakes I'll always regret.  But if I hadn't made them, would I have just made worse mistakes??  The only sane thing to contemplate on a regular basis is the yet-to-do, not the sorry-I-did.

 

Asserting your will and getting what you think you want....sometimes great, sometimes a BIG mistake.    Like our sad, departed Michael Jackson.

 

nat whilk ii

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find myself wanting to go back and change some things more all the time, but I don't know if its all that healthy to worry about it too much.  Its normal to have that reaction for a time after an event we wish we could have prevented, but now I find myself doing more mulling over long past events or critical forks in the road in which a wrong turn was taken by me or someone else I care about.  It goes against my normal forward looking perspective, but I must confess it is there in the back of my mind.  It probably comes with getting older and looking back on opportunities missed. 

 

Recently it has come back because I'm in a relationship with my high school crush, and it took me until 2012 to get there.  WTF?  We grew up in the same town and kept missing each other by "This much."  We could have both avoided bad marriages and other bad relationships.  At my age I didn't expect the best thing ever to come along now.  I thought those days had passed me by.  On the other hand maybe we had to go through things or we wouldn't have been good for each other... I dunno, but had I to do it again I would have asked her to the prom instead of waiting a whole freaking lifetime! 

 

And then there's the thing that if I hadn't been married before to the person I was I wouldn't have these two wonderful sons I have... so... hell, I don't know.  Life is strange... but it'll get stranger before its over, I'm pretty sure.  Life has been very unexpected lately... spins my head around and turns my world upside down just when I thought it might get a bit quieter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


MarkydeSad wrote:

....would you change anything?

 

And if so, what??


 

I would start composing full time at 4, and not a 12 as in this life,

then I could retire 8 years earlies and would have some extra years to read some good books on the terrace, staring at the lake and stroll with young women to downtown

 

DSC01230.JPG.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

rasputin1963 wrote:



That's on the short list for play at my memorial service. (At this point, my will is pretty much just a playlist.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to be extremely dissatisfied with myself but even more disappointed with everyone else and the world in general. But at the time I thought I knew everything (that counted); I was an atheist and a determinist/fatalist. I could not imagine how free will/volition was at all possible. All life, all events seemed as predetermined as the plot of a Vonnegut novel. (An allusion I'm sure fellow Vonnegut readers will understand, since that world view seems to have informed much of his work. Kind of a depressing world view. But at least he made it funny in the particular.)

But I watched myself as that understanding of the world seemed to pull me down into depression and a sense of futility -- or at least irrelevance. About that time I stumbled onto a very un-determinist, humorous, but ultimately quite sincere book on practical philosophic ethos and everyday mystical approach called The Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment,  by Thaddeus Golas. At first, I just took it as a cartoonish giggle. But there was something subversive about the book. By more or less couching his philosophizing in his own, idiosyncratic terms and images and keeping things a bit vague, he managed to avoid some of the (to me) indigestible elements of other esoteric approaches.

But the core of his 'teaching' was basically that we living creatures, while potentially being very complex, orgaize themselves on simple principles, which, in a central metahor, he maps to 'expansion' and 'contraction' as fundamental responses to our internal or external events and circumstances.

In his view, the 'expansive' modes could be associated with much more complex/subtle processes like love, understanding, acceptance, and the 'contractive' modes to fear and anger and the associated downstream emotional complexes like envy, greed, and so on that seem to flow from that base. There are other implictions but, I recommend reading the book; it's a quick, potentially charming or at least amusing read. If others have the same reaction as I did, to be sure, it may not be something one takes to heart right away. I was amused but extremely skeptical that this hippy-dippy -- but refreshingly whimsical -- ethos could be fitted into my understanding of the world, particularly since it seemed to be asserting that, at the core of the reactive processes it described, there really was a spart of choice/will/freedom/whatever. 

Me, I've kind of 'grown past' having to see the world as determinist or not... Now, the notion seems simplistic, sort of like arguing about whether God's throne is made of gold. If you catch my drift. We find ourselves asking some of these perhaps upltimately absurd questions because we keep trying to reduce and oversimplify, boxing up our understanding in neat packages. I'm thinking the Big Questions don't fit so easily in neat little packages.  wink.gif 

 

We can't change what has happened, we can't change who are at any given moment, who we have been -- but we can change how we react to the present, and that changes who we are going into the future. 

As Lee suggests, today is the crucible of tomorrow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


MarkydeSad wrote:

....would you change anything?

 

And if so, what??


I would definitely travel more. In college, I had opportunities just about every summer to travel with a singing group but choose to spend the $$$ on recording gear instead. I think travel would have given me insight to the world at an earlier age than spending most of those summers alone in my studio trying to write/record tunes. 

As I`ve gotten older, now 40, I think I have finally reached a level of maturity in my life where I see both sides of the spectrum or maybe its just middle age. I see my kids growing up and my parents aging and theres a fine balance between taking things too seriously and not taking certain things more seriously so I would have been less serious in my youth than I was. Everything was a major deal and I stressed out about a lot of things that I had no control over. 

Aside from that, I don`t think theres much to change. I am satisfied with the way I have treated the majority of people in my life. I think the fact that I grew up around older people like grandparents and always enjoyed talking with seniors gave me a perspective towards dealing with my peers that nothing else could have given me... a certain level of patience, wisdom, and perspective was mine from youth that I think my peers often misunderstood as me being a bit "prude-ish" but has served me well. 

I do at times wonder what would have happened to my life if I decided to choose sports over music when I was 13... I had to decide at that point whether I would go to a specialized HS for music or go to a HS where I would put more emphasis on athletics. It was a major decision I made when I was 13 that I have always looked back on as a turning point in my life. Considering my family was telling me to go to the other non musical school, it was decision I made on my own at a very young age and it sort of gave me the mentality of being alone and having to do things on my own.

Again, now that I`m older, I`m starting to see that nothing really happens without the influence or assistance of many people. 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...