the past lost:
if time is but an illusion in the sense that the bulk of reality is little changing, what does that mean for the conscious mind? is it an impulsive, forgetful, easily led creature, darting from one point to another, every part a transient experience? life's journey's effect on an impressionable consciousness certainly gives us the sense that time is real and of the loss of the past.
for the mind, in both its conscious and unconscious whole, is a quick vehicle. while the earth may not be changing, our minds are. it accelerates upon what it imagines to be a good idea, it has a value system that drives our decisions. unfortunately, we are not always right. too little thinking results in bad consequences. it is not enough to leap on what seems fine, we must consider the possibilities. in our haste, and in our enthusiasm, we often neglect to do so. look before you leap. what if that happened? what if something didn't happen? what if some person did that? it all reflects something common in our personality, the rush towards something that seems so good.
and so often the past seems strange to us. "what were you like?" it speaks of the ignorance of our younger selves and also of the volatile nature of the atmosphere or the mood or the zeitgeist over time, as though the universe distorts itself for a period and then rights itself, leaving only our memory as proof of the past.
for many things will not happen again. that is the effect of regret and other emotions, jadedness, dread and horror over mistakes. "what was that all about anyway?" of course many good things happened in the past, but it is difficult to reclaim that past. it is somewhat disquieting that something in the mood that seemed so vital, so real, perhaps for a number of years, came to an end and may never recur. you could weakly define a person as what they think about and what they do, what they obsessed about at the time. to think that such a period comes to an end involves a little death of the personality to some degree, does it not? perhaps this is overstating the case.
we invoke the concept of life balance as desired, indeed, to counter the tendency in us all to "go overboard" about things. "he's obsessed" or "she's obsessed" is not praise. we have it in us all to be excitable and cling to things or activities we think of as good or "really cool". a long time ago humans plucked the fruit off a tree and ate them. now we are "addicted" to food. not all addictions are bad! the danger lies in the promotion of something in our minds without considering the question of how long it will last. whether it is ultimately good or bad is unknown at the time.
if life is but a journey, we might have only the memories to keep. some people may prefer to remember the best things but the worst things are often well remembered too. it is hoped, the good things will last, as forever is eternal, and all to find peace with the past.