If you want to be everywhere at once, then you can’t stand firm anywhere.
‘The engrossed are concerned with the present time alone, and it is so brief that it cannot be grasped, even this is filched away from them distracted as they are by many things. The mind that is untroubled and tranquil has the power to roam into all parts of life, but the mind of the engrossed, as though weighted by a yoke, cannot turn and look behind. And so their life vanishes into an abyss’ – Seneca.
It is important to dwell on your own past, but also on the past of the culture to which you are embedded. Even better if you are able to practice its living traditions. When you learn a traditional indigenous practice or an ancient practice of your people, it is only possible because of the many people who came before you.
To practice a living tradition is to keep it alive. To practice a living tradition is to be reminded of the historical depth of our lives.
Svend Brinkmann is a Danish Professor of Psychology in the Department of Communication and Psychology at Aalborg University, Denmark. He serves as a co-director of the Centre for Qualitative Studies. He is the author of ‘The Joy of Missing Out’ and ‘Stand Firm.’