“On the Relation of Pleasant Past Memories to the Present and Future”–The Rambling Prose of Paul Burgess [Entry 2]

“On the Relation of Pleasant Past Memories to Present and Future”
1st Version: Clinging to a ‘better’ past state fills the present with unsatisfied desire that we experience as suffering; the present becomes the time in which we mourn the passing of a better time and dream of a future in which that ‘better state’, experienced in the past, will be re-attained. [Ghosts of past joy become present misery that will lead to future misery because one will continually experience the present as the time in which better days have passed and better days are hoped for. The present is transformed into memory-induced suffering. People spend much of the present mourning that which has passed and that which might not come; anxieties ruining the “now” often relate to obsessive desire to recover past joy and fear that such recovery will not be achieved. ]* As long as we experience the present in this way, we condemn ourselves to lives made of present moments in which we mourn the past and anticipate the future.

I think I could compress everything above into the following two sentences:

2nd version: Clinging to a ‘better’ past state fills the present with unsatisfied desire that we experience as suffering; the present becomes the time in which we mourn the passing of a better time and dream of a future in which that ‘better state’, experienced in the past, will be re-attained. As long as we experience the present in this way, we condemn ourselves to lives made of present moments in which we mourn the past and anticipate the future.

I would appreciate constructive feedback regarding the comparative effectiveness of the two versions. Believing that concision is the best policy, I prefer the second version.

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