B1 Intermediate UK 13099 Folder Collection
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Throughout our lives, we spend a lot of time and even more money engineering pleasant experiences.
We book airline tickets, visit beaches, admire glaciers, say hello to penguins, watch elephants drinking, and so on.
In all this, the emphasis is almost always on the experience itself,
which lasts a certain amount of time and then is over.
The idea of making a big deal of revisiting an experience in memory sounds a little strange or simply sad.
We are not assiduous or devoted cultivators of our past experiences.
We shove all the nice things that have happened to us at the back of the cupboard of our minds, and don't particularly expect to see them ever again.
They happen, and then we're done with them.
They do sometimes come back to us, unbidden.
We may be on a boring train ride to work but suddenly, an image of a beach at dusk comes to life.
Or, while we're having a bath we remember climbing a flower-covered mountain with a friend a decade before.
But little attention tends to get paid to such moments.
We don't engineer regular encounters with them.
We may feel we have to dismiss them as daydreaming or thinking about nothing.
But what if we were to alter the hierarchy of prestige a little,
and argue that regular immersion in our memories is a critical part of what can sustain and console us.
And not least, is perhaps the cheapest and most flexible form of entertainment.
We should learn, regularly, to travel around our minds and think it almost as prestigious to sit at home
and reflect on a trip we once took to an island as to trek to this island encased in our cumbersome bodies.
In our neglect of our memories, we are spoiled children who squeeze only a portion of the pleasure from our experiences, and then toss them aside to seek new thrills.
Part of why we feel the need for so many new experiences may simply be that we're so bad at absorbing the ones we've had.
To help us focus more on our memories, we need nothing technical.
We certainly don't need a camera.
There is a camera in our minds already that is always on.
It takes everything we've ever seen.
Huge chunks of experience are still there in our heads, intact and vivid, just waiting for us to ask ourselves leading questions like, 'Where did we go after we landed?' or, 'What was the first breakfast like?'
When we can't sleep, when there is no wifi, we should always think of going on memory journeys.
Our experiences have not disappeared just because they're no longer unfolding right in front of our eyes.
We can remain in touch with so much of what made them pleasurable, simply through the art of evocation.
We talk endlessly of virtual reality, yet we don't need gadgets.
We have the finest virtual reality machines already in our own heads.
We can, right now, shut our eyes and travel into and linger amongst the very best and most consoling and life-enhancing bits of our past.
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How to Travel in your Mind

13099 Folder Collection
TingYu Yan published on January 25, 2017
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