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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.

Throughout our lives, we spend a lot of time and even more money engineering pleasant experiences.

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B1 UK virtual reality travel simply virtual experience island

How to Travel in your Mind

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    TingYu Yan posted on 2017/01/08
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