Skip to main content

Liberating Ourselves from Grips of the Past

Val offers his views on dogmatic aspects of cultural paradigm with its religious, political, and medical sterile indoctrinations and taboos.


Self-liberation is the greatest victory.

-- Laila Gifty Akita

Stuck with Our Past Reasoning

As I routinely keep my mind busy contemplating new ways of experiencing the old, I can't help wondering why people insist on staying stuck in their past -- whether personally or collectively.

It's like we even take pride in our "integrity" to remain well defined by a self-image created in the past.

"This is the kind of man I am...these have always been my principles which I will honor no matter what..." and the similar self-imprisoning crap.

To me it's like walking backwards into future with eyes fixated on past, the one with our less mature, less refined, less experienced phases of development choosing for us what to think, feel, believe, and consequently, do.

So we reason -- or is it merely being unconsciously cooked and served to us as our present truth:

"Since my childhood was one big mess, it must follow that I am a messed up person." Or, on a much larger scale: "Since the history is filled with political antagonism, greed running the world, ruthless competition and wars -- it must be a 'norm' for the mankind to follow".

Even our Constitutions are not being updated in so many details, which at times looks downright ridiculous.

Let me give you an example from the American political arena. And God Himself knows (sometimes I use this phrase while being non-religious) that I don't give a rat's ass if American people would elect one Donald Trump, Donald Duck, or Donald McDonald -- it's just that I see the following ridiculously backward, albeit "following the Constitution".

Namely, by that Constitution, Trump's accusers had a constitutional right to demand certain evidence be made public; but then, the same Constitution is giving right to him not to provide that evidence.

And no one seems to care about these crazy contradictions in their law, they just follow it, honoring the Forefathers' wisdom.

As I am having fun with this discrepancy, I am imagining a criminal court trial, in which the defense lawyer claims something that completely resembles the Trump's impeachment case.

So, the lawyer says to the judge: "Your Honor, this trial should be dismissed because the prosecutor hates my client ("witch hunt"); and besides, there is no evidence whatsoever, because we reserve our right not to release any of it."

Here we have such a typical and laughable example of following the reasoning from the past, no matter how nonsensical it may look -- but with its only obvious purpose to provide a "window of escape" for a prominent figure.

But, don't anybody jump the gun as I am taking "disrespectfully" about Donald Trump -- because Joe Biden is just as bad choice for this fine nation, merely unfit in his own ways.

On individual level, we keep doing the same, guided by some outdated rules that we live by.


I find it somewhat liberating to jump, to dive into things that are opposite of me.

-- Lupe Fiasco

Scroll to Continue

Winning in Some Small Battles, but Not Winning a War

"Mom was permissive, dad was strict -- and now I don't have a damn clue what life is all about".

"I shied away from competitive games as kid, finding all my confidence at school as a nerd -- so here I am in this cubicle doing a routine work 9 to 5, secure from any challenges."

"I am the fourth generation of Christians in our family, I am proud of it, and I don't ask any questions that could challenge my faith -- that's a big no-no."

Sounds familiar?

It should, because similar causes-and-effects in reasoning are to be observed in so many people's lives.

I must have said it dozens times, and it's also in my Profile bio -- I am an out-of-box thinker, so for many people it would be virtually impossible to imagine the inner freedom that I am enjoying, while not letting that teenager in my memory, or even a toddler, interfere with my choices of what to think, feel and believe,

But I will devote few more words to my own inner orientation in life at a later paragraph -- for now, I just want to mention how incredibly strange it looks to me that grownup people refuse to process their reality with parameters of their current age, but bring into their life that past developmental stage.

By some crazy inner computation, it's like the pain from accidentally hitting our hand with a hammer "originates" from the pain of hitting our hand with a toy -- as far as our reasoning may go.

Indeed, everything we feel somehow has to be a replica of something similar in the past.

And we seemingly even like it that way. After so many repetitions, those emotional replays started to feel "natural" to us, even to the extent of our identifying them as our "true selves."

And even when we make a weak conscious effort to go against that stream of the mentally habitual, we don't see how those little victories are far from winning our war. For, we have made a comfort zone for us out of that familiar inner material, and no temporary and clumsy attempts to rock its foundations pose a serious threat to its iron structure.

So we quit smoking, maybe even alcohol and sugar, and we exercise more -- only to realize that no damn changes on the level of our happiness has followed as a result. Which reminds me of Dr. Maxwell Maltz's book "Self-Image Psychology" back in seventies -- I think I still have it in my little bookcase -- where this plastic surgeon is saying how many of his clients, after a very successful change of face, still kept their inner miserable self-image.

Indeed, a new face, a new house, car, or job promotion -- after the initial excitement tends to quickly depreciate, as the old self creeps back in and pushes away these new impressions that dare to try making a change.

The old has to prevail.


There is something liberating in not pretending. Dare to embarrass yourself. Risk.

-- Drew Barrymore

It's All of My Own Make in My Personal Space

Well, as for me, I am defying that crappy predetermination meaning mental slavery to my past developmental stages. If I have no problem leaving my toilet training behind, then I shouldn't have any problem leaving all my emotional reactions to my emotionally challenging childhood.

I am not that kid anymore, I just carry the memories of those times, and to me it has a value of a memory about some movies that I have seen, where, just the same, I am not identifying with the main hero. I am not dissociating from my past, but not letting it give me any counsel.

Biologically, every atom of my body has changed several times ever since, and I won't even go to the changes in my reasoning, and level of maturing and advancement.

So the simple question is of a paramount significance to me:

If I am not choosing my thoughts, emotions, attitudes, and beliefs -- WHO IS?

Indeed, who is called upon to do it all for me? Do I still need a hand to feed me with a spoon, to sing lullabies for me, and to approve of my actions?

And, is this world supposed to change, just to be more to my taste?

Which brings me to that next magic couple of words:

My personal space.

Within this space that my body is occupying, everything is of my own make, and I am solely responsible for it. And that includes what power -- if any -- I am giving to my previous developmental stages.

For, if they are allowed to mess around my personal space, plus that world out there with its crazy and obvious reluctance to smarten up -- then how much is left for this me to have a say about anything at all?

Indeed, no one can walk into my personal space to push some buttons to make me think or feel differently from what is to me more life-promoting.

I'd rather not live at all than be a reactive automaton, always at a receiving end of the line, just waiting to see how life will be "happening" to me.

In this very moment, somewhere in the world some dude is jumping from a bridge, not willing to face his pains anymore, not aware that he could have stopped suffering at a drop of hat.

And somewhere else at this same moment a dude is kissing his bride with stars in his eyes -- both dudes with their right to either follow their dream, or to terminate it.

Someone said: "Dreams die first -- then we die".

So call me a dreamer.

© 2022 Val Karas

Related Articles