Reflection Paper 1
Dec. 5, 2012
Thesis: Past is both past and not past. How we perceive and act in the future is completely up to us. If I was asked to describe studying history, all I can say is one word, Déjà vu. Déjà vu is a French word meaning “already seen”. This phenomenon strikes when an occurrence you are currently experiencing seemed to have occurred in the past. It is that moment when an event flashes back right in front you and you seem to know what was going to happen next. However, not everything that happen turns out to be “picture-perfect” the way you knew it before. The occurrence in your head is very similar to what is happening but not the exact same thing because, as science would explain it, our brain does partial perception in an event giving us a sense of familiarity. A familiarity that felt like the event repeated. As the cliché would say, “History repeats itself”. The first time I saw the film, The Emperor’s Club, I thought that this was just another movie telling its audience that history repeats itself. However, upon watching it closely the second time around, I realized that it wasn’t a history repeating kind but a déjà vu type. Déjà vu occurs when our brain does partial perception. Just like studying history, we do not study everything in the past but we study what remains from the past. Studying these remains from the past became possible because they were recorded. No one lived long enough to tell the events that happened from the past to all generations up until today. But the turnover of history became possible from one generation to another because of these recordings. These recordings are the evidences that now constitute the past. The past can be defined as what already happened. Events that already passed away. But past is both past and not past. What happens from the past is completely permanent however these events do not only stay in the past. As Heraclitus would say, “No man ever steps in the same river twice.” At...
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