Before the insertion of this article “The Deceptive Nature of Memory” in the pages here, part of its contents have earlier been subjected to a “pre-test” in more than fifteen media in the internet. On receiving a variety of responses from these media, the writer has been encouraged to have this book immediately published.
(For the responses and URL’s from the various media quoting part of the contents of this publication, see last page).
Let’s now discuss the article.
There is no “past,” “present” or “future”! What is really happening is that we are constantly undergoing “a change of condition.” Apparently we are “being deceived” by those “impressions of the previous conditions” that have remained imprinted as our memories.
[“The Deceptive Memory”]
Surely it is everybody’s belief that the past had once existed. It naturally is everybody’s belief too that the childhood period that we had once gone through did exist. It sounds as if we are passing our time sequentially, which consequently makes it sound natural for us to refer to time that has passed as “the past” and time that will come as “the future.” As it turns out, however, there is a lot of confusion about this. Indeed, there is one big difference between past and future though: We know about the past, but we don't know about the future. It is all these uncertainties about the issue that have eventually given rise to a number of questions.
Is it true that at the present what we always “experience” is actually the past condition of our surroundings? Is it true that man constantly “finds himself to be in the present” throughout his lifetime? Is it possible that the assumption that there is a “past” and a “future” is but a mere result of the human ability to recall those memories on the previous condition imprinted in his brain? Could it be that there’s something about it that we have simply overlooked?
The writer believes that there are quite a considerable number of scientists who have a similar feeling about the issue and have accordingly been discussing it. Even Albert Einstein was once quoted as saying, “Time does not exist. The only ‘time’ that exists is an eternal moment of Now.” While the writer does agree with him in a number of aspects, in this paper, however, we shall be discussing the subject from a different angle.