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The Meaning of Nostalgia

A Time Machine

A Time Machine

The feeling of nostalgia is like traveling in a time machine. The activities that were once cherished are no longer done, and the world that is remembered no longer exists.

Nostalgia can be a form of self-deception, giving a rosy tint to the past, creating a paradise out of the moments of our lived lives.

Deep nostalgia fosters a sense of serene melancholy and spiritual longing.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

The Meaning of Nostalgia

The Meaning of Nostalgia

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/hide-and-seek/201411/the-meaning-nostalgia

psychologytoday.com

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Key Ideas

Nostalgia

It is the sentimentality of our past, usually for a particular time and place associated with positive emotions, etched in our memories. Historical texts state it was termed as homesickness during war times.

It is now considered a natural, common emotion, a way to escape from the current 'space-time' and mentally travel to one's past when the world around us was different. It is usually prompted by a feeling of loneliness, disconnectedness or meaninglessness, triggered by thoughts about the past, by our senses of smell and touch or through music or weather.

A Time Machine

The feeling of nostalgia is like traveling in a time machine. The activities that were once cherished are no longer done, and the world that is remembered no longer exists.

Nostalgia can be a form of self-deception, giving a rosy tint to the past, creating a paradise out of the moments of our lived lives.

Deep nostalgia fosters a sense of serene melancholy and spiritual longing.

Suffering

The deepest form of suffering is a feeling of extreme dissatisfaction about the impermanence and the insubstantiality of everything around us.

Buddhism mentions suffering as inevitable as long as there is desire, lust and a sense of coveting/craving in our lives. Once we grasp this fully, we stop craving and struggling in hope and fear.

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We were all children

Keeping this in mind is not nostalgia, but rather an embrace of all that has gone into making up a full-grown human being. 

The past is part of who we are. We are made up of imagination and memory and dearly-won virtues.

Disproportionate pursuits

Adults aren't disappointing because they have grown bigger, or got jobs, or taken on responsibilities.

  • Adults are disappointing because we have forgotten how to see the world as it actually is. We see people as statistics, education as functional, food as fuel, clothing as utilitarian, religion as morality.
  • We over-value what we can experience with the senses. We work over our books, counting everything up, claiming ownership, and fail to see that we live in a whole, wild universe.

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The Positive Lexicography Project

The Positive Lexicography Project

It aims to offer a more nuanced understanding of ourselves, by capturing many ways of expressing good feelings from across the world.
It is directed by Tim Lomas at the University of East London...

Highly specific positive feelings

... that depend on particular circumstances:

  • Desbundar (Portuguese): to shed one’s inhibitions in having fun
  • Tarab (Arabic): a musically induced state of ecstasy or enchantment
  • Shinrin-yoku (Japanese): the relaxation gained from bathing in the forest, figuratively or literally
  • Gigil (Tagalog): the irresistible urge to pinch or squeeze someone because they are loved or cherished
  • Yuan bei (Chinese): a sense of complete and perfect accomplishment
  • Iktsuarpok (Inuit): the anticipation one feels when waiting for someone, whereby one keeps going outside to check if they have arrived.

Complex and bittersweet experiences

  • Natsukashii (Japanese): a nostalgic longing for the past, with happiness for the fond memory, yet sadness that it is no longer
  • Wabi-sabi (Japanese): a “dark, desolate sublimity” centered on transience and imperfection in beauty
  • Saudade (Portuguese): a melancholic longing or nostalgia for a person, place or thing that is far away either spatially or in time – a vague, dreaming wistfulness for phenomena that may not even exist
  • Sehnsucht (German): “life-longings”, an intense desire for alternative states and realisations of life, even if they are unattainable.

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The new minimalism

In part, the new minimalism is a kind of cultural aftershock of the 2008 housing crisis and banking collapse. At the same time, minimalism has become an increasingly aspirational and deluxe way ...

Minimalism for the affluent

Many people have minimalism forced upon them by circumstance. Poverty and trauma can make frivolous possessions seem like a lifeline instead of a burden.

Although many of today's gurus insist that minimalism is useful regardless of income, they target the affluent. The focus on self-improvement is more about accumulation.

Minimalism of ideas

True minimalism is not about throwing things out, but about challenging your beliefs in an attempt to engage with ideas as they are, to not shy away from reality or its lack of answers. 

Underneath the vision of “less” is a mode of living that heightens the miracle of human presence.

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