When Will We Acknowledge That We Can’t Go Back to What Was?

No matter what we might desire — we can’t go back. Ever.

Murray "MJ" Blehart
7 min readSep 29, 2022

No matter what we might desire — we can’t go back to what was.
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Lots of people like to think back to some time or another that they really loved.

It’s not important what it was, but it’s something that they recall was good. There is nostalgia and longing to return.

Lots of people get into this. But it comes with a lot of problems — not the least of which is the impossibility of going back at all.

Alan Watts said,

“I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.”

What does that mean? To me, it means that only now, the present, is real — ergo, we can’t go back to what was.

To quote Einstein,

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”

Simply put — we cannot go back to what was.

And frankly, most of how we recall what was has been altered by time, bias, prejudice, and all other experiences we’ve had between then and now.

We can never go back

Trump campaigned in 2016 on the idea of “Make America Great Again.” His supposed mission was to take the country back to a time when it was “great”.

There are a lot of problems with this idea. The main one is that “greatness”, like perfection and beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

For example — take the nostalgic, family-friendly view of the 1950s. When moms usually stayed at home and dads were the breadwinners. That’s often the era these people believe America was greatest.

Unless you were black, a woman striving to be more than a homemaker, any other person of color, homosexual, and a far broader majority than those who benefited during that time.

Also — it is not at all possible to return to that time on many, many, many levels. The economy, global…

Murray "MJ" Blehart

I explore mindfulness, positivity, philosophy, & conscious reality creation. I love to help & inspire. And I also write sci-fi/fantasy. http://www.mjblehart.com