In my post in November about my mother’s passing Remembering My Mother, I related about how a dream at age four provided as way of thinking about those early years of my life, the ones that hardly anyone remembers anything about.
I am going to be 62 in February and so I have gone through a lot of my life, much of which seemed like endless mid-life crises and reached maturity. In terms of The 12 Stages of Life by Bruce Carnahan, I have arrived at Stage 9 called which he calls Reflection.
I was at a New Years party last night put by my DJ friend EROCx1. He’s 34 and most of his friends are in their mid-thirties. Shortly after the clock hit 12, I talked one one of those friend who I had met a another of Eric’s parties exactly a year before, “That year sure went by fast. “ He replied, “yeah they seem to go by faster and faster every year.”
This is the secret that all of those of us who have reached “maturity” share. We experience each day we live now as somehow feeling the equivalent of an hour when we were in our mid-twenties. The days fall off the calendar the way that they do in a film montage that shows the days and years passing by ever faster.
One of the reason I left my Ph.D. psychology program after being “advanced to candidacy” is that I realized how little psychology really knows. It knows bits and pieces here and there but most of the big questions in psychology go largely unknown and sadly often not even recognized. One of those questions hovers around our perceptions of time. See The Naked Scientists on this question for most of what is known.
According to Turn Back the Clock on the BBC News, William James, the “father of American psychology” was appropriately the first psychologist to speculate on this question. The fact that information and experience is more novel in our youth and gradually becomes less so as we age was his guess.
As we get older there are less “new things” to notice. Novelty gives way to routine and it all goes by so quickly. This theory is elaborated and taken to interesting new regions of exploration by Steve Taylor who teaches at the University of Manchester (see an interview with Taylor on YouTube).
Beginnings of a Book
A few weeks before my mother died, I told her I was working on a new book. Since it had been two decades since I published my first book, Ecstasy the MDMA Story, she felt that it was about time that I got to work on another one.
When my mother asked me why I did not write a new book for so long, I told her that I suffered from the Lao Tsu Syndrome.
Who is Lao Tsu?
I started writing the book originally titled Memes for the Making of a New Culture on this blog post. After beginning the book here and on another post which was Part 2 of this post, I decided that the blog structure was not the best one for writing a book, since each of the posts is dated and can so the book easily gets out of sequence.
I created a new website for the book, which has has a new title, Future Culture: Creating New Memes to Change the World. The material that was in this section is now found here on the new site.