It Is Easy To Fall Into The Delusion That The Few Things Thus
Distinctly Remembered And Visualized Are Precisely Those Which Were
Most Important In Our Life, And On That Account Were Saved By Memory
While All The Rest Has Been Permanently Blotted Out.
That is indeed
how our memory serves and fools us; for at some period of a man's
life - at all events of some lives - in some rare state of the mind, it
is all at once revealed to him as by a miracle that nothing is ever
It was through falling into some such state as that, during which I
had a wonderfully clear and continuous vision of the past, that I was
tempted - forced I may say - to write this account of my early years. I
will relate the occasion, as I imagine that the reader who is a
psychologist will find as much to interest him in this incident as in
anything else contained in the book.
I was feeling weak and depressed when I came down from London one
November evening to the south coast: the sea, the clear sky, the
bright colours of the afterglow kept me too long on the front in an
east wind in that low condition, with the result that I was laid up
for six weeks with a very serious illness. Yet when it was over I
looked back on those six weeks as a happy time! Never had I thought so
little of physical pain.
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