Boing Boing: Aymara people's "reversed" concept of time

just read a boingboing post about a people whose "concept" of time is reveresed:
Boing Boing: Aymara people's "reversed" concept of time
Funny thing is, most people don't notice but almost the same exact linguistic structures exist in hebrew. When talking about the sequence of events, the word that means earlier or before is the same word that means both face and in front. The word for later, previously, after shares meanings with the word that means back or behind. It's actually more shocking that we in english use the reverse meanings. The past is something that is laid out clearly before you. You can revisit it all through your memory. Whereas we are always blind to the future. One might say the future creeps up on us from behind-- it's forever in our blindspot. [the same language actually also exists in english-- after comes from aft which means 'back', before comes from fore which means 'front'.]

There's a lot of very deep kabballistic and hasidic torah based on these very truths. Most notably torahs tied to the idea of "the end is embedded in the beginning" and "who is wise? he who sees the newly born." The past is a mirror through which we can begin to see the future. In fact, the idea of the clear lens or muddied lens is something I've heard Rav Adin Steinsaltz tie to the idea of the Shechinah polished through kisufin (with a sameh not a shin, meaning at it's root silver, not magic) -- intense love of the divine -- into a brightly reflective mirror through which we can see what lies behind us more clearly, namely the future, through the divine spirit. (=ruah haKodesh)


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