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Whatever stays in existence too long begins to assume attributes to which it is not entitled. For it seems completely necessary, quite unchangeable. Its power becomes absolute. Thus the past, so rich a storehouse of guidance, warning, interest, and wisdom when studied with fairness and in full freedom, becomes a tyrannical despot. If we are to find its best values and its greatest usefulness, we should take time off occasionally to forget it, to be detached from its rule, and to regard our way of life differently--thus changing our standpoint and its landscape. These periods may be short ones, but their fresh experiences will bring in some corrective balance, their new habits will improve us or widen outlook. Thoughts and things, principles and institutions will be measured, tested, weighed, and revalued.

-- Notebooks Category 13: Human Experience > Chapter 2: Living in The World > # 379

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