Sunday, June 1, 2008

8. Impermanence

When we talk about impermanence, fear is a common reaction - we jump to visions of death and disability, loss and tragedy.

But impermanence has no innate negative connotations - it is more like a principal of physics or engineering. Impermanence is what allows the world to function. Most of our global society is based on a fear - a fear of the world we live in brought about by its inherant perfections. So much of our social heirarchy is based on trying to bring permanence to a reality that is impermanent by nature. Consider the investment in banking and personal security for instance - so much effort, driven by fear, to attempt to create a feeling of unshakable certainty.

If only we could accept impermanence (truly), we would understand that it is the mechanic behind everything that is beautiful. Consider the simple act of applying moisturiser to your skin. The fact that we are impermanent is WHY we are able to perform these small and beautiful acts. If we were permanent, unchanging beings, why would we bother applying the cream in the first place? Without impermanence, how can we go from one state to another - happy to sad, and back again?

Impermanence is not to be loathed or feared, but to be understood fully, as a part of the beautiful imperfection of everything.

As Leonard Cohen sings: "Theres a crack, in everything. That's how, the light, gets in."


Anonymous said...

and all men shall be sailors, until the sea shall free them. x

Anonymous said...


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