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The material universe is forever in a state of flux. It’s a dynamic universe we live, in perpetual motion, expanding since the dawn of time after the “Big Bang.” This eternal motion is reflected in the rising and setting of the sun, the cycle of the seasons, the phases of the moon, the motion of the stars, and rotation of galaxies around our own.
The same constant motion, albeit more subtle, occurs and brings about change from moment to moment in our total being, from our gross human form down to the cellular, atomic, and sub-atomic level of our existence. In effect, we are not the same being from one moment to the next.
The magnitude of this change process is so minute that it is not at all perceptible through our normal senses. It is evident in the rise and decline of practically everything around us, especially in the cycle of our lives: we are born, we reach our prime, we decline, and we die. Nothing is immutable except change itself.
“Change is so pervasive and yet we live our lives as if it does not exist. We cannot accept it. We delude ourselves that we could hold onto things. We try so hard to postpone or slow down the aging process, wish that we could tarry much longer for the things we enjoy so much.”
A contemplation of change, witnessing and experiencing change as it occurs in our entire gross physical body, down to the most subtle layers of our physical existence is a simple but profound experience. It is so simple and profound, we take it for granted. There is no other experience so accessible and fundamental than this. In this awareness, we are experiencing the very nature and heart of the material universe.
Change is so pervasive and yet we live our lives as if it does not exist. We cannot accept it. We delude ourselves that we could hold onto things. We try so hard to postpone or slow down the aging process, wish that we could tarry much longer for the things we enjoy so much. We immortalize our struggle with mortality in countless ways. We build edifices and monuments, the futile symbols of our defiance against nothingness, against death.
To truly grasp the significance of the ephemeral nature of life will require a paradigm shift in the way we live, feel, and think. It will be a vastly different world if humanity were to come to terms with this fact of life, when we stop denying the absolute power of change and realize that it is the ultimate nature of reality.
“If we accept abiding change as a fact of life and live accordingly, it will be the ultimate gesture of humility.”
Look around and it is easy to see the sorry state of the world. There is so much suffering – hunger, poverty, oppression – all because of greed and lust for power. We accumulate wealth beyond our needs and seek power and domination like we can hold on to it forever, and perhaps shield us from the inevitability of change, of death.
If we accept abiding change as a fact of life and live accordingly, it will be the ultimate gesture of humility. It is perhaps under this state of surrender that we shall rise beyond the terror of change, of death, and find true peace and freedom.