Ever Changing. . .

Impermanence is one of the fundamental teachings of Buddhism, which can be observed in the entire nature of the universe. We can visualise four areas of impermanence; physical, emotional, mental, and social. We can see how the physical world is changing by the periodic changes of the seasons, ageing, sickness and death. In the emotional world we can see impermanence through the constant changes of feelings and emotions as one moment we might be euphoric, happy and elated next moment feeling sad and melancholy.

Mentally our ideas, thoughts and concepts change from time to time and new ideas and concepts come into being. Lastly, from the social perspective, we form new relationships, we meet new people, we separate from our dear loved ones, we change our employments and get into new jobs, eventually, we lose our loved and dear ones etc. Contemplating on impermanence brings to the surface the dreadful truth that everything we have acquired, earned and accomplished, all our precious possessions, material things even our most intimate and cherished relationships, our loved ones inevitably succumb to time and deteriorate and cease to exist.   

The renowned Greek Philosopher Heraclitus once declared, “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it is not the same river, and he is not the same man”. There is no static being no unchanging substratum. In his notes to the novel “Chance” one of the greatest Polish British novelists Joseph Conrad stated thus “The history of men on this earth may be summarised in one phrase of infinite poignancy “They were born, they suffered, they died”. Similarly, James brother of Jesus according to the New Testament ask “Why you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are but a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14).   

All component things that is all things which arise as an effect of causes, and which in turn give rise to effects, are embodied in the single word annicca.

Impermanence is also closely linked to the truth of suffering, which constitutes the first noble truth in Buddhism. The Lord Buddha taught us that the cause of human suffering and discontent is brought about by our clinging to worldly things under the mistaken belief that they will last and endure forever, which is in fact not so.  

Man has achieved great marvellous things throughout the centuries, his ingenuity and strength have enabled him to conquer space and subdue matter to his will. Yet for all his capabilities and ingenuity, he still remains fragile and vulnerable in the face of impermanence.   

Impermanence highlights the mortality and inevitable decline of mighty leaders and their false pride, how time has brought to an end the commanding powers of great leaders in the world. When we look at the ruins of great Stupas and edifices in places like Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, we can see how they have been subjected to the natural process of decay with the passage of time. 

Anyone who has lost something they thought was theirs forever finally comes to realise that nothing really belongs to them.

Peace and Love, Jim

#impermanence #thedailybuddha

Buy Me A Coffee – A Easy Way To support The Daily Buddha!

The Daily Buddha – Support The Server

The Daily Buddha  – Web

The Daily Buddha – YouTube

The Daily Buddha – Facebook

Subscribe To The Daily Buddha
Daily Delivery Straight To Your Inbox!
100% Privacy. Zero spam.