It is important to live as if things are as permanent as stone. It is built into us genetically or in some other basic way that we rely on things not to change or to change in manageable ways, ways that flow slowly and rather predictably along. We desperately want assurance that our families will thrive among other things and big, abrupt changes are definitely not the ticket even though we all know they happen and are not predictable.
However, we have to admit impermanence into our lives. Impermanence, the fact that absolutely everything changes eventually, is the bedrock that actually does not change. It's important to live with impermanence as a frame of reference so that we can approach each moment or each day with a sense of humility about what we are able to do and what we are not able to do and relinquish control over things we cannot have control over.
In order to admit impermanence into your life you have to also admit interdependence as well. You have to invest yourself in love and concern for people, accept people's love as if that's the only thing that exists. It is only in this way that you can form the courage that can meet impermanence honestly. There are many methods you can use to achieve this spiritual stand.
Thus, the seeker's commitment to living is to live as if everything is always there forever within the acceptance that nothing is going to survive. If you can live so that you embrace this dilemma then you have a chance at living honestly on the planet.
--This is an exerpt edited, modified and expanded by me, taken from Impermanence: Embracing Change by David Hodge and Hi-Jin Kang Hodge, published by Snow Lion Publications
That is really something to ponder. Unfortunately the original quote that I had access to was somehow garbled and basically made no sense the way it was presented. I am quite sure that what I have done has done no violence to the original intent at all.
I am currently reading a book, The Black Swan, The Impact Of The Highly Improbable, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. It is a presentation of the nature of impermanence from the perspective of Western business and science with attention paid mainly to those big changes we would rather do without. A Black Swan is an event deemed highly improbable yet causes massive consequences. Using this term comes from the disturbance that happened in taxonomy when Australia was discovered because at that time Europeans were quite sure there was no such thing as a black swan. All swans were white. There are members of the swan family in Australia that are black but no one from Europe had yet been there. September 11, 2001 was a Black Swan.
I guess I think that my poem is kind of a black swan poem.
Here Be Dragons
The relief I feel,
the flung knives going this time
into the torso
of some other poor
sap of a man who dared cross
you, telling you there
are no dragons now
if ever, when right before
your bright blue vision
one plainly sits at
the end of your gold laced rope,
patient with your hold.
June 21, 2009 11:30 AM