On the Impermanence of All Things
Recently I’ve been thinking on what needs to be done to prepare for the future. With all of the disasters that seem to be right around the corner, preparation for these things is a daunting task. It seems like we are about to witness some great changes worldwide as the snowballing economic, socio-political and spiritual problems are about to slap us in the face in a way that is more personal than we are accustomed to.
The deeper I think about it, the more I realize what true preparation is and what it is not. For the last few years, I’d thought of preparation in the “survival” sense, sacrificing many other aspects of my life so that I’d be ready for the big event that was down the pike.
Survivalists will tell you that preparation is storing up supplies of non-perishable foods, weapons, ammunition, etc. They want to be ready to “tough it out” when all hell breaks loose, but all of the supplies and equipment in the world won’t help you if you lose it, someone steals it or it is destroyed in a catastrophe.
So there are deeper aspects of preparation that we must consider if we are to really be prepared for the eventualities that face us. These are eventualities that all of us are guaranteed to face within our lifetime, they apply to a great myriad of situations, yet few take them seriously at all.
Put simply, we have to come to terms with the fact that nothing is permanent, everything that is truly alive will change, everything that isn’t alive will fall by the wayside; it will eventually be no more. Those of us who refuse to change will be left behind, while those of us who embrace the way of the world will be able to continue on this great ride of existence.
So-often it seems as if excessive amounts of time and energy are spent thinking about the future or the past; all of this is at the expense of the present moment. If we are not awake and responsive to the present moment, then are we really alive.
The things that you work so hard for are simply attachments that you are forever slaving away to maintain. They drag you out of the present, and all for the obedience to the misguided idea that sacrificing the richness of our reality now will somehow lead to a better reality at some point in the future.
If you live this way then you will most certainly not find fulfillment in the future, gradually you will condition yourself to dwell anywhere but the present. By the time you reach old age you will be so out of touch that you will not even be able to truly relate to the younger generation, as you will have become so senile and despondent that few will be able to truly break through your shell.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to walk the path that my parents and grandparents walked. I want to carve a new path and help to usher in the destruction of the old ways and the implementation of new ones.
If we want to do this then we need to keep one thing in mind at all times, if we learn to center ourselves then we will be prepared for any eventuality. It doesn’t matter if the economy collapses, martial law is declared and great famine strikes; if we are mentally prepared to lose our attachments then it will not be a great catastrophe for us, if we require certain attachments then we are likely to panic and subsequently perish in the chaos.
We should not require anything to be a complete, centered and unique individual. Everything that is required to enrich ourselves in the fullness of existence is within us and cannot be obtained by material means.
This being such, we have to practice non-attachment and steer our lives away from dwelling and into living. We are not here to dwell and pass the hours by, we are here to enrich one another with our creativity, to rid ourselves of our egos and show everyone what it is to truly express our self-hood.
All of our bodies will perish, our loved ones will die, our money will become worthless, our homes will fall apart, one day the planet may die. If we are doing what we need to do and not clamoring for permanence, then we will find what we need to find. If we find what we need to find, then we will be one of the privelaged few who are included in the next great chapter of the saga of existence.