“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” ~Alan Watts
Change is the only constant in this ever-changing Universe. Change is a consequence of time and as long as time exists, change is inevitable.
Nothing endures, but change. Nothing is permanent, but impermanence. Everything inside our Universe is constantly moving from order to disorder, from structure to chaos. This ceaseless transition happens according to Laws, the Laws of the Universe and is the very foundation of the creation of our Universe and the evolution of life, until beings like us, conscious of such concepts are developed.
If change was not a part of the Universe, it wouldn’t have evolved into what it is now; galaxies wouldn’t have been formed in the first place, you and I wouldn’t exist at all, and this awesome article would have never been created.
A considerable amount of human suffering is caused by our craving for things to be permanent. We continually seek permanence in everything; material stuff, people, situations, even in our own selves and when something that we would wish to be permanent changes, which it will, we start feeling the loss of control and we suffer.
We can never be happy and peaceful while contradicting a Universal Law along with our true nature.
“Chaos is what we’ve lost touch with. This is why it is given a bad name. It is feared by the dominant archetype of our world, which is Ego, which clenches because its existence is defined in terms of control.” ~Terence McKenna
Our Ego is once more the architect of our suffering. Our Ego loves to be stable and fixed. It loves its comfort zone and doesn’t want any disturbances within its radius. It lusts after the permanence of things and the self, and hates change. Embracing impermanence is going to threaten its existence, thus it will do anything to keep us stuck inside the illusion of permanence and stability.
The Illusion of Self-Permanence
“Either you start becoming a better version of yourself, or a worse. Staying the same is not an option.” ~Xaric
Self-permanence is merely an illusion manifested by our egotistic self and just as any other illusion, we cannot be aware of its delusional nature, while experiencing it.
While living in such a state of consciousness, an Ego becomes so bloated, that the person bearing that Ego thinks he knows all and that he is undeniably and unfailingly right, when in fact he doesn’t even know enough to know that he knows nothing.
This illusion doesn’t just hold us back and stagnates our self-development, but in fact feeds our narrow-mindedness enough, until we eventually begin moving backwards; toward self-inadequacy.
Reconditioning the Conditioned
“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn how to surf.” ~Jon Kabat-Zinn
Essentially, every single decision that we make during our lifetime is serving the purpose of ending our suffering.
However, the conditioned self is constantly looking for ways to extinguish this suffering in conditioned and impermanent things, which are the things that cause our suffering in the first place. Everything in this Universe is impermanent and only when accepting this truth a significant amount of peace from within is uncovered.
“Impermanence is a principle of harmony. When we don’t struggle against it, we are in harmony with reality.” ~Pema Chodron
Acceptance is the key. Acceptance does not mean pessimism, it means acknowledging something that you have no power to change and learning how to live in peace with it.
Polarizing Mental States
The real power of someone who has embraced impermanence is utilized during their efforts to alter their mental states. The one who is aware of the permanence of change will use it for their benefit as they have most probably already recognized that mental states are subjects to change as well.
Every mental state comes and goes. We can’t be happy forever as we can’t be sad forever. When things are bad, remember that they won’t stay like this indefinitely, thus be patient. When things are good, remember that they won’t stay like this indefinitely, thus enjoy every awesome moment.
This kind of mental polarization is liberating. We become more able to let ourselves be attentive, even when things go awfully wrong, as we have realized that such situations are not going to last for long.
“The wise man falls in with Impermanence, and by understanding its movements he operates it instead of being its blind slave. Just as does the skilled swimmer turn this way and that way, going and coming as he will, instead of being as the log which is carried here and there so is the wise man as compared to the ordinary man and yet both swimmer and log; wise man and fool, are subject to Impermanence. He who understands this is well on the road to Mastery.” ~The Kybalion.
He, who understands the nature of change, has taken back control. He eventually becomes the one who induces and steers change, instead of being carried along blindly with it, moving him about like an involuntary pawn on the chessboard of life.