Tuesday, August 18, 2009

All Things Must Pass

"What am I writing about today?" It's a question I've been asking myself everyday this year since January 1. Sometimes the answer comes easily and other times it's a struggle. But one way or another the answer does come and that day's entry gets completed. And then the next day's entry, and then the next, etc. Eventually the entire years worth of entries will be written and this blog experiment will be finished. Kate and I will move on to the next thing, whatever that is, and that will last as long as it does until it's finished.

We'll move from thing to thing, day to day, moment to moment, each element ending as surely as it began. Because that's the one constant in the universe. All things must pass. As undeniably as all things have a beginning, they will all one day have an end. Our days, our weeks, our years, our lives; all of them eventually tying up as neatly as they started.

Where are the Mayans today? How about the great Roman Republic, a civilization that dominated most of Europe for hundreds of years? Or the Greeks of antiquity? All have been wiped from the earth, except for their legacy and ruins. We're not any different. We like to think we are, of course, but it's quite clear from history and the nature of the universe that the current state of our planet is transient. One day the United States and all the other major powers will cease to exist, replaced by some other dominant power. Which itself will one day be replaced, until eventually humanity itself has run its course and comes to an end.

In millions of years our sun will supernova, and it, and the inner planets, including earth will be removed from the galaxy, to be recycled into some other system somewhere else.

Because all things must pass. Rather, all things will pass. There's not an overarching necessity. It's simply a fundamental feature of the structure of reality. Just as all things began simply because they did, all things will end because they will. Infinity is just a numerical construct. It doesn't exist in nature.

I'm sure I've riffed on this theme before. This is all a positive thing because nothing, including your problems and your issues are permanent. Everything is in flux at all times, and all of your issues will have resolution one day. They may be replaced with other problems, but rest assured that those will be resolved one day, too. Sadness is temporary. As is happiness. Suffering, like every other thing in the universe, is a transitory experience. So why focus on it? Let it go early, knowing that it will eventually go on its own. Don't latch on to your suffering and hold it like a security blanket. It doesn't serve you, and, just like any security blanket, it will eventually degrade, rot and fall away.

Your life is transitory. Enjoy it while you can, because eventually you will pass. Is there anything beyond that? You all know my position on that, but I can't possibly know for sure, as can anyone else. Don't stake your happiness in a life none of us can know for sure is there. Live in the now. Experience life while you're alive and let the afterlife take care of itself. If there is something after, than you've lost nothing. But if there isn't, and you spent your meager few decades of life pinning for death...well you won't be here to feel silly, but you probably would if you were.

And the concept of "silly" will eventually pass.

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