Thursday, June 9, 2011

Permanence / Impermanence

Sobering, is it not, when you stop for a moment and realize the impermanence of all things. We won'tI hopesee it in our lifetime, but the sun itself is slowly burning out; just yesterday, I watched a video clip of a massive explosion on the sun's surface. I've read that scientists expect its final gasp will be a flare of such magnitude that it will consume the entire solar system. Everything on earth will turn to ash, return to dust. All the monuments to greatness, all the collections of human accomplishment, all of our silly, petty arguments, struggles, and perceived distinctions, even the memory of our existence will one day be gone without a trace. 

The mere recognition of this fact is powerful: it has the potential to shake us loose from our preoccupations. It might enable us to stop for a change, and enjoy the fabulous beauty of each momenteach breathas the perfect divine blessing that it is. 

The meaning of life, the inherent purpose, the fulfillment of life itself is not in any of our achievements or possessions, or even our relationships. It is in one simple miracle, in fact the only miracle that matters: Life, the recurring gift of our breath. Utterly unlikely, implausible, even impossible, yet impeccably constant, as long as we live. The immortal, ensconced and living in the mortal. The source of love, and joy, and wisdom, and our ability to perceive beauty—to appreciate it, be moved by it, and feel grateful. The one indestructible supreme existence that can never be lost, inside each living creature. And only human beings are capable of discovering this, understanding this, directly experiencing this. 

How lucky does that make us?

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