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There Is No Way to Resist Impermanence, But It Should Not Be Feared

2023-04-22 19:57 From: www.xuemo.cn/en Author: Xue Mo Culture Browse: 7443485 Times

First Series: The Immutable True Characteristic



There Is No Way to Resist Impermanence, But It Should Not Be Feared

 

Everything in the world, when we investigate its fundamental root, will become a memory. There is no duality between memory and illusion, so we say, life is one giant illusion. When you are happy, the world is changing, and you yourself are changing. When you are suffering, this change will not stop for a moment because of your suffering. Impermanence is the precondition for life being able to continue, and it is also the rule that we ourselves always follow. Impermanence itself should not be feared.


People are very interesting, because most people just want to accept the enjoyable aspect of things, and are always subconsciously avoiding the aspect that is not enjoyable. Thus, they are never willing to calmly accept the results that are brought on by their choices.


Let's take a simple example. Many men like to take their wives and children out to have fun, but when they encounter traffic jams and have to stand in queues, they are always full of complaints. Many boys like pretty girls, but when one of these girls becomes their girlfriend, they are afraid she will receive favors from other men. There are truly countless examples like this in life.


So what does this mean? It means that we cannot clearly see the true face of things, because our one-sided views block our line of sight. That is why we resist impermanence in this way. In fact, impermanence is a natural law. The only difference between the two is that you can avoid eating sweets, but there is no way for you to resist change.


You will also discover that your own fear of "the unknown" is linked to a kind of resistance to "change." The great majority of people like stable certainty, they like everything to continue in its original condition. Any possibility of "loss" will make us shudder. However, except for making yourself feel that things are unbearable, this kind of fear cannot accomplish much. This is because natural law is far stronger than an individual living being. Perhaps through certain methods we can try to slow down the process of change, but ultimately we have no way to block the emergence of change. But does this have some absolute relationship with happiness? When you are happy, the world is changing, and you yourself are changing. When you are suffering, this change will not stop for a moment because of your suffering. Impermanence is the precondition for life being able to continue, and it is also the rule that we ourselves always follow. Impermanence itself should not be feared.



Years ago this plot of land was a cemetery. My grandfather built a small shed not far from here to collect manure, the manure from the railroad tracks. He took the manure and stored it in the house where he lived, and piled it on the ground, fearing people would steal it, and he ate and slept in that house. In his eyes, this manure was more important than anything, and could not be lost. But he did not understand that this manure was something formed by the coming together of causal conditions, and this house too was something formed by the coming together of causal conditions. Years later, the house was torn down, and the cemetery was flattened, and crops were planted. More than ten years after that, the cropland became a farm, and people fought bloody battles for land to build houses on. These people did not know that this village was also something formed by the coming together of causal conditions. They also did not know that many years later, this piece of land would be bought by a big boss, and the village would be flattened, and made into an area of modernized dwelling units. Later, I bought one of the buildings, and came to live there. At that point, this empty house again filled up with my things. But this was not the end; it will still go on changing, and will go on ceaselessly changing. This is because, be it a village, a building, or some land, nothing has a basic substance that is eternally unchanging. Because of the coming together of causal conditions, they have had many apparent forms. We call this causal origination. But their basic substance is without inherent nature. They undergo changes all the time, and so they are also called inherently empty.



A friend told me that when she was in college, she had liked a certain young man, and was very fond of him. Later the two of them became closer and closer, and the young man became unwilling to be apart from her. But one day, she suddenly lost all her feelings for him, and later left his world without the least hesitation. Similar things happened many times, and she asked me if she were some kind of oddity. I told her she was not.


In reality, the love between a man and a woman is the lesser love: it is a feeling, an emotion. For it to develop, for it to stay fresh, certain conditions are required. When these conditions continually change, love may go through a process of being born, becoming ardent, cooling off, and perishing. For example, you love a woman because of her beauty; then when she is no longer beautiful, will you still love her? You love someone because you have the same ambitions and are on the same path; when you are no longer seeking the same things, will you still love him? You love a woman because she loves you; when she is no longer as fond of you as before, will your love for her still be the same as it was? You love a person because he understands you, but if he can no longer interpret you, will you still love him? The conditions that impel people to love each other are constantly changing, and that is why very few people can love each other their whole lives. With many lovers, after they have lived a long time, their love changes into a kind of familiar affection, or a kind of habit. What people who can continue hand-in-hand into old age rely upon is certainly not a kind of romantic but volatile feeling. What's more, even if people can love each other through their whole lifetimes, in the end they will still be separated by death. Thus, love cannot last forever.


So then, what does last forever? Impermanence. Impermanence alone is the world's eternal truth. However, this does not imply that you should treat love and human life casually. On the contrary, after you understand this point, you must liberate yourself from all the wounds of the past and all the unease about the future, and thoroughly appreciate and value every moment in life; you must no longer take great pains forcing yourself to search for a permanence that does not exist.



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