Published Wednesday, 08 October 2014
Passed down by the wise is the knowledge that,
though what is externally impressive loses its splendour,
and though our bodies will decay,
the truth itself outlasts all degeneration.
Not only our bodies, but all material objects are subject to the law of impermanence; as are social structures, institutions, relationships, and organisations. Everything around us and within us is in a state of perpetual flux. As children, for the sake of balanced development, it is necessary to be somewhat protected from this fact. We are not for instance repeatedly instructing children regarding Mum and Dad’s mortality. Yet as we grow up, sooner or later, we must admit that this really is how it is. Indeed, more than admit it we need to embrace this truth, if we wish to accord wisely with changing conditions. The Buddha identified the law of impermanence as something beyond degeneration; something stable and secure; a Truth we can turn to, to find a frame of reference.