“Impermanence” – Inspirational Quotations

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My friend Steven keeps a wonderful  collection of  “wisdom nuggets” on his website. I often sit and read them, when time permits. I particularly like this small article from Mahatma Gandhi. The words, profound as always, tell us the importance of understanding the  impermanent nature of life.  ~ Brilliant!

“There is an indefinable mysterious power that pervades everything. I feel it, though I do not see it. It is this unseen power which makes itself felt and yet defies all proof, because it is so unlike all that I perceive through my senses. It transcends the senses. But it is possible to reason out the existence of God to a limited extent…

“I do dimly perceive that whilst everything around me is ever-changing, ever-dying, there is underlying all that change a living power that is changeless, that holds all together, that creates, dissolves, and re-creates. That informing power or spirit is God. . . . For I can see that in the midst of death, life persists; in the midst of untruth, truth persists; in the midst of darkness, light persists. Hence I gather that God is life, truth, light.”

Mahatma Gandhi, as quoted by his grandson

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IMPERMANENCE

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The Buddha taught that there are three characteristics of facts of existence. They are generally found in all that exists and so they can tell us something about the nature of existence.

The three characteristics of existence taught by the Buddha are impermanence, suffering and impersonality. Here is an article on Impermanence from Buddha World, an on line Buddhist Community.


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The Buddha taught that all existence is impermanent because there is nothing internal or external whatsoever which is permanent, stable, lasting,not subject to decay and destruction, and forever the same. Everything changes continuously. Existence is like the flowing water of a river or the burning flame of a candle, which is never the same in two consecutive moments.

Our body,for instance, is made up of material elements such as flesh, bones and blood, which are impermanent. From the moment of our birth, the body constantly undergoes change. The human mind, too, is dependent on many factors. It is in constant change. It is like a monkeys forever jumping about, never still for even a moment. The neither the body nor the mind is permanent and unchanging.

Science teaches that apparently permanent objects like the oceans, continents,mountain ranges and even the earth, the sun and the solar system are constantly changing and will some day become extinct. When all these are also subject to change and destruction, one cannot doubt the impermanence of life. Life can end at any moment. No one can avoid death and the destruction of the body.

Understanding the characteristic of impermanence benefits people in two important ways. Firstly, it can improve human relationships and activities. Secondly, it can encourage people to follow the Noble Eightfold Path.

Often people find that they make mistakes in their relationships with other because they fail to take into account the changes that constantly occur in themselves and others. Often friendships die because one or both parties fail to realize that their friend’s personality, interests and attitudes have changed.

When one realizes that people and situation are impermanent and constantly changing, one will approach each moment of a relationship with an open mind. One will be able to react to each new situation without clinging to outdated ideas about people. Relationships can then develop fruitfully. Success in life depends on one’s ability to adapt to change in situations and to make the most of new opportunities arising.

Having understood that youth , health , material well-being and even life itself are impermanent, people should then make the most of those favorable circumstance while they last. This means that they need to practice the Noble Eightfold Path in order to achieve happiness and Enlightenment. The Buddha’s last words were :

“Subject to change are all things,
Strive on with diligence.”

Love Ever, Hurt Never – Inspirational Quotations

 

Beautiful Reflections

Go placidly amid the noise and haste and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others. for their views are also important and may help you. For even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans however humble, they are a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.  Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is. Many persons strive for high ideals and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for love is precious, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.


Take kindly the counsel of the years; gracefully surrounding the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. but do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.Beyond a wholesome discipline, be ever gentle with yourself and others. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here and whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.


Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive him to be, and whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all it’s sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy and may your journey, here, now and future, or how long it lasts in this world, be ever insightful and those souls you meet, may you consider them as your life’s teachers as well as you – theirs…..


-Max Ehrmann with moi adding a few more words of wisdom – hopefully.



“Whatever happens in this world, remember someone is thinking of you – you are never alone. None of us are alone. :)”