What Stands
5 Sep 2023

I find myself wondering, what goes, and what stays? All is impermanence, Gautama taught – and he was right. Neither carved stone nor a twig from a tree will remain.

Like seasons, budding, blooming, falling and dying – will the inner details and realities and truths of the individual pass away without as much as a clue that they were ever there. Their imaginations and emotions, their passions and their pursuits, their intellects and their hopes, their dreams and their desires, their fears, the totality of their inner lives, will be gone and soon. And without a trace. Like trees they will be beautiful, and natural, and alive.

Their deeds, their consequences, their works in the world – these will stay longer. Not alive, and not granted any of the swirling certainties and uncertainties of souls and hearts and minds. Just the meticulously carved consequences of that which they have worked to leave behind – if anything, at all. The person passes quickly, their effect on the world lingers slightly longer.

All is impermanence, Gautama taught. But just because something does not last does not mean it is not important.

That work that will wither away to dust over time, that living being which carved it… what’s missing from this world is not necessarily absent elsewhere.

I do not know. It all just seems far too intense, exuberant, impressive, to flash awake and then vanish to nothingness in such a short time.

Perhaps this is why the ancients thought of heaven and hell, and other worlds beyond, and the lingering reverberating spirals in an eternal pond…

Just seems wasteful, to have all of it, to experience all of it, to live all of it, so much of it – only to then wither like a tree and erode like a statue.

You’ll see it how you see it and there will be no convincing.