Among the things that disturbed us the most there is one that cannot be ignore, even if our western societies often tried unconsciously to avoid it by any means: impermanence!
Starting with the first impermanence of all: we are all sentence to death from the day we are born by our mortal condition. But as we willingly try to push Death away by hiding it from us as far as possible, we sometime come to loose conscience of the fact that every single thing in our lives is impermanent. For most of us, in the early years of our lives, Death is so abstract, so far from our reality, that our psychology choose naturally to concentrate on living and finding some ways to enjoy it, avoiding that, ultimately, we are going to loose the battle against time.
At last, somehow, there is always a moment in our life when it’s realness is coming back to us as we are getting old and the persons we know, love or hate are dying around us. Confronted by this sudden reappearance, as an inevitable limit to our will, there is several ways to approach this perturbing fact. The one that consist to ignore supremely death, and what could lie behind, is more and more dramatically common in our western societies in general, and in particular also, as we push away a little bit more every day the signs and the traces of our old age and our last moments.
Some decide to acknowledge this final limit to better fight it with everything they have, facing it with courage – and hopefully humour – hopping for the best, science, medicine, unconsciously believing that we could push away this pervasive reality of our life nearly indefinitely, but then again, as we are getting old, there is no guaranty that we will not suffer from the fear of it, as we are facing it full of uncertainty…
The belief that “there is nothing behind” encourage certain to profit even more of this life in a creative way, while trying to late a trace behind to say “I was there…” but some others take this belief as an excuse to do whatever they want without thinking about the consequences of their acts “because, after all, why worry about something that will happen long after our death?”… Certain could consider this as a way of life, but as the changes induced by this inconsequent behaviours impact more and more rapidly our planet and the life of everybody, we meet the limits of this line of thinking that could change the future of our species and washed out our cultures from the surface of the Earth sooner than we think.
Of course, we can also prepare to death with all the power of our mind and faith, and touch the spirit that lies behind the illusion we are projecting on the real all the time. Some of us believe in an after death existence in a religious, spiritual or philosophic point of view. With or without dogma, a fundamentalist and intangible tentative to affirm belief that I personally consider dangerous, following the path of a religion is quite different if you are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu or Buddhist… But if you look beyond the changes made along the way to the message of their funders by the religious hierarches in seek of power, you will find the possibility of a spirituality that transcend the culture it raise from to achieve a better balance in this life and find inner peace before we go… A mind training based on ethics, spiritual technics and disciplines often revealed by these great initiates to help us get along with ourselves and each other and rise above the ups and downs of our stressful lives to connect with the Devine.
Rationally, the fact that we are so attached to this life should justify, in one way or another, a responsible behaviour toward others and ourselves. After all, if we think that there is nothing after this life, we should consider that our only way to survive death is in the memories of the people we met and love, our work of arts, or by the things we have done for the community or the next generation. But as our societies makes us more individualist and egoist we often seems to forget this common sense to concentrate on our puny pleasures because, again, we will not be there to see what is happening after… Impermanence as the worst excuse!
Impermanence, it is a word that not refers only to death of course. It is also the worry to loose someone that we love or something that is dear to us. It is suffering because change is sometime painful, because we regret to have or not to have done or lived something when we could have chosen otherwise, because we are getting old or being sacked from a job, because we try to get a grip on something that cannot last, a feeling, a sensation, a situation, because we cry on a broken relationship, because nothing last…
But why should we consider the precedent moment – or the next – more important than the one we are living right now? Why should we invest so much time in thinking about what happened or what we could loose if we don’t try to make the best of what is happening now?
One of the most amazing moments when you are in meditation is experiencing consciously the present “as it is”. Being right there, right now, completely aware of what is going on outside and inside of us, as we become one with the moment. It is a very special sensation as we discover a new perception of Time. Being in the moment gives us a chance to exist completely and find that we can just be a part of it naturally, because we don’t escape into our souvenirs or project ourselves into the future. It is actually a gain of time as we make the best of it and discover so many things of beauty and sources of inspiration in all the little things surrounding us that we usually neglect.
Being into the present doesn’t mean that we can’t remember the good moments or plan the future or that there is no time for post analysis, introspection or learning something new. It means that when we do that, we are really into it. But when we are going into the world, when we are with someone or confronted to a situation we are not thinking about something else, because, here again, nothing last and like the song says “you don’t know what you’ve lost until it’s gone!”. So lets not waste our time at loosing the opportunity to live the present. Don’t let the moment go before we lived something inside of it, because you never know if this opportunity will come back. Training our mind to be there, now, being mindful of the others and the circumstances around us, is also the best way to prepare to the unknown, as we notice details and attitudes that we generally do not see or feel. Those informations help us to react promptly and appropriately to the unexpected. It’s to understand that life is energy in motion and that there is beauty everywhere, if we learn to take the time to look at it. Discovering the infinite moment of the now is definitely something… to remember!