Early on, many of us realize that the definition of life is change. It’s true at the most basic levels and the very complex aspects. Outwardly, many things appear to be permanent, but at the molecular level, stuff is constantly changing. Metals oxidize or become less and less pure as time goes on. Mountains erode over the years.
Even our human bodies go through slow, but constant changes. Recent biological research has discovered that different bodily tissues are replaced at a rate of about 1% each year for young to middle-aged people. For those of us who are older, that rate goes down to around 0.5%. So, literally, you are not exactly the same person you were last year.
At a different level, the way life challenges us to change the way we approach and live our lives is ever-changing. People often try to halt these changes by grasping onto traditions. Constancy, though, is like trying to swim against the flow of the stream. Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”
Our wise ancestors have passed the wisdom of accepting change to us from lessons learned through the ages. That is they discovered that everything in the Universe undergoes change. There’s not a single thing any of us can do to prevent the actions of change. Once a person truly accepts that she or he is also subject to change and has an expiration date, the mind realizes that if one is to achieve something, one must not procrastinate.
My all-time favorite quote about deadlines and change, is from Mark Twain. He truly exemplified these words:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed
by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.”
The changes that make a meaningful impact are not the mundane ones. One can switch brands of coffee or clothing maker. A person might think trading one brand of car for another is a big change. Perhaps one has the idea to shift political affiliation, to explore a different career path, or convert to a different religion. These are all outward substitutions of one thing for another, but they are not real change.
Can there be such a thing as real change? This is a matter that is rarely addressed these days.
There is a real possibility of attaining real change. The issue is to dissolve the “me” and go beyond the separation of the thinker from the thoughts. The experiencer is inseparable from experiencing. This is the real change of the silent mind. Real change is the true meaning of letting go. Real change is not a goal. Real Change can happen now.
Can you feel it?