Posted on September 6, 2009


“Transience is the force of time that makes a ghost of every experience. There was never a dawn, regardless how beautiful or promising, that did not grow into a noontime. There was never a noon that did not fall into afternoon. There was never an afternoon that did not fade toward evening. There never was a day yet that did not get buried in the graveyard of the night. In this way transience makes a ghost out of everything that happens to us.”
— John O’Donohue (Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)

We build our lives around permanency. Retirement savings is assumed to be permanent security. Homes and families are built on the human construct of permanency. Careers, income, and possessions . . . all create a sense of permanency.

I wonder why that is? We know that nothing is permanent. We trick ourselves into believing that stuff is permanent. But down deep we know it is not. We’ve seen it.

Everywhere, everything is dying. Flowers, grass, people, skin … everything is dying and making way for new life. New life is only possible if things are in constant flux, constantly changing, dying. New creation and new life come from chaos and death. This is the way the world is designed.

Yet I cling to things sooo tightly, determined that if I hold tight, I can keep it. And if I can keep it, then it will be mine. Mine forever.

So I design my life in such a way that I cling … to people, to possessions, to career; convincing myself that it is the clinging, the grasping, the holding on that gives life and permanency, comfort and security, personal peace and affluence.

If I can just carve my own little place in this world, then everything will be OK … as the world slips away.

It know that no matters how hard I hold on, things slip away … things most dear …

If I see clearly, I know that there is nothing on this earth that is mine. Absolutely nothing. I know that there is nothing I can keep forever.

Who am I to think I can own a piece of creation? And even if I could, it all turns to dust eventually. Then what has all of my clinging given me? … but dust. The taste of dirt in my mouth.

But we are Americans and we know the American Way.

We buy a façade and create the illusion of permanency.

We create a beautiful space in a beautiful woods …

We build a personal paradise in the suburbs …

We build another beautiful get-away in a warm climate or by a lake because we know surely that will make us happy.

Of maybe that new car will make us happy or that new wardrobe or that new computer or … or … or …

OK. Let’s step back a minute.

Permanency is an illusion.

So happiness cannot come from permanency.

Comfort cannot come from permanency.

Security cannot come from permanency.

Meaning cannot come from permanency.

Permanency is a lie we have been force-fed by this world since birth.

So what are we doing?

How then shall we live?

What are we left with . . . that is real???

We are given a gift each new day that is real.

We are given this moment, right now . . . that’s all that is real.

Tomorrow . . . my family may be gone.

Tomorrow . . . my home may be gone.

Tomorrow . . . my job may be gone.

Tomorrow . . . my mental stability may be gone.

Tomorrow . . . my financial stability may be gone.

Tomorrow . . . my health may be gone.

Tomorrow . . . my life may be gone . . .

But what I do have is what I am given anew each moment.

I have this present moment.

But what can I do with that???

Actually, this moment is the only thing I can do anything with.

The past is gone. The future is not here.

So I must learn to be present, fully present, in each and every moment of my life.

I must be fully present with each and every person with whom I interact.

I must be fully present with each and every decision I make.

I must be fully present with each and every task I do.

The present moment is with me all the time.

My whole life is determined in the present moment.

Everything happens in the present moment.

That is the ETERNAL NOW.

Within the ETERNAL NOW lies permanency.

This is where I am grounded.

This is where I root myself into the ground of my being, the Ground of all Being.

This is when, how, and where I connect to my Source.

This is where I meet my God.

This is where love flows from its Source into every action, interaction, and reaction.