Thursday, March 10, 2011

What is impermanence?

Question : (Unedited)
My sister in law is a Buddhist, and we talk a lot about our religions, me being a Christian. Anyway, she told me something that i did not understand. She said that; and i quote "The notion of impermanence is central to Buddhism". What did she mean?! Any examples?

My comment:
Hi N,

Thank you for asking me.  Actually you could ask her to elaborate on the subject.  But just the same, I shall try my best to explain.

"Impermanence" is not only central to Buddhism but it is inherent in everything existing in this world.  It is a universal truth.  Most of us take things for granted and behave as if we can live forever.  Failing to live forever in this world, we wish that we can "live" forever after we die!!  The most relevant example is life itself.  Don't you agree life is impermanent?  Sooner or later every component things in this world will perish.  The difference is only in the length of time.  Another example is our motor car.  Need I elaborate? No.  

You can take anything in this world and you will come to the conclusion that sooner or later it will worn out and perish.  It is the nature of this world to be such.  Knowing this universal truth is very important because we need to realize that we cannot have everlasting experience in life.  Realizing this, a Buddhist will view life in a very different perspective and be able to live in peace within this imperfection of life

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