impermanence

Impermanence

If Life is Impermanent, Why Bother? Seize the Day

The reality of impermanence has always seemed a no-brainer to me. People and animals come into existence; they live out their lives; and then they die. Or, in the words of the bumper-sticker, “Life’s a bitch, and then you die”

More importantly, my own experiences with memorial services, funerals, hospice, suicides, emergency rooms, psych wards, and drug and alcohol rehabs have helped me to understand the fragility of life.

On the other hand, I was recently confronted with someone’s concern that, in being aware of life’s impermanence, there may be a hidden agenda to “glorify” it as a license for moral relativism, an excuse to bow out of commitments and responsibilities. After all, if nothing in this world is permanent, why bother to be loyal, to love, to be grounded in anything?

The ancient carpe diem (“seize-the-day”) philosophy was certainly based on the notion that, since the world and its pleasures are finite, we should wring from life every moment of pleasure we can get. Continue reading

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