I should title this Make Friends with Death (of impermanence). My wife is having a stint put in her heart, and I’m contemplating our mortality…with you, here live. Death is the one thing we all have in common. We are all in the Club Death. We should make friends with this friend. Why do we treat death as the arch enemy? That’s like treating our humanity as the enemy. Death makes us human. We know we are going to die. Death is the Black Hole around which our consciousness forms, our human consciousness. I want to know how that consciousness operates. Who is it that wants to know? If life and death are One, then life/death wants to know how this consciousness operates that forms around the black hole of death, both attracted to it and afraid of it, both drawn into it and repelled by it. What is the Black Hole? Can one go through it?
What is as common as death, especially when you get older, is having your life partner in the hospital, that body shop created to keep death away. When the petal fall from the rose, we take the flower to the hospital to put the bloom back together.
We like to believe our roses in the vase will live forever. Why do we give flowers that are going to die? My wife got some real roses, and some real nice silk flowers. How often we treat our loved ones as silk flowers instead of impermanent flowers. We think they will last forever, so we let them sit on the shelf gathering dust…why not…they will never fade or wilt. We assume everything is forever.
I suddenly remember the Graduate, and the investment of the future to the graduate: Plastics. We invest is a self, in a body, in a world that will not fade, that is made of plastic. But it has no value, no meaning….for only death and impermanence gives us meaning and love. Only death makes life worthwhile.
Relationship, marriage can flip back and forth between plastic and living flowers. It is so easy for the relationship to become plastic, or silk flowers. They look great but there are not living, not vulnerable, not feeling. The silk flower has no aroma. No matter how fine the silk, it doesn’t have the touch and petal softness of life. The silk flower is just perfect. No bug can eat them. No petal can wilt. You feel secure with a silk flowers because you and the silk flower stay the same. You don’t have to be vulnerable. You don’t have to feel. You don’t have to wilt and feel time. You have shelf live. Your marriage is just perfect because it is not impermanent.
Marriage, relationship is either living or plastic, depending on our view. Everyone wants to know how they can make their marriage fresh again, to bring the roses back to life. There is no magic formula. There is no path to life. Just reach out and touch the plastic flower with tenderness, and it will come to life..and so will you.
Feel the impermanence as you. Feel the death in you. And then you will feel it in everything. For everything is impermanent. Everything is dying. Feeling that makes everything living.