The transcendent beauty in realizing, “This too shall pass”

words & photo by Brian Thompson.

One of the most important life lessons a person can learn is, “This too shall pass”.

It’s a simple realization that all of existence is in a constant state of transition. This moment, the way things are as they currently appear, shall change… and, it already has. Everything is always changing.

Every formation. Every object. Every structure. Every person. Every thought. Every concept. Every predicament. Every event. Every upset emotion. Every happy feeling. Every idea. Every belief. All of these will pass.

This is a happy thought to ponder however, not a sad one, because without this constant state of transition, nothing could ever become. Without death, there can be no life. Without the transition from day to night, you could see no stars. Things must change.

When you find yourself in an unpleasant state of mind, simply remind yourself... this too shall pass.

Any emotional pain that we experience in life is because we resist this ever-changing nature of things. We become attached to the way things are, and then we expect them to stay the same forever. But this goes against the natural law of things. So then when things do eventually change, despite all of our best attempts to prevent it, we suffer greatly because of it.

If you define yourself by your present looks, then you will undoubtedly suffer as your body ages and grows weary. The physical change is inevitable and it will happen to all of us, if we’re lucky. Your current looks will soon pass.

Similarly, if you believe that your job defines you, then you’re setting yourself up for some incredible pain when the market crashes, technology changes, or your career is suddenly cut short. Nothing lasts forever. Your job shall one day pass, whether you like it or not.

If we believe the person we are is defined by the social group we’re a part of, or the talents we have, the hobbies we enjoy, the clothes we wear, or the beliefs we hold true, we must realize that these too will pass. These things are un-real, they won’t last. They are to be experienced for sure, but not believed in as being who we are.

When we're mindful of the impermanent nature of things it thrusts us headfirst into the present moment. It makes us appreciate what we have, right here, right now. It erases our expectations from the future. It wipes away any assumptions we have for how things might someday be. We realize that this moment, no matter if it’s pleasant or otherwise, it too shall pass.

The only thing that's permanent throughout our entire human experience is the underlying nature of our inner Self. Our state of awareness does not change. I’m not talking about the “I” who you think you are, whose identity is defined by your thoughts, ideas, concepts, memories, knowledge and experience, and your relationship to each of them — all of these things are un-real, they are merely manifestations from your mind.

Your true self is underneath all of the mental baggage of duality that separates you from experiencing your true Self.

Beautiful things will happen, enjoy them, but they too shall pass, and that’s ok, because that is the nature of everything. In fact understanding this allows you to enjoy things even more because you know they are temporary. Awful things will happen as well, endure them, because they too shall pass. Throughout all of this however, your presence of conscious awareness remains intact. Who you truly are, throughout all of it, is still there.

Your conscious awareness is the only true constant there is in your life. This is the only thing you can count on. As long as you’re here, it’s here. Everything else will pass. This is where you find the peace and happiness you seek, not in things and stuff, not in concepts, ideas and beliefs.

Everything you seek to fulfill you is already waiting to be realized within.

When you no longer trust in anything that arises from the ego, all that remains is the bliss of pure awareness itself, for our awareness cannot be disturbed by any outside phenomena. Our awareness is judgement free, it’s simply aware. This is our true Self. All of those emotional disturbances we feel are mental manifestations from the mind, they are not who we are, despite what we believe. They too shall pass.

All that you are is your awareness itself. Rest peacefully within this space of of perfect emptiness, deep within, beyond any of the manifestations from your egoic mind.

Your thoughts are only thoughts, they too shall pass. Your troubling emotions, they too shall pass. Your current situation shall pass as well. But who you truly are will never change.

Be in tune with that and you’ll find lasting happiness.