My main Buddhist teacher says that there are no objects in this universe, only events.
I think of my car as an object. But the cars that I’ve owned and driven around in the past are no more – I think now that the steel, fiberglass, plastic, aluminum, etc molecules that made up their parts are scattered all over the planet.
There’s a zen poem that says something like, every tea cup in your cupboard is already broken – cuz it will be eventually.
Sometimes when I make a lot of money, I think it will mean that I will have money from then on. But I keep finding that having a bunch of money in the bank is a state that eventually changes. Same thing with being broke, too.
I’ve been in communities that felt rich, deep, and warm – “The Community” in 1994-1996, my group of Rhythm Society/The Community friends in 2000-2003, the Wed Night Men’s Circle in 2004-05, and Arete 2003-2006 – and I felt that we would all be together in that way forever. But, time moved on, people moved on, and the vibe changed, and that time of mutual thriving, connecting, and deeply knowing each other came to an end.
Most dating relationships that I’ve been in, I knew would eventually end. But, I’ve also been in some relationships that I got settled into and they felt like objects, like they would always be. But it looks like they were blessings that I enjoyed for the time that they were happening.
I can think of a number of marriages that seemed like they would last forever, that seemed so solid and long-lasting, like an object, but that eventually turned out to be events. And I can even think of a couple of people who were members of such marriages and then got ill, and it turned out that their lives were also events.
My parents have lived in the same house for twenty eight years, and I’ve spent many many holidays and other visits at that house. Well, now they are retiring to a different state. And it won’t be too long until both of them, with their lifelong love for and witnessing of me through all the different stages of my life, will be gone. I can feel already that a big part of who “I” am will end along with them.
Even planet Earth, which seems like the most solid “object” around to us, science says will eventually be destroyed, when the Sun goes supernova at the latest.
It seems like all the big things in my life right now are up in the air and in flux. Lately, when I have tried to hold onto or accumulate or collect something (wisdom, people, accomplishments, approval, certainty, good feelings, health, anything), I have been telling myself – there’s only the flow, only the flow, only the flow.