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 Tantric Buddhism

Transience



Nothing lasts forever, except forever.  

That's the good news.  It's a good thing that nothing lasts forever because things would get terribly boring.  Even now they tell us they can recycle plastic.  Plastic, while it may last forever in a certain sense, can change forms at least, because otherwise it would be terrible if Tupperware lasted forever.  I don't know, it would be tough!

Nothing lasts forever.  Everything is transient.  Sri Krishna refers, of course, to this world as a joyless, transient world.  Obviously he's never been to Disneyland.  Disneyland may be transient but it's lots of fun.  But we all know what he means.  He means that it's a little heavy here sometimes, inside our minds.  It gets heavy sometimes.  Everything is transient.  By that we mean that we are transient.  Not the objects of the world - that's apparent.  But we're transient.  As beings, the self that you now have does not last.  Even if it could endure a whole lifetime, it ends at death and you will never be this person or this being again.  That's the good news.  Because otherwise it would get terribly boring, to just continually be who we've been - because we'd always see life and ourselves in about the same way.

How interesting it is when you're clairvoyant.  Because you can look into people's minds and see how they see life, and you see that everybody sees life totally differently.  They all think that everybody else sees life basically the way they do, but there's a different film being made in every mind.  And of course, the star of the film is the mind, the personality, the self.
Enlightenment is a dual awareness where we're aware of the eternal as the eternal.

Everything is transient and it's a good thing, as I said.  I celebrate the transient constantly.  I don't find that sorrowful in any way.  I don't see anything sorrowful about death.  I don't see suffering as sorrowful; it's unpleasant, but it's not sorrowful.  The only thing that creates sorrow is attachment to the transient, which is like betting on a horse that you know is going to lose - doesn't make a whole lot of sense.  Since you know that everything is transient, it just makes absolutely no sense to be sorry about anything, even ourselves.  Mostly ourselves.  The good news is that we don't last.  Thank heavens! Because to continue the drama of who you are is boring, ultimately.  The universe is our friend because it kills us, and that's what friends are for.

Now again, the universe gives us a new self, a new life.  We get a new movie to make, we're on to another location, on with the show.  Knowing this, we're kind of ahead of the game.  You see, most people don't realize that everything is transient and they don't realize that they're going to be making another movie, so they cling to the movie they're in; they never want it to end, even if it's a terribly boring, old stodgy movie.  They cling to it.  

A famous actress died today.  Do you know who died today?  Who?  Greta Garbo.  And she is famous for saying?  "I want to be alone." Yes, meaning get lost, don't bother me.  And true to her statement, for the remaining years of her life she lived a very reclusive life, as many aging film stars do.  Sometimes they do it because they're vain.  I don't know if that was the case for her or not.  But sometimes a film star is very good-looking, very handsome, very beautiful, and that's why they're a film star.  And then they get old, and everybody doesn't age real gracefully, I guess.  Except for Sean Connery.  He's the only man I know who, the older he gets, the better looking he is.  There's just no question about it, with or without the toupee.  

But some film stars, as they get older, they don't look so beautiful.  And since their whole life was built on their beauty and that was their power, then what they do with the money they make is they wall themselves off.  They never see anybody except maybe another old, decrepit film star who's done the same thing.  Meaning, they don't want anybody to see them.  They're ashamed, they're embarrassed because they were once so beautiful, and now they're wrinkled and shrunken - the things that happen to the human body with age.  And their identity - they were the femme fatale, he was the most handsome man - and now they're just old and they look like human bodies do when they get old.  Old.  

But they don't want the film to end.  They still want to be that young, bright, vivacious, everybody turns their eye when they walk into the room - "Oh, there's the famous so and so." You see?  So they hide themselves away because they're so embarrassed by the way they look.  They want the film to go on.  Even though it's ended, they're still sitting in the screening room, hoping that it might run again.  But it's transient.  Everything is transient.  If their egos weren't quite so big, then they could feel perfectly good being who they are, but I guess it comes with the world of film - sometimes, not all the time.  And then there's Sean Connery.  He's figured out how to be immortal.  Exactly.  

So occultists know this and it places us ahead of the game.

The download of this talk is provided by a link to the
Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism
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