Change and Changelessness

Change is the basic truth of our existence.

Has it not been said that nothing is certain or permanent in life except change?  The entire cosmos is changing every moment. The Samkhya system of Indic philosophy talks about the evolution theory concerning the entire universe.

It was many centuries later that Darwin came up with his theory of evolution. Constantly and continuously, change is occurring to improve the outcome of effort. Nothing remains static. In every evolution there is a movement towards perfection. Perfection is a relative term, though. What perfection may mean in one situation may mean something else in another. Our perception of what is perfect is also something that undergoes change, depending on the circumstances and the level of evolution of our consciousness.

The changes, however, are not limited to the physical sphere only. At the emotional and intellectual levels as well, and even within a finite time horizon, changes can take place at a rapid pace, whether we are aware of this or not. Sorrow and joy, upswings and downswings are all part of this process of change. Every moment we are created and recreated. Every moment we are evolving. Those who are steady and have a relatively stable mind that is alert and aware, are able to understand this process of constant change. Therefore they remain unmoved by the impact of the transformation. They do not get alarmed by change. In the process of unending change the seeking that characterises the human mind extends to what is and has been changeless. That changelessness exists when the entire universe is embodied in a single point and when it appears in its most extensive and spread-out form.

The human mind is able to comprehend all of this. The vastness which appears externally is present within us as well. The capacity to hold or to realise the nature of the entire universe receives mention in the eleventh chapter of the Bhagavad Gita as Krishna unfolds and reveals his Vishwa Roopa or universal form to Arjuna, who stands dazzled by what he sees. The senses have limitations but the capacity to go beyond experience exists in us. As Rabindranath Tagore said, within the limited spheres of what we have known we are able to perceive the unknown. This is a wonderful capacity we are blessed with as human beings.

The wonder is that within the microcosm exists the universal, the macrocosm – within the confines lives the limitless and within the illusion is the truth. Between zero and one there are infinite possibilities. The superconsciousness pervading the whole cosmos is beyond any change. It holds the basic notes of all music which is emerging like bubbles in an ocean. Once we recognise that basic note, it is possible to see similarities in diversity and comprehend what remains beyond any transformation. Rather, in every new transformation, the indispensable old exists.

Once the mind looks inward and starts experiencing notes that are basic to all the music around, then the transformation appears superfluous – the permanence becomes prominent. And it is that state of mind which can claim ‘This is That’. A piece of stone and a living being are the same at that level of awareness and awakening. It is then valid to say that if we deduct anything that is complete from something that is also complete, then, the residual is complete, too. Infinity minus infinity is infinity, not zero. Hence, where is the loss or gain? It is peace, and peace only.

 

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