“In a Universe of constant change, change is the only constant”. Beautiful.
I think this quote is attributed to Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher (its all Greek to me!) who lived in the 6th century. He is said to have talked about how everything changes and nothing stays still; he said that you could not step into the same river twice. This is because the water constantly changes.
Indeed change is happening in everybody’s lives constantly, even when there is an apparent sense of ‘stuckness’ or ‘being static’. This is because at any moment “Cold things grow hot, the hot cools, the wet dries, the parched moistens” as Heraclitus noted. I see this more as a mutual change, one element replaces the other, one transforms and transmutes into the other , so they replace each other in a series of transformations: they are interchangeable. He calls this the “law of identical opposites”. In other words, fear is transmuted to courage, anxiety to peace, tightness to lightness and so on.
But Heraclitus also talked about the unchanging… Fire (to me this is pure, loving awareness), the primary element from which all arises. Here are a couple of quotes I found that illustrate this point:
(quoted in Hippolytus, Refutations )
God is day and night, winter and summer, war and peace, fullness and hunger; he changes the way fire does when mixed with spices and is named according to each spice. [3]
(quoted in Aristotle, On the World )
Things which are put together [1] are both whole and not whole, brought together and taken apart, in harmony and out of harmony; one thing arises from all things, and all things arise from one thing.
Interpretation as follows:
“Everything that exists is derived from it (Fire) and returns to it again. The universe is, therefore, fire in the process of transformation, an ever-living, ever-changing force which takes innumerable forms but is never extinguished. That restless, all-consuming, all-transforming and vivifying activity, now darting and vibrating as a flame, now sinking to an ember, now soaring up and vanishing away as smoke, is at once the symbol and essence of life. At every moment it seems to pass away. The contents change but its substance is the same”.
I feel that to ride the waves of change and to embrace change there needs to be trust in the unchanging where all change comes from. And an understanding of the relationship between the changing and the unchanging. I am currently feeling into this!
I love this amazing song by Donna De Lory who expresses the trust in the unchanging (the ‘Lord’) amidst being in constant change. Enjoy everyone!