There is evidence that presents itself to us in a striking way: everything is subject to a process of change. In other words, despite the apparent stability that surrounds us, nothing remains the same. Impermanence
The idea of impermanence can cause different reactions within us: restlessness, indifference, excitement and curiosity.
in Buddhist philosophy
When everything changes and we ourselves are protagonists of the transience of existence, it is logical that philosophy addresses this issue as a problem. In Buddhist doctrine , impermanence comes to be like a general law that affects all things. This law can be observed in stars, plants and animals, as well as in humans, political systems and economic cycles.
In this inevitable process there are moments of expansion and triumph and, of course, moments associated with disintegration and failure .
Physical and mental energy is also subject to impermanence
From a physical and mental point of view, we can get carried away by cycles of change. When the cycle is positive we feel satisfied, but when it is negative we feel a sense of failure. For Buddhism this vital approach is a mistake, since it assumes not accepting that things flow and that their essence is to stop being what they are.
Supposed success may be empty of content, whereas supposed failure may be full of positive lessons. Impermanence consists in understanding the inevitability of existence beyond the idea of pleasure or pain.
Western man’s permanent dissatisfaction
In Western culture , we are guided by the success-failure binomial. For Buddhism this is a false and misleading duality. When we accept the principle of impermanence, we can break the bonds of triumph and defeat.
The feeling of permanent dissatisfaction illustrates the weakness of the Westerners’ existential approach. The triumphs we achieve are satisfying on a temporary basis, and we look for new triumphs to feel good. In the same way, defeats sink us and that’s the only way we see the downside.
The idea of impermanence can inspire us to reach emotional fullness , to face death without fear and to live in the present without fear. When we accept that everything is transitory, there is a double effect: the pain can be more borne and we avoid the constant search for pleasure.