They knocked my block off

It’s a weird feeling when you walk past a city block a zillion times over the years . . . and then you walk by one day . . . and it’s just GONE. It was just instantly demolished. All the buildings and shops that had been there all those years. Just gone. Disappeared into thin air.

I’m struck more and more by the Buddhist concept of “impermanence” the older I get. Nothing lasts for very long in this world. Everything is transitory, in a constant state of transformation.

When I was younger, this world seemed more real, more solid, to me. The older I get, the more it seems like a hallucination. An ever shifting mirage. A magic show. A dream within a dream. . . I often think about the Hindu concept of “maya.” That this world of ours is largely an illusion. According to Vedanta, nothing is real except Brahmin, the Absolute, God (for lack of a better word). Everything else is unreal. God is dreaming that He’s all of us, like an Actor who’s playing out all the parts in this cosmic drama called life. God is the only permanent thing, lurking behind the impermanence of all the stage props of life.

I sometimes think of the America of my childhood — it was a completely different world from the America of 2022 (and in many ways I’m grateful I won’t be around to witness the America of 50 years FROM now, because I suspect it won’t be much of an improvement). All that once was, is gone. And all that is today, will one day be gone, too. . . My Guru used to say of this world: “It’s all dust. Dust.”

Sometimes it seems like my whole life has been like a really weird dream. And maybe when we die, it’ll be like waking up from a dream to something real. . . I guess we’ll all find out some day.

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