What do you believe about the nature of change?
We know from neuroscience that one of the brain’s primary functions is to see events and conditions in the world as either threat or reward. This neural imperative raises an important question; if the brain is organized around this unifying dynamic, what is its nature?
While reading Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron’s book, Living Beautifully (with Uncertainty and Change) it struck me how powerful the role of impermanence is in shaping our lives and its drive in determining what we perceive as threat or reward. This force is constantly compelling the choices and decisions we make and manifesting as our daily behaviors.
Most of us don’t walk around consciously thinking we live in a universe where things are constantly changing and in flux. Most people don’t wake up each morning and plan their day as if it may be their last. However, when you link this idea with the proposition that under the veneer of our lives is the struggle with our immortality, you see how it can contribute to the forms our lives take. The conflict between living in a world where things are constantly changing – impermanent – and our striving to feel grounded, is reflected in our thoughts, emotional states and actions – our “self-identity.” Continue reading