Five sure things

Thank you for the memories. One day, they will be all that is left.

According to Buddhism, there are five sure things in life.

-It is sure that you will lose your youth.

-It is sure that you will lose your health.

-It is sure that you will lose friends and loved ones.

-It is sure that you will lose your belongings.

-It is sure that, in the end, you will lose your life. And whatever the other losses you have not yet experienced, will come with it.

Obviously all this is true even if you have never heard of Buddha. It is just that they like to meditate on it more than others, I guess. In that regard I am a “Christian Buddhist”, in that I see detachment from things in this world as a message shared by the Buddha and the Christ, whatever else they may disagree on.

Jesus told a story about a farmer that had grown rich, so much so that his barns could no longer hold all his stuff. So he decided to tear them down and build new and larger barns. “Now you have much good saved up for a long time to come” he said to himself. That night, his soul was demanded from him (in death). What benefit did he have of all that he had gathered?

In the Christian Church, where I learned most of what has been useful in my life (beyond what I learned from my parents), we used to have yet another song that I find myself singing now. As always it is in Norwegian, but the lines in question translate like so: I will sing about victory when my earthly hope is being crushed; instead I now own a heavenly, which remains in the test of the baptism of fire.

To briefly return to the Buddha, who lived for about 80 years, wandering through the lands of India and teaching Liberation from all worldly attachments. When his life came to an end, these were his last words, or at least they can be translated like this: All things that have form are subject to decay. Strive diligently!

What for, when all things are falling apart anyway? For that which has no form. Now, I may not personally be striving very hard. But now that one of the minor “baptisms of fire” has come over me, by the treachery of my landlord, I have an opportunity I would not otherwise have had:  To know for sure whether I am attached to the things that can be seen, or whether my heart remains in that which cannot be seen.  For the visible is temporary, but the invisible eternal.

Of course, as long as I can still play Sims 3, it is not much of a trial though…