Published on November 16th, 20130
A Superficial Layer
By Emma Majcen
What can be said about change? Existence appears dependent on it, though it is hardly uniform by nature. Whether it leads to loss or to gain, change seems to hold consistency in its ability to deceive. Rarely articulating its cause with any clarity, change easily tricks the foolish.
Clear water turns to red while the ‘love-struck’ become the ‘heartbroken’; these variations are first perceived by the senses. The imprudent recognise such changes but do not pursue them further. Stimulation by these surface happenings and the pain or pleasure derived through them is deemed enough. But the very meaning of change, wrought with both depth and complexity, is beyond the confinements of reality that the primitive mind detects. The tribulations of this understanding can only be handled by something boundless. Something like thought.
Thought allows us to see through the diverting allure of appearances. Through its use we can read between the lines of physical experience and scrutinise the surface of change. But logical notions will only visit a clear mind. And for clarity to be achieved, we must overcome the engulfment of experience. A settled soul is not absorbed by the sweetness of the sweet or the pain of the painful. From rain to tempest we must not be drowned. In the face of change, we need to hold tight to the reins of our sanity.
But you might ask, ‘What is the point of such laborious deliberation? A headache and a two-week-long cold?’ Well, if the many loops that dictate the passage of change are untangled, we may gain insight through reason. Such insight could be used to create an ideal change or avoid a destructive one. In this position of knowledge, we gain the potential to better sculpt our world.
However, reason will not always be found through contemplation. We are likely to encounter events in life that surpass our comprehension, and we may eventually arrive at a dead end of thought. But this limit is not pointless. Upon meeting a wall of the mind we are given the rare chance to recognise our own ignorance. Strangely, we are consoled by such enlightenment.
However unnerving, we must celebrate change and seize the opportunity to acquaint ourselves with truth. In experiencing change we must not become fixated on the surface level of things, must not be merely satisfied by an indulgence of the senses. To broaden our understanding of life we need to remain objective to experience and see beyond the superficial by the means of contemplation. Through such thought we may better define our world or simply be in awe of the mystery in its seemingly endless complexity.