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Thread: The Impermanence of All Things

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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default The Impermanence of All Things

    .
    Dear Friends:

    Here’s an interesting little tale, that got me thinking quite a lot about a whole bunch of stuff.

    The story starts with a small adventure here in Ecuador.

    Last weekend, I went off with a couple of friends to explore a very remote area, in the middle of nowhere at about 12,000 ft (3700m), to investigate the rumors of some Inca ruins there.

    Indiana Jones style, all we had to go on was a roughly sketched map, made by a local who’d been there 20 years earlier, and who’d drawn it from vague memory.





    The area looked like this... wild, stark, and extremely isolated.





    We enjoyed the trip hugely, explored all over the place, camped out under some large boulders, and saw the unmistakable signs of puma all around (that’s mountain lion, to Americans and Canadians). Mara the dog, who was with us, growled at things unseen from time to time, but we humans of course could detect absolutely nothing.



    Puma scat... we saw it everywhere. All these specimens are about 6" (15 cm) long.

    ~~~~~

    We succeeded in finding the ruins. But no magnificent lost city here... just a few very ancient hut circles, all that remained of a small group of even smaller buildings. It was a tiny settlement... maybe 1000-1500 years old. There was practically nothing left of them.





    Nevertheless, it was pretty interesting. Who were these people? How did they live? Was this an established village, or just a temporary place to stay while traversing the high mountains? What were their dreams and aspirations? What became of them? As spiritual beings, where are they now?

    Did they ever imagine that we — strangely dressed, pale-skinned, time travelers from an unimagined, advanced future — would ever be gazing on the remains of their houses, and asking these questions? And then magically communicating pictures of the what was left of their homes to others across the globe, to you, reading this?

    ~~~~~

    We honored these distant people, and on the second day made our way back to the trailhead, climbing back out some 2,000 ft from the valley back to where we'd started from. My friends waited a few hundred yards away, while I left my backpack well-hidden near the road as I walked half a mile to where I’d parked my vehicle.

    I returned 45 mins later... to find my backpack had gone.

    I could not believe it. It’d been stolen. Someone with extremely sharp eyes must have spotted it from a passing car, and just stopped for a moment and grabbed it.

    It didn’t contain anything I couldn’t replace with maybe $400 or so. But my mourning was for the loss of the backpack itself, which had accompanied me all over the world on many an adventure and more, for nearly 20 years. It was like my kid brother, and always came with me. We were very close, the greatest of friends. This old photo from 1998:



    The Impermanence of All Things.

    Inca settlements, entire cultures, the people we love, the things we own. Even our own physical bodies. Nothing stays or lasts forever. Everything is transient. The only things that DO last forever are those which are intangible and invisible.

    We frail humans always try to hang on. We hang on to everything we want never to go away, never to be without. But it’s all futile and hopeless. We kid ourselves, we collect our stuff, we collect our people, we never, ever, really want to let go of anything or anyone.

    But in the end, we always must.

    I felt the Incas (and the backpack thief) taught me quite a lesson last weekend. From Shelley, the great English poet:


    I met a traveller from an antique land

    Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
    Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
    Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown
    And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
    Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
    Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things,
    The hand that mock'd them and the heart that fed.
    And on the pedestal these words appear:

    "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
    Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

    Nothing beside remains: round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
    The lone and level sands stretch far away.


    Last edited by Bill Ryan; 21st February 2016 at 14:44.

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    Default Re: The Impermanence of All Things

    Bill, when are you going to write (or publish) a book? I don't care what category -- autobiography, memoir, adventure tale, whichever.... We know you have a lot to tell -- stuff that doesn't work in a post or video -- stories, insights, wisdom, fit for words, bound by covers, the ancient way... a book.

    Sure, everything is evanescent but like Shelley, it would be nice to have your words to amuse and guide present and future humanity.

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    Default Re: The Impermanence of All Things

    Thank you very much, Bill, so beautifully expressed and told, it made me shed a tear

    The backpack and the memories, civilizations that come and go - an inevitability, or the way of a world that is not feeling well..

    Quote it’s all futile and hopeless
    Quote We hang on to everything we want never to go away... But in the end, we always must.
    Must we..

    Shedding some baggage, replacing a few, saying goodbye to the old, saying Hello to the new ~

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    Default Re: The Impermanence of All Things

    The only thing you can depend on is change....you are so right Mr. Ryan. I recently let go of an entire household of 'things' collected over a lifetime or two. It hurt.

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    Default Re: The Impermanence of All Things

    Thanks for the tale, Bill.
    The backpack; a metaphor for how little we need on our pilgrimage through this world.
    And then when this is gone?!
    Your mini adventure carried enough signatures of intrigue and mystery to softly hint to me- the reader-that perhaps, perhaps... your backpack was not stolen after all.
    One will never truly know.
    And reassuring there are no 24/7surveillance cameras in certain parts of the world...

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    Default Re: The Impermanence of All Things

    Lovely story and adventure, beautifully illustrated with pictures.....and I did laugh and think 'What the.....why has he taken loads of pictures of poo?' until I read your story through!
    I'm sorry for your backpack loss - these things are a real loss, but in your true shamanic style you've understood the ways of the wyrd meaning and lesson behind the theft, and that in itself is a true gift.
    I also sincerely hope that you get to write and publish your memoirs.

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    Default Re: The Impermanence of All Things

    The only remains of my backpack of twenty-some years was a puddle of melted aluminium on the garage floor after the house was struck by lightening in 2007 and burned down. That was the end of my hiking days - so far.

    Bill, don't let your loss stop you.


    (Warren, Hermit's Trail, Grand Canyon, 1979)
    - Warren Light

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    Default Re: The Impermanence of All Things

    Quote Originally posted by Caliban : "We know you have a lot to tell -- the ancient way... a book."
    Quote Originally posted by Becky : "I also sincerely hope that you get to write and publish your memoirs."
    But, the most important thing has not yet happened
    Let not the hiker in the trail think that it came to an end
    When the destination he once foresee
    That has to do with setting the mother free
    Is still there, not only for the one but also for the other
    When the forgetfulness cloud will clear
    Then they will all gather ~

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    Default Re: The Impermanence of All Things

    Ozymandias - one of my favourite 'experiences' in my education. Still true today....
    Thank you Bill for these wonderful expeditions, and wee Mara's amazing excursions. Hopefully your backpack will miraculously be found someday soon, but meanwhile we have learned loads. At least you found memories of those long-gone. Never give up - much love to yourself and the brave Mara
    The love you withhold is the pain that you carry
    and er..
    "Chariots of the Globs" (apols to Fat Freddy's Cat)

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    Default Re: The Impermanence of All Things

    This is brilliant Bill....


    Quote Inca settlements, entire cultures, the people we love, the things we own. Even our own physical bodies. Nothing stays or lasts forever. Everything is transient. The only things that DO last forever are those which are intangible and invisible.

    We frail humans always try to hang on. We hang on to everything we want never to go away, never to be without. But it’s all futile and hopeless. We kid ourselves, we collect our stuff, we collect our people, we never, ever, really want to let go of anything or anyone.

    But in the end, we always must.
    Viking
    You decide...your thoughts..your actions..your reality.
    Choose well.
    http://projectavalon.net/forum4/show...are-the-change

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    Default Re: The Impermanence of All Things

    When things like this happen, it will only remind you that these external things have no real value at all, you wake up the next morning, resizing that the most important of all things are not the belongings we tend to hold on to, i.e external possessions, but the inner knowing that nothing has no value greater then the wonders of truth and the universe its self.

    Cheers Bill,

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    Default Re: The Impermanence of All Things

    I once explored the ruins of a ancient Mayan city I bought a tour book for five dollars I gave the guy 20 dollars I still waiting for my change

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    Default Re: The Impermanence of All Things

    Always leaving the Heart Open....

    In Fung Shway the operating term is to always leave the middle of a room, in a compound, in a piece of property open...This is the way of the Heart.

    Living in the permanence of the forever now, Open and Adroit to the pulse that arrives before any body does, the heart beats that we remember from the joys we have shared. Finding the permanent truths that live beyond the living experienced while we are alive, we must find these things that become the love that we are. When these things love us they cannot be forgotten. They are as much of our many journeys as the time, the place, the lessons learned all are.

    I have felt the pains that draw the fiber away from the gross being and I understand this, accepting it as a necessary condition to bind myself only with those things of permanence. They hurt because they are not who I choose to be. The lessons I've learned are shared to prevent others from the same pains. I am remembered for this too, as are many here.

    The mere existence in a limited space makes the choice for me. In order to find the forever I have to both enjoy and reject the condition at the same time and I can do this only when I leave the judgement behind. Often I find it harder to get people to talk the walk than to walk the talk, because they don't listen to their own thoughts and hear their own words, all which should be affirmative, accepting and encouraging, by you, for you. This so you may join others in this walk of souls, this dance of the spirit meant to be done together.

    When we find the sweetness in life we carry it with us throughout time. Is it a choice when the sweetness is gone and alzheimer's is the companion, in a world at times gone sour, grasping for the diabetic to heal it's heart's wounds? They say it's a condition of plaque in the brain, but this is not true. This is not the cause concerning matters of the heart, channels thinned by the echoes of loss and clogged with the excess of self-medication. It's another type we should call Type 3, the condition of a heart that should not be. A life, like all life, healed by the vibrance of love is all I see.
    Last edited by Hym; 20th February 2016 at 21:05.

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    United States Avalon Member zen deik's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Impermanence of All Things

    Passing like ships in the night..... Thanks for sharing....
    ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD IS THE END OF THE WORLD AND THIS AIN'T IT

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    Aaland Avalon Member Agape's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Impermanence of All Things

    I would but love to be there : so much space and freedom...

    endless views and sea of tranquility








    Chapter 10: The Opulence of the Absolute

    TEXT 25
    maharsinam bhrgur aham
    giram asmy ekam aksaram
    yajnanam japa-yajno 'smi
    sthavaranam himalayah

    Of the great sages I am Bhṛgu; of vibrations I am the transcendental om. Of sacrifices I am the chanting of the holy names [japa], and of immovable things I am the Himalayas.

    http://asitis.com/10/25.html


    Of all trees I am the holy fig tree, and amongst sages and demigods I am Nārada. Of the singers of the gods [Gandharvas] I am Citraratha, and among perfected beings I am the sage Kapila.

    Of horses know Me to be Uccaiḥśravā, who rose out of the ocean, born of the elixir of immortality; of lordly elephants I am Airāvata, and among men I am the monarch.

    Of weapons I am the thunderbolt; among cows I am the surabhi, givers of abundant milk. Of procreators I am Kandarpa, the god of love, and of serpents I am Vāsuki, the chief.

    Of the celestial Nāga snakes I am Ananta; of the aquatic deities I am Varuṇa. Of departed ancestors I am Aryamā, and among the dispensers of law I am Yama, lord of death.

    Among the Daitya demons I am the devoted Prahlāda; among subduers I am time; among the beasts I am the lion, and among birds I am Garuḍa, the feathered carrier of Viṣṇu.


    Of purifiers I am the wind; of the wielders of weapons I am Rāma; of fishes I am the shark, and of flowing rivers I am the Ganges.

    Of all creations I am the beginning and the end and also the middle, O Arjuna. Of all sciences I am the spiritual science of the Self, and among logicians I am the conclusive truth.


    Of letters I am the letter A, and among compounds I am the dual word. I am also inexhaustable time, and of creators I am Brahmā, whose manifold faces turn everywhere.


    I am all-devouring death, and I am the generator of all things yet to be. Among women I am fame, fortune, speech, memory, intelligence, faithfulness and patience.


    Of hymns I am the Bṛhat-sāma sung to the Lord Indra, and of poetry I am the Gāyatrī verse, sung daily by brāhmaṇas. Of months I am November and December, and of seasons I am flower-bearing spring.

    I am also the gambling of cheats, and of the splendid I am the splendor. I am victory, I am adventure, and I am the strength of the strong.

    ...


    Our Ancestors were obviously many things , sometimes All in One ..






    More photos and updates from me here : http://projectavalon.net/forum4/show...-and-updates--
    Last edited by Agape; 21st February 2016 at 12:30.

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    United States Avalon Member letspaly's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Impermanence of All Things

    this was super interesting did you just decide to go there one day and then did it?

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    Brazil Avalon Member
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    Default Re: The Impermanence of All Things

    On a third world country, you cannot abandon your belongings, you need to keep an eye on it at all times, if you want to keep it.

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    Canada Avalon Member Raven's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Impermanence of All Things

    somehow this thread is reminding me of this poem:

    Worldslate

    Sometimes do we all get together
    and wipe the world slate clean,
    (Goodbye Babylon and Atlantis),
    and watch the moon touch
    familiar vineyards for the final time,
    say good-bye to all our edifices,
    and stone flowerpots
    on skyscraper windowsills,
    wave farewell to statues
    of public heroes in city parks,
    feeling in our hearts
    that what we’ve made
    was spectacular but closed-ended,
    with flaws suddenly
    multiplied beyond control,
    and that we needed
    to clear our vision once again,
    rip civilization down to the bone,
    release the buried dreams
    that our world was once based upon?

    Do we sometimes know
    what must be done,
    with some ancient animal instinct
    we’ve forgotten,
    a need that rouses nature
    to our command,
    conjuring earthquakes and avalanches
    to do the job for us, for we know
    how our own hands would falter,
    and at the last,
    which one of us could destroy
    a world so painstakingly made?

    So in flash, old beliefs
    and superstitions topple,
    with all the structures
    risen in their names,
    old gods and temples,
    arts and sciences
    crumble and nature’s vast sweep
    everywhere sweeps clean.

    Then, ages, where our minds turn with the seasons,
    contemplating more perfect visions,
    till once again, our desires
    turn into thoughts and begin
    to spin new worlds.

    (taken from “If We Live Again Or, Public Magic and Private Love” - a book of poetry by Jane Roberts)

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    Greece Avalon Member Matina's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Impermanence of All Things

    A sweet and bitter little story.You look happy in these photos Bill,i wish the best to you

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    United States Avalon Member quiltinggrandma's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Impermanence of All Things

    Thank you bill ryan for sharing all the beauty.All of the responses are wonderful.

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