All is Change

Man considering the Universe, of which he is a unit, sees nothing but change in matter, forces, and mental states. He sees that nothing really is, but that everything is becoming and changing.

Nothing stands still - everything is being born, growing, dying - the very instant a thing reaches its height, it begins to decline - the law of rhythm is in constant operation - there is no reality, enduring quality, fixity, or substantiality in anything - nothing is permanent but Change.

He sees all things evolving from other things, and resolving into other things - a constant action and reaction; inflow and outflow; building up and tearing down; creation and destruction; birth, growth and death.

Nothing endures but Change.

The Kybalion, Chapter IV: "The All"

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Under any hypothesis the Universe in its outer aspect is changing, ever-flowing, and transitory — and therefore devoid of substantiality and reality.

But (note the other pole of the truth) under any of the same hypotheses, we are compelled to act and live as if the fleeting things were real and substantial.

The Kybalion, Chapter VI: "The Divine Paradox"

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Eternal becoming, endless flux, belong to the revelation of the essential nature of the will.

Finally the same thing is also seen in human endeavors and desires that buoy us up with the vain hope that their fulfilment is always the final goal of willing. But as soon as they are attained, they no longer look the same, and so are soon forgotten, become antiquated, and are really, although not admittedly, always laid aside as vanished illusions.

It is fortunate enough when something to desire and to strive for still remains, so that the game may be kept up of the constant transition from desire to satisfaction, and from that to a fresh desire, the rapid course of which is called happiness, the slow course sorrow, and so that this game may not come to a standstill, showing itself as a fearful, life-destroying boredom, a lifeless longing without a definite object, a deadening languor.

[Arthur Schopenhauer]
The World as Will and Representation, p.164

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Indeed, all that we know about human beings in various sorts of simple contests would seem to indicate that this is the case, and that the conscious or unconscious wish for release of this kind [a release of tension, comparable to orgasm] is an important factor which draws the participant on and prevents them from simply withdrawing from contests which would otherwise not commend themselves to "common sense."

If there be any basic human characteristic which makes man prone to struggle, it would seem to be this hope of release from tension through total involvement.

[Gregory Bateson]
Steps to an Ecology of Mind ('Bali: The Value System of a Steady State'), p.111

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[...] the steady state and continued existence of complex interactive systems depend upon preventing the maximization of any variable, and [...] any continued increase in any variable will inevitably result in, and be limited by, irreversible changes in the system.

[...] in such systems it is very important to permit certain variables to alter. The steady state of an engine with a governor is unlikely to be maintained if the position of the balls of the governor is clamped. Similarly a tightrope walker with a balancing pole will not be able to maintain his balance except by varying the forces which he exerts upon the pole.

[...] In sum it seems that the Balinese extend to human relationships attitudes based upon bodily balance, and that they generalize the idea that motion is essential to balance.

This last point gives us, I believe, a partial answer to the question of why the society not only continues to function but functions rapidly and busily, continually undertaking ceremonial and artistic tasks which are not economically or competitively determined.

This steady state is maintained by continual nonprogressive change.

[Gregory Bateson]
Steps to an Ecology of Mind ('Bali: The Value System of a Steady State'), p.124-5

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