Panta Rhei: Impermanence

The Idea

Contributed by @philhagspiel |  Edited and curated by @philhagspiel

Everything you ever felt, both good and bad, went away at some point.

Everything that exists now, both material and immaterial, will end at some point.

icon

World View

icon

Life Values

icon

Mindset

image

While we tend to see the status quo as permanent, in reality, things change all the time — both around and within us.

Although the situations we are in often seem static on a macro-level, circumstances continuously change on a micro-level — day by day. Slightly different things happen around us every day, events pass, serendipity strikes.

Likewise, all of the thoughts we ever thought went away at some point. Even emotions subside eventually, no matter how strongly we feel them.

Panta Rhei, a famous aphorism by Heraclitus, means 'everything flows.' Change is the fundamental force that stoically transforms the past into the present and the present into the future.

The acknowledgement of impermanence is not only a fact-based observation about reality, it is also a core part of Eastern philosophies such as Buddhism and Hinduism, as well as a tenet of ancient Western world views that have impacted thinking for thousands of years.

"Nothing endures but change."

— Heraclitus

"No man ever steps in the same river twice."

— Heraclitus

"What makes us suffer is wanting things to be permanent when they are not."

— Thich Nhat Hanh

Explore

➞ For an overview of Impermanence as an important concept in Eastern and Western philosophy, read this Wiki article.

➞ This long and insightful Nautilus article explains how philosophical impermanence can be combined with science.

Resources

If this idea resonates with you, some of these resources might add value to your life.

LinkNAMEFormatAuthor
Conscious
Book
Annaka Harris
Sum - Forty Tales From The Afterlives
Book
David Eagleman
Happy
Book
Derren Brown
The Power Of Now
Book
Eckhart Tolle
Siddharta
Book
Hermann Hesse
The Poetry of Impermanence, Mindfulness, And Joy
Book
John Brehm
The Little Book Of Stoicism
Book
Jonas Salzgeber
The Prophet
Book
Khalil Gibran
Tao Te Ching
Book
Lao Tzu
Dao De Jing
Book
Laozi
Meditations
Book
Marcus Aurelius
The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck
Book
Mark Manson
Courage
Book
Osho
The Obstacle Is The Way
Book
Ryan Holiday
Ego Is The Enemy
Book
Ryan Holiday
Waking Up
Book
Sam Harris
Great Thinkers
Book
The School Of Life
Happiness
Book
Thich Nhat Hanh
Man's Search For Meaning
Book
Viktor E. Frankl
The Story Of Philosophy
Book
Will Durant
Zhuangzi
Book
Zhuang Zhou
Zenhabits
Blog
Leo Babauta
The School Of Life: Eastern Philosophy
Blog
Modern Wisdom
Podcast
Christ Williamson
Lex Fridman Podcast
Podcast
Lex Fridman
The Daily Stoic
Podcast
Ryan Holiday
Philosophize This!
Podcast
Stephen West
Philosophy For Our Times
Podcast
Kurzgesagt
YouTube Channel
Pursuit of Wonder
YouTube Channel
Academy of Ideas
YouTube Channel
Einzelgänger
YouTube Channel
Daily Stoic
YouTube Channel
The School of Life
YouTube Channel
Waking Up
App
Daily Stoic
Instagram