Whether at the level of the Solar System, Planet Earth or our own national societies, it must now be obvious to everyone, we are passing through a time of unprecedented change.
The quote attributed to the Buddha, given above, is a solace. It is a central Buddhist teaching that everything is impermanent.
There is another quote:
"No-one likes change except a wet baby".
So how should we cope?
The Pattern of Change
Amongst management consultants there is a simple, but very useful model called "The Four Room House of Change":
At any particular moment, in our family, or work place, or our life, we are in one of these stages or states. Sometimes we are in the same space in all aspects of our lives, and sometimes it is just work or family that is in flux.
What a lot of people do not realise is, that in a system - like the family or the workplace - there is a pattern that tends to play out. We move through these four states in a particular order, And once we have moved on, we cannot go back to the previous condition. It is as though we have passed through a spring loaded door, that snaps shut.
This is the comfortable space. Everything is continuing along in some degree of balance. Nothing appears to be changing. At some level or other we have it sorted.
Organisations strive to get here, with their procedures and processes. Families, especially those with a dominating parent, achieve this for a time ... but in both cases, at a price.
Inevitably, conditions within or without – or both – change.
But most people wish things to remain as they were, so they move into denial.
"It it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
"I'm comfortable with the way things are."
"This is how we have always done it."
"We always have a family meal on Sunday."
Denial lasts until it dawns on a sufficient number that change has already started AND that there is no going back.
This inevitably leads to a time of chaos. The old system does not work any more. A new system is not in place. There is disagreement. Feelings run high. But, in a healthy person (for this can be at the individual level) or a healthy system, family or business, new possibilities occur; new ways of doing things are tried out. And sometimes they work – really well. then there is an influx of energy.
This energy leads to renewal. The family feels buoyant. The organisation glows with new energy and purpose. Life has a real lustre once again.
Until gradually the new becomes the familiar, and the cycle starts over once more.
Note, in the picture above, each room gives onto the next by a door. The door leads one way. It closes behind you. You cannot go back - only forwards.
In your life, your family, your job, your relationship ... it is well worth being clear which of these four rooms you are currently in. It shows what is on the immediate horizon.
Spotting denial is the most difficult of course - as we intuit that chaos will follow.
C'est la vie.
Murray Morison is a novelist living in Crete
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When a teenage priestess, living 5,000 years ago in Ancient Egypt, connects with Rhory, an English schoolboy visiting the British Museum, she puts herself and him in grave danger.
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