This is not a solid world in the way we may think of it. Sure, we see rocks as solid, concrete as solid, steel and other metals as solid. Yet, as our skull and bones emblem reminds us, all things decay, disintegrate, and transform. This is a reminder that the natural world around us is not solid, not frozen. It is in a constant state of disintegration and upheaval. As we are mystically taught “there is certain decay of all earthly greatness.”
Humanity spends a vast amount of energy maintaining who we are. When we encounter a major loss whether it be death, the end of a relationship, friendship, or job—we are confronted with our attempts to hold things together while things fall apart and disintegrate around us. We have created a world where we expend tremendous amounts of personal effort to maintain our lifestyle, our belief system, our religion, relationships, and health. Yet ALL of this will disintegrate in some way. These things have no solidity. They will transform and evolve despite our best effort.
As Odd Fellowship teaches, creating what we think is a “solid thing” is a fool’s errand. Change and decay are inevitable. Our Universe continually innovates to create new worlds, new situations, new relationships. Its diversity expands and contracts to fill space and to empty it. It advances to the good and retreats into the darkness. The universe is in constant transition—in fact its’ job is to create.
Humans try to create solidity– and when something important to us disintegrates or transforms it’s unnerving. However, transformation of our important things creates a gap for us. This gap is an opening that allows us to move beyond our usual view. It can lead to beauty if we allow ourselves to follow the correct path.
But, you must be attentive to the gap because eventually uncertainty will creep into it. Uncertainty teaches us the joy of problem solving.
These gaps may last a moment or they may last years, but when they occur we can know ourselves without the trappings of “solidity.” At these times, there is always a chance to break away from the solidity and rigidity you’re attempting to create, and realize a much larger and expansive world. We have a choice: we can continue to cling to our frozen little world as it crumbles, or we can let that go, expand our perspective, and discover bigger things.
When these gaps occur, rest in them. Rest in the idea that during the gap period you don’t have to expend energy to maintain anything. Once you realize this you’ll realize something else: strangely, you don’t have to expend energy to maintain the actual “you” underneath all that fake solidity. The Universe does that for you.
Scott Moye is an award winning history educator and collector of Arkansas folklore. He grew up on a cotton farm and is currently a museum worker. Hobbies include: old house restoration, writing, amateur radio, Irish traditional music, archery, craft beer, old spooky movies, and street performance. He is a member of Marshall Lodge #1, in Marshall, Arkansas. He is a founder of Heart in Hand blog.
2 thoughts on “All Earthly Greatness Goes Away”
Great article with a lot of truths we try to cover up even to ourselves.
Wonderful, thank you. FLT.