Do we confuse persistent, present conditions with permanence and eternality?
Intellectually, perhaps not; emotionally, it seems, we may.
To us, permanence is exactly like a memory that never fades
or that one thing you feel like will never come to an end or go away.
Of course, there is no such thing as "permanent" or "eternal", but it may seem like there is.
A very interesting property of space-time
makes it seem as if temporary conditions
It has to do, in a roundabout way, with motion.
Everything is in motion. Period.
Even apparently static conditions are in motion -- if only from their molecular vibration due to their temperature being above Absolute Zero.
Everything is in motion in its own way.
and the way everything is, to be in motion,
has to do with the way everything else is in motion.
Anything that is not in motion is not a part of this universe,
because not exchanging energy with anything else,
and cannot be perceived in any sense. By definition.
What is in motion gives substance to space-time,
defining the amount of space it has moved
in terms of the time it took to cross it
and defining time by the use of events perceivable in space.
But something more than motion is necessary to create the appearance of time.
That "something more" is memory.
MOTION plus MEMORY are what our experience of TIME is -- nothing more.
Permanence is a concept derived from memory --
the memory of the perceiver (felt as if permanent)
and the memory of what the perceiver is perceiving
The perceiver's idea of "how it was" compared to "how it is",
contrasting long-term memory with short-term memory,
-- that comparison
and that contrast --
makes the sense of time.
It is always a memory of change occurring.
a memory of movement or of motion.
The seeming permanence of anything of the world
depends upon the seeming permanence of the perceiver--
which is really the sense of duration,
dependent on movement + memory.
Given that what does not move is not part of this universe
it follows that all things persist by moving
and seem to be durable or permanent
exactly because they are moving and impermanent.
Why must it be that way?
because the sense of permanence
cannot be perceived if it does not change.
It fades out into its unknown nature,
as happens when you stare at anything for long
and it washes out and vanishes from your field of vision
until you move or it moves, again.
To perceive permanence,
what seems permanent must actually be impermanent and moving.
What is impermanent
by being impermanent.
Just as we, perceivers,
must move to be alive
we must move to perceive what is apparently permanent
enduring over time.
So, all we take for permanent
even what is seeming to take forever to change,
we take that way
because we feel the potency of the permanent
through the force of the impermanent.
Eternality is form
and form is eternality
even as it changes.