One of the most striking characteristics of living organisms is change.
These little leaves I photographed in the garden at the weekend are gone now. (which reminds me of the importance of taking a camera everywhere and not hesitating to use it!)
I’m particularly conscious of change just now because I’ve just moved country. Maybe you’ve done that before, maybe even many times, but it’s a first for me. I don’t mean simply travel and holidays, I mean to actually relocate, to go and live in another country entirely, maybe especially in a country where the language is different.
But change has always fascinated me. The byline of this blog is “becoming not being”, not just because I have always resisted being pigeon-holed, or categorised, but because I really don’t think any human being can be understood as an object frozen in time.
That’s just not reality.
The more there is change within a system or organisation, the more we recognise it as “dynamic”, and is there any more dynamic phenomenon in the Universe than a conscious human being? Not only are all of our cells constantly changing, not only is our heart constantly beating, our lungs constantly filling and emptying, our complex immune systems and endocrine systems altering moment by moment, but our minds are never still.
It feels to me there is a constant flow of a life force through me. It never ceases. When it moves on, this physical me will have moved on, but the me of ideas, of thoughts, of creative expression, of ebb and flow between me and the others who share, or have shared, parts of this life with me, that will, in some ways, continue to flow.
Human beings live in both a constantly changing physical universe (some parts of which change very slowly indeed), and in a rapidly changing, shimmering, universe of consciousness. Really, is there anything in the Universe which changes as much (as constantly) as a human being?
As Heraclitus said so long ago, you really can’t step in the same river twice.
That’s why, as a doctor, it didn’t make sense to me to try to categorise patients. It didn’t make sense to me to reduce a person to a diagnosis. A person is a constantly changing, flowing, growing, developing phenomenon, not an object to fitted into a category, to be measured and classified.
Becoming not being………it’s about the reality of constant change.