Power of Nature and Change

Ta Prohm Godess Tree-15

I hadn’t planned on writing another blog entry on Cambodia, but then it is a good excuse to show some of the more iconic shots of the power of nature at Ta Prohm and discuss the inevitable change around us.  Of all the photos I have seen of Cambodia, these tend to be the most common: nature coming in to continue the cycle of change…to return everything back to its source.

Change is a challenge nature throws our way, and how we reconcile change within our lives makes us who we are.  Today’s world has undergone a paradigm shift in terms of how technology has removed us further from the physical world.  A change that has many people struggling to understand what lies ahead.  Where in the past we had a better understanding and thus security, today we float through ethernet cables from quarks to parallel universes.  Yet fear not.

Ta Prohm Engulfed

This is the beauty of evolution.  When we understand that change is the only constant there is in our lives, it makes it easier to recognize our own purpose and meaning.  We either adapt or struggle (e.g. blaming politics & the world until our last breath).  At times, I have been terrified of change and struggled until realizing that change brings experience to life and, in essence, brings out a hero quality we all have inside.

This is perhaps why I find Ta Prohm so fascinating.  Mother Earth has taught us: change & evolution is inevitable and in the future more great monuments may become covered in brush & vine as society decides to moves on.

Upon the Hall of Dancers-2

The Hall of the Dancers at Ta Prohm intrigued me the most, mainly because some locals were filling me in on its history and I walked away knowing that it is futile to fight change.  Understand change, embrace its inevitability and continue to move forward and add value to our lives and to those around us.

Upon the Hall of Dancers-1

The 16th verse of Laozi addresses this well:

 致虚极,守静笃。万物并作吾以观其复。夫物芸芸,各复归其根。归根曰静静曰复命。复命曰常,知常曰明。不知常,妄作凶。知常,容,容乃公,公乃王,王乃天,天乃道,道乃久,没身不殆。

Empty your mind and heart and be at peace, while around you is turmoil: endings become beginnings and beginnings will end.   Everything flourishes and everything ends, it is what it is: the cycle of life.  If you do not understand your source and nature, you will stumble and life will stagnate.  

Understand your source and you can fulfill your destiny.  Be tolerant among change and you can deal with all life brings your way until you are ready for the cycle to begin again. 

My simple take on this verse:  By allowing yourself to accept change, you to return to your source (your nature) where you are able to begin to understand how your world really works. With this understanding, you  are ready for all life can offer…thus will accept the end.

19 Comments on “Power of Nature and Change

  1. This is a beautiful post! The pictures, the words. I love your blog. I hope to visit Cambodia someday. I am actually thinking of moving to Vietnam next year, which would make that visit a little easier!

    I love that you talk about the hero which is excavated through change. I think that this is the only real healthy way to go about change at all. If change is only seen as the death or loss of something and the rise of something new, that dichotomy will rule, nostalgia will be of the strong, unhealthy kind, and days will be long and sad. Through what you suggest here, though, the trajectory of this inner hero could be traced throughout changes and serve as an anchor. With this anchor to the present, nostalgia becomes a powerful positive, memory becomes a well of usable material, rather than a swamp of unusable and haunting dead things.

    • Great insights, and thank you for the time and thought of your reply. You have concisely (and more eloquently) summarized my premise on the power of change and how the hero needs to move forward with a full understanding of where he began, if only to begin to understand how to move forward. Beautifully written.

      Although we have not met, from your posts I can see Vietnam and Asia becoming fertile ground for even greater inspiration in your writing. You have talent with words & thoughts, a rare combination. The exciting part of being out here too, is the opportunity to see so many cultures just around the corner… Plus, you have an oasis in HK when needed. Cheers.

  2. Is this for real? Its beautiful!
    A fantastic post and the conclusion that one draws from it… so meaningful.

    • Thanks Meghna, I am happy you like this post. This is how I would like to have my posts structured – a few words mixed with some photography about something I care about, and lastly something that has meaning for those who view. Not asking too much am I?

  3. It’s always amazing to see the forces of nature in work – particularly the slow forces of for instance trees growing. Change are indeed inevitable – one way or another.

  4. Love the first photo 🙂 Trust to the process of change makes our life flow with the rhythm of the heart… the river that wants to flow will always find it’s way from the inside out 🙂 Cheers from Ireland

    • Trusting the process of change ~ that is what we need to due. Difficult most of the time, but as you say it is the only way to flow with the rhythm of the heart & life. Thank you Swav.

  5. Yes, change is one of the things that doesn’t change (please do not asked me what other things that is constant…I have to figure it out as well 🙂 ), after reading this post I just wanted to say that it is indeed true that it is right to accept change because if we don’t most of the time we were left behind and sometimes it is too late to even to adapt or adjust with the change. The point of view that I can see why there are people is having difficulty to adapt or adjust is because changes happening in the world is overwhelming…yes it is true that we have to embrace change but sometimes going with the flow of changes erases or let say covers and hides our identity, culture, history, beliefs and even our characters. There are cases that retaining these things are really hard while adapting changes. We have to understand the line between accepting changes and retaining things (identity, culture, history, and our characters) so that these will compliment with each other together. Sometimes it is hard to grasp where is that line, sometimes that line made some huge gaps and then sometimes that line crossover wherein the imbalance started to occur.

  6. I, like most everyone who comments on your blog posts, am in awe of your skill as a photographer and writer. While I can’t help but wonder and want to know about the “back story” of a Scottish born, Oregon raised, China domiciled, businessman/philosopher/ artist, this post on change makes me think that the foundation of your entire blog is a meditation on your own personal evolution (change). Please keep it up.

    • Thank you John for the insightful comment ~ and I think you are correct, it has been this continual evolution of both thought and action accumulated over the years that have opened the mind and heart to the many different ways the world and universe works. It is a pretty exciting ‘time’ we live in, able to ponder and chase such thoughts. Wishing you a great ’16 and look forward to trading ideas as well. Take care ~

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