My dear Kacvey,

Christmas 2015 has not even arrived yet, and the water of the Mekong River at the level of the City of Tonlé Buon Mouk is already boiling with grim perspectives towards the elections in 2017 and 2018! Oh, how efficient Cambodian politicians know how to prepare themselves ahead of time for these battles among themselves. Si vis pacem fac bellum!

Pending such occurrences, the future electoral battles would be centered around the fundamental concept of and disposition for “change” and “impermanence.” Why so? you may ask.

The answer is simple: if the current ruling party does not win, there will be “change”; the semblance of “permanence of power” that the same ruling party has endeavored to achieve will drift to a state of “impermanence.” Change signifies impermanence.

It is to resist to this concept of “change” that the ruling party is doing everything in its autocratic power to perpetuate its grip on the legislative, executive and justice of the country at any cost to the social, political and institutional structures of the Khmer society.

Kacvey, you are going to be taken to a long journey on the discussion on “change” and “impermanence” that Cambodia would or would not face in the future, all parameters and caveats that have been known in all previous letters being “unchanged!”

Let begin, shall we!

In ancient China, more than 2,000 years before the common era and in the central plains around the Yangtze River, it was known that a book called Zhouyi 周易  (The Book of Changes) was written to reveal the way things change between heavens and earth based on observations on changing phenomena in the sky and on the earth over thousands of years, and that everything is forever changing. Zhouyi is the book about the philosophy of change.

Wen Haiming, a professor of philosophy at the Renmin University in Beijing, summarizes as follows:

Zhouyi philosophy maintains that everything in the world has both yin and yang. The movement of yin 阴 and yang 阳 forms the dao 道. The yin and yang are the basic symbol of the Zhouyi, and can be illustrated by the yin-yang fishes in the Taiji 太极 Diagram. The yin and yang mutually contain one another, and transform to be the other. The ancients tried to tell us that all things and events contain both yin and yang, which are forever transforming.”

Zhouyi is also a book that assists people in realizing their own time and position; the time and space people live in are changing, as are their propensities and social status. People cannot transcend the time and space they are situated in, and they need to pay attention to them when acting.”

“The Zhouyi takes human beings to be part of a natural process. Human beings have been correlative to natural changes since the dawn of time.”

To be continued in next “Change and Impermanence – Part II”