I’m Brendan Lalor, the one who runs there it is . org. In recent weeks I moved from Oklahoma City to Manchester Center, VT, and in the process the website went down a few times, and email communcations went hay-wire for periods of days. I thought I lost everything, and so posted this:
The Buddha implored us not just to talk about impermanence, but to use it as an instrument to help us penetrate deeply into reality and obtain liberating insight. We may be tempted to say that because things are impermanent, there is suffering. But the Buddha encouraged us to look again. Without impermanence, life is not possible. How can we transform our suffering if things are not impermanent? … How can the situation in the world improve? We need impermanence for social justice and for hope.
If you suffer, it is not because things are impermanent. It is because you believe things are permanent. When a flower dies, you don’t suffer much, because you understand that flowers are impermanent. But you cannot accept the impermanence of your beloved one, and you suffer deeply when she passes away.
If you look deeply into impermanence, you will do your best to make her happy right now. Aware of impermanence, you become positive, loving and wise. Impermanence is good news. Without impermanence, nothing would be possible. With impermanence, every door is open for change. Impermanence is an instrument for our liberation.
— Thich Nhat Hanh
Impermanence and there it is . org
In late August, 2006, there it is . org lost functionality and lots of content (hundreds of articles) representing an immense investment of energy, time, and heart when its web hosting company disappeared without a trace. Impermanence! I thought I had a full backup of the database so I could restore the site; but I was wrong. My backup did not contain essential data. I am now deciding whether to rebuild the site’s functionality and attempt to recover the content of the most recent 200+ articles that were not preserved in my most recent backup. (I am currently running a program to regather some of the articles, which I might then put in an on-site “museum” as a tribute to the past!) But perhaps it’s best just to move on, investing energy in the future rather than in saving past achievements.
There it is . org remains my hub on the net; but expect its nature to change over time.
It turns out the hosting company came back online at least long enough for me to recover my database.
I apologize for any inconvenience any of this might have caused. There are a few lessons, some grand (about impermanence), some less so (always double-check your back-ups).