And so Castles Made of Sand Fall in The Sea Eventually
I’ve heard Jimi’s lyric countless times over many years. Today is the day I truly heard it, unlike any time in the past.
As one commenter notes:
“This is the inevitability of death, but also the beauty and fragility of life represented by a sand castle. Nothing is certain and nothing lasts forever, eventually things will fall apart.”
In this song, the three individuals are caught within the grips of their own narratives and fantasies. Their mental stories eventually crack… and their empty nature is revealed.
This precept lives at the heart of Buddhism: everything is impermanent, and therefore, we ought to very carefully study our attachments, and loosen our grip on them (or let go entirely).
Where do our stories and attachments come from? The ego. The infinite chain of thoughts that we are addicted to and consider synonymous with who we are.
Sigh… the bittersweet part about realizing this, and writing this, is knowing that it might not actually help anyone. In other words, Jimi’s words, and by extension, these words, are very likely to bounce right off a person’s mind until someday… the following finally clicks:
Most of the things we spend our lives seeking, and clinging to, are illusory, and will fade. The whole trick then, is not to seek. And further, to be grateful for all the goodness around you. Appreciate it but don’t hold tight, as it may be gone tomorrow.
Isn’t it fascinating to see the warnings of ego identity strewn about history? While Jimi Hendrix is synonymous with hippies and Woodstock, his fame almost hides the simple and profound truth in these words.
Often my reflections start on reddit. In this case, I was lucky to receive an apt response from someone, who happened to experience this lyric quite literally, and used it in their bio:
“This [lyric] helped me get through my divorce.
Precisely that – a relationship and the way I wanted things to be did not, do not define me.
I really started thinking about things and how I am just a speck a tiny speck in a grand universe… I started thinking about laying on my deathbed and what my purpose in life would have been. Would it be tied to someone that doesn’t love me and hurts me or would it be me learning how to stand on my own two feet?
For so long I had it cemented in my brain that this marriage was what I wanted and I would do anything to make it work. The universe has other plans though and you can’t force someone to love you the way you need or want!
Thanks for sharing 🙂 I hope others will see this, read this, and maybe apply this to whatever they may be struggling with.”