- key BUDDHIST doctrine regarding the impermanence of all things which FORMS the first of the three characteristic marks of EXISTENCE. It is a feature of all existence which Buddhists claim can be observed empirically thus providing evidence for Buddhist claims about the NATURE of the UNIVERSE. Everything is in a state of FLUX but more importantly the mind, or consciousness, is essentially impermanent and consciousness arises or ceases from moment to moment. Recognition of the impermanence of physical things is easy, but to also see that consciousness is similar is much more difficult and one of the tasks of BUDDHISM. Only when this is done can the INDIVIDUAL go on to recognize that there is no permanent SELF or that there is no such thing as a SOUL. Everything, including individual consciousness, is impermanent. This doctrine separates Buddhism from all other RELIGIONS in that it denies the essential spiritual nature of the person and sees such BELIEFS as an illusion which binds sentient BEINGS to EXISTENCE.
Concise dictionary of Religion. 2012.