Going round and round on a Ferris wheel makes you feel as if you are going somewhere but, really, you keep returning to the same place you started from, and end up going nowhere.
In a world defined by impermanence, where everything in creation follows the birth-life-death-birth cycle, it is the same.
We feel like we are going somewhere, making achievements, building buildings but, invariably, we end up returning to the same place we began—empty handed and alone. Ask Alexander the Great.*
That's quite a conundrum to the ego that wants to feel in power, in charge, and in control. It can't have any of this business of not getting anywhere, of not having any power, and of not having anything to show for a life lived.
How can you escape the birth-death cycle? That is a serious question practitioners begin to ask after more than a few go arounds on the wheel. It is frustrating to work towards goals, have them realised, and then watch them fade away into nothing. It is frustrating to continue to be subject to impermanence.
The ego, though it may try with all of its might, cannot defeat this cycle. We are bound by and to it, like gravity.
Being so, what we can do is stop trying to defeat it and raise a white flag of surrender, which means accepting the truth even if tastes like bitter medicine.
By surrendering to the birth-death cycle and relaxing our need to prove ourselves before it's "all over," we transcend it. I am OK with birth. I am OK with life. I am OK with death. By being OK will all these aspects, no longer is there any separation between them. If there is no separation between them, then they cease to exist. All becomes one.
It is only when we resist a thing do we give it life and definition. By surrendering to a thing, we merge with it, removing its power over us by removing our opposition to it.
Be like the silent, unmoved eye of the hurricane. While in the midst of a never ending, impossible to comprehend dance of creation, remain still and unchanged.
That is peace.
* Alexander the Great was reported to have issued "Three Wishes" at the time of his death, including one to have his hands left outside of his coffin. After being asked why by a confused General, Alexander the Great said, "... to let people know I came to this world in empty hands and I will leave this world, also, in empty hands."