The human situation is founded on a beautiful paradox. On the one hand, everything that makes up the human being–body, thoughts, feelings, states of consciousness, etc.–is in constant flux. As a human being, I am not the same as I was 3 minutes ago; my human dimension cannot be said to be “always” present. It changes and is gone in a flash of an instant.
On the other hand, we exist in a web of interdependent relationships with everything in the universe. Everything in the universe depends on you and you depend on everything in the universe; however, this is not an egoistic fact. It is true of everything in the universe, since everything in the universe exists in the web of inter-being.
Therefore, we have both a human dimension and a universal dimension. Our impermanent human being falls away when the conditions on which it depends cease to obtain, but our universal being continues to live on in ever-new manifestations.
To put the matter metaphorically, just as the wave arising from the ocean is both distinct wave and continuous with the whole ocean, so are human beings both distinct and continuous with the entire universe. “I” and “you” are distinct waves, but we are one and the same in our ocean being, that is, the universe of interdependent relationships itself.