Updated: Oct 29, 2020
An American tourist desired to meet an Indian Mystic.
So his hosts arranged for him to meet a Rishi (an enlightened being).
On entering the small room, the American was astonished to see the Rishi's room and living space, so bare and simple. The only furniture was a mat and a few wooden utensils.
Tourist :"With due respect, may I ask where's your furniture and other household things?"
Rishi : "Where is yours?"
Tourist : "Mine? But I'm only a visitor here."
Rishi : "So am I...... !!"
We come into this world alone, and alone we shall leave it. In the intervening period we try to gather as much as we can, rarely knowing why. Imagine, our individual lives as a journey. If we wish to survive and thrive, then standing still is not an option. So we stagger along various paths to get to an unknown destination, arming ourselves with relationships and things. Enticed by wants and driven by fear we relentlessly keep on gathering people and things, landing up with an excess. Gather, hoard, gather more, hoard more. Then, what we have hoarded we must protect and preserve. Who knows what will be needed and when? We will know when we have become truly wealthy, not when we have much, but when we stop desiring more. Every asset, and every relationship makes demands on our time and resources. Family and relationships have to be constantly expanded. Each relationship has to be maintained. Countless details have to be remembered, birthdays, anniversaries, likes, dislikes. Marriages and funerals, celebrations and tragedies all require attendance and some participation. Torturing ourselves by these excesses, eventually, we discover a bit too late, that we have denied ourselves the opportunity to live, to be both successful and happy. Whenever I lost an asset, wealth, or something I used to cry and wail for my loss until I reconciled myself to the fact that they were never going to be mine permanently. The acceptance of reality works as a catharsis healing and strengthening me. Now I accept everything in my stride and little effects me.
In the same vein should a family member or relative, a friend or associate, a lover, be lost then one has to remember that by intention or circumstances they would leave us or we would leave them one day. That day could be now. Baggage, the more stuff we have the greater is the impediment to success and achievement. Just as we cannot hear properly if there is too much noise or to see properly if there is too much motion around us, so it is with our soul. Chaos inhibits our ability to connect with Creation and we can get lost, like a lonely asteroid roaming the galaxy. When we forget to live until it is too late and death comes a calling, we struggle to hang on trying to live just a bit longer so as to live and experience life. A person who has lived his or her life fully has no fear of death, rather they embrace it. Shedding excess baggage allows us to act, love, and experience more, synchronising us with existence, our universe. The life we came to live, remains mostly unlived. We spend all our time in gathering and managing our baggage.