The Baggage You Can't Leave Behind
The Baggage You Can't Leave Behind (Dedicated to AJ)
See the Bag with the Heart on it on the red DVD cover?
"And love is not the easy thing.
The only baggage you can bring...
And love is not the easy thing....
The only baggage you can bring
Is all that you can't leave behind"
(Know more about this song @
So sung Bono of U2 in the opening lyrics of "Walk On"(Read about Bono's Efforts for Relief of Third World Debts@ http://u2.com/homepage/news060202_detail.html)
in the album "All That You Can't Leave Behind",the cover of which is a black and white pictureof the band in black in the centre of a sparse white airport departure hall,standing, waiting, with their baggage on the floor.I call it a black or white situation-because when you leave a place,you leave it.There is nothing grey about it-unless the mind, that is attached,stays in the white,though the body has left for the black.There is seldom an absolute black or whitein the spectrum of infinite greys of life.But each and everythingis either more black or more white.It is based on whether something is more black or more whitethat we decide what to do or not do.Sometimes it is very hard to tell-but we still have to choose.Sometimes it is very hard not to lie to ourselves-but we still should make the right choice.When you leave a place, a person, a life,do you really leave?What do you bring along when you depart for another land?
Bono said that"...love is not the easy thing.
The only baggage you can bring..."But this love, is it love or attachment?
Conditioned love and attachment is excess baggage-weighs you down in this life and beyond.
Your most precious baggage might be your biggest burden.
Like they say,set your love, if you think it's true, free,and it will always be true,whether she returns or not, (okay, I said this, not "they")for true love never ties anyone down-doesn't make you long for it,sets you free.
In travelling in this life and beyond,travel light, with minimal baggage.Only when you travel light,can you truly go places.
In fact, when you carry nothing at all,you are as free as anyone can ever be.Our baggage is nothing but our attachment;renunciation of which is nothing but freedom.I don't think
"The only baggage you can bring
Is all that you can't leave behind"because you can't bring what you really can't leave behind-that's life, that's death-when it does all apart.You might think you can bring thoughts of love with you,but that gets you nowhere.It is this attachment that brings you back to life,after life,that which you can't leave behind that brings you back.
"All of the baggage that you want to bring
is all that you cannot leave behind."
This is a reminder-check your baggage now.Life is a lesson for letting go baggage,that we havn't quite mastered in our previous lives-which is why we are here,hanging on to baggage this very moment.I wrote a poem on June 24, 1999called "Leaving Me"
@ http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TheDailyEnlightenment/message/144I was leaving for a faraway place...
"...I feel like I am leaving me....
I will be leaving all that I am familiar with,
my friends and family,...
Leaving all I am familiar with,
that which makes up my identity, 'me.'
What am I without these things?
No longer me?...
Almost scary... but it's not at all- it's liberating
I'm going to be reborn as a new clean person,
a stranger in a strange land...
Losing everything we feel 'important,'
I might have nothing left to lose anymore-
a kind of freedom...
Almost scary... but it's not at all- it's liberating
We are all changing, given chances to change.
We are all leaving our 'me.'...
Are you leaving with me, leaving yourselves too?..."That was my baggage-I was leaving "me",stuff that defined me,stuff that illusions and delusions were made of.
But things turned out that I didn't leave in the end...
But now as I write this on 13 March, 2002,Juan, a friend is leaving me.She wasn't ready to leave,but suddenly became ready to.And I told her frankly I didn't want her to.She had become my baggage,just when she let go of hers,which included me.Just as suddenly,
a song by Paul Young drifted through my mind-"Every time you go away,you take a piece of me with you..."She was not just leaving herself,like I was prepared to leave "me";she was leaving with a piece of me too,whether she knew it or not.Her friendship was part of the way I had defined myself-and in her departing,part of me departs.
Am I not losing part of myself?But I lose myself only when I have myself as part of her baggage that she'll bring away,only if I attach it to her,only if I remain attached to her.
It's incredible how I had unwittinglybecame someone's invisible unchecked baggage.Invisible because she wouldn't have known it if I did not tell her.Unchecked because I bagged myself for her without her knowing.
Sometimes you don't know what parts of you you had bagged for othersuntil they take those parts away from you.
Don't just check that you have no baggage-check whether you had packed yourself for others to take away.As I write this,it struck me that every moment,we are leaving big and small baggages of ourselves here and there,mindfully or not.And it hurts when our baggages are not taken care of,forgotten, lost.It is our ego.It is our delusion of self,that leads us to have baggages,that needs taking care of,that needs letting go of.The baggage of self (the collective five aggregates) is unreal, unsubstantial,because it is changing all the time-it's true, even though it sounds a little unfeeling, unsentimental.But non-self is not cold,it means we are already one with those we love-it means we are in a web of interdependence,with no need to have and to hold.Death can come anytime,I told Juan.Migration, that which you are doing,is a "timely" rehearsal for death in a subtle way-learn to leave all the people and places you love behind.All the visible baggages in your mind's eye.And please take care of the invisible baggage that'll be tagging along too-
I am one such baggage.But don't be mistaken-this baggage's responsibility is mine-you are to travel light,and I will do my part to remove my excess baggage.But there might be others' invisible baggages too.Have the Compassion and Wisdomto let go of your visible baggages of self,to help return the invisible baggages of others' selves.Be kind to yourself,this though a rehearsal for death,is not a rehearsal for life-there is no rehearsal for life-this is it-you are indeed leaving.Your baggage will always be your charge.Know how much there is,know what's in it.Travel as light as possible-bring nothing if possible.
It's a challenge, a spiritual test.After all, we came with no baggage except our unseen karma,and will leave just as naked,just as bare, in our birthday suit.Bon voyage!
Have a good life.Your baggage-leave home without it, if you can-it's the only true way,to our true home."Walk on"...
I leave you with its closing verses...
"Leave it behind
You've got to leave it behind (Let go...)
All that you fashion
All that you make
All that you build
All that you break
All that you measure
All that you steal
All this you can leave behind
All that you reason
All that you sense
All that you speak
All you dress up
All that you scheme…"Amituofo