Archive for December 6th, 2009

In traveling cross country today, I was swept, along with many others, into the all too familiar twilight zone of air travel. The carrier’s sabre system went down and remained so all day. If you didn’t have a boarding pass printed out at home, you had to submit to an agonizingly slow manual boarding process.

Fortunately, I am a big believer in printing these out at home before I head to the airport, so the whole thing was a lot less tortuous, though delays were substantial.
Once on board, the inevitable horror of limited overhead space was the next collective trial.

I’ve never ceased to be amazed at the amount that people carry with them, nor the lengths they will go to attempt to out-smart the laws of physics.

I watched a display of such irrationality as a young lady insisted on ramming a clearly over- sized bag into a space simply too small to accommodate it. ( This happens a lot actually.) She removed other people’s items, including mine, “hell bent” on figuring out how to make it work.

Eventually, she did what the flight attendant advised from the start: take some stuff out and place it in the bin alongside the bag. Miracle of miracles, it worked beautifully.

With all the travel I do, three weeks out of every four, on average, domestically and internationally, you do come face to face with a very good assessment of your own spiritual condition. I still travel with too much, but I’ve been working on it, and getting better at the “accidental tourist” thing.

A lot of things can be purchased on arrival after all. Sometimes, I’ve even sent the bag ahead by a few days to be held at my destination hotel when the trip was more than a week.

Tonight’s flight delays will get me into my destination at close to midnight. Getting the bag from baggage claim will cost me even more time, and then I have a two hour drive to my hotel. So, I am thinking about this luggage issue a lot tonight. Of what is all the excess luggage symptomatic?

It is another demonstration of our preoccupation with exteriors. Of course, it also reflects the very effective brainwashing of the advertisers, and explains why so many billions are spent on ad budgets every quarter. It works!

The daily barrage of messages about product just worm their way into consciousness and attach to other values. These are conditioned emotional and spiritual responses.

I see bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, perfume, gels, lotions, salves, dental product and cremes being confiscated at airport security (though the regulations about liquids are clear along with use of the transparent plastic quart bags, and have been for a long time.)

Once I arrive at my destination, I will take stock of what traveled with me this time that was unnecessary: all part of a systematic unburdening to make more room for interior work. It’s something I need to do repeatedly because, in time, these associations between product and values, such as attractiveness, hygiene, and entertainment, adhere to the sticky surface of mind like fly paper.

All our practices, without exception, strengthen or weaken the health of the soul. May the young woman who struggled so tonight with her luggage regain her sense of humor swiftly, and be blessed. She was a teacher giving me a chance to examine this aspect of my own life more closely. ( By the way, she sat beside me on the flight and soon was fast asleep).

Our stuff does not complete us, it depletes us.

“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be.” Matthew 6:21

© Brother Anton and The Harried Mystic, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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