When we’re young, we’re easy prey for cultural assortments, doctrinal adhesions and tribal affiliations. In our unexamined middle age, our attachments hang from us like sticky notes on the door of a refrigerator.
One by one, dump your desires. Yes, all of them. Start small—say, with a desire for potato chips—and then move up from there, even as far as sugar and sex and possessions. After a couple of successful relinquishments, you’ll find it gets easier and easier to let go of these mind-made confinements. And even, strange to say, a bit thrilling. Because ultimately you arrive at your heart’s desire, the one that necessitated the sweeping away of all the others.
The first two stages of life, that of student and householder, are for doing. The second two stages of life, that of hermit and renunciant, are for undoing. Adapted for the Western mind, per T.S. Eliot, we advance for a while and then we retreat, arriving where we started from and knowing the place for the first time.
On whom we depend, we are enslaved by. A good deal of popular music is devoted to the pain and pleasure of this arrangement. The true man is like the sun. Completely unattached.
My name is a small, battered valise. I carry my attachments in it.