Emptying the Vessel

When you cast away things, you’re also casting away the self-related others that are symbolically related to those things. You start a cleaning-out process. You begin to empty the vessel.

– Glen, from Stephen King’s novel, “The Stand”

I thought it would be a little inconvenient not having many things with me on the road. I now have less than a half of stuff I used to bring for one-week vacation. I only have few clothes. Hand-washing them is my daily activity. On cold night a couple weeks ago in Australia, I had to wear four shirts and two pants to sleep through the night in my rent-a-car.

Inconvenience isn’t all bad.

Picking what to wear for the day is no brainer. For entertainment, I only have kindle, iPod, and my laptop (which is mostly offline). I now read a lot more, and I read slower. Music used to be something in background, but now I enjoy listening them. Offline computer is only good for viewing pictures and writing blogs like this, but I enjoy writing whenever I have power outlet.

There aren’t much to do, but I do few things more, maybe in better “quality.”

Not only my small entertainment became more rewarding, I actually started feeling better in more general way.

While I was enjoying my life with few things, I was reading Stephen King’s novel, The Stand. Glen, one of the protagonists, is a professor in sociology, and explaining to his friends why God in the Bible sent his devoted followers, like Moses, to wilderness to suffer. In his opinion, it was to purify their minds so that they can “charge.”

Your brain runs on chemically converted electrical current. For that matter, your muscles run on tiny charges, too. … Everything you think, everything you do, it all has to run off the battery. Like the accessories in a car.

Watching TV, reading books, talking with friends, eating a big dinner … all of it runs off the battery. A normal life—at least in what used to be Western civilization—was like running a car with power windows, power brakes, power seats, all the goodies. But the more goodies you have, the less the battery can charge.

I still read my books, but by giving up many other “goodies,” I must also be recharging.

When you empty out the vessel, you also empty out all the crap floating around in there,” Glen said. “The additives. The impurities. Sure it feels good. It’s a whole-body, whole-mind enema.”

That was such an a-ha moment. No wonder why I am feeling good. It’s whole-mind enema!


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