When I used to have the time to check out of reality for 12 hours at a time, I got to observe my own mind at work. Observing a leaf float down a creek has a lot more edificational value than you might think. Every thought we think has layers and layers of thought beneath and in and around it. Now I’m talking with someone who’s mind is slipping away and have to watch every one of those layers. When I say something like, “my wife, Ruth”, I’m identifying one person with two key identifiers, and each one has more identification that comes with it and more that comes to mind when it’s said. She’s my second wife, her family called her Ruthie, she kept her last name, she knits, we’ve been married for 20 years, and on an on. That’s just a simple example, but when you’ve lived for a few decades, nothing is simple. Depending on how happy all of these layers are, we call it baggage or we call it the rich experience of our history.
At the end of “The Good Place” someone told the Buddhist analogy of life as a wave. You can see it forming way out there, then hold it’s form as it crests and rolls in, then finally tit crashes on the shore and recedes, but the water is still there.