Transcendence of ego, compassion, and then identity crisis?

Who was Joseph Campbell? What is a myth? What does "Follow Your Bliss" mean? If you are new to the work of Joseph Campbell, this forum is a good place to start.

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Joe the Dragon
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Post by Joe the Dragon » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

It seems to me that one of the primary teachings of many of the mythologies Campbell discusses has to do with transcendence of ego.

Obviously we must leave our ego at the door to enter the belly of the whale.

What we learn upon return is that the world is interconnected, we are all one after a fashion, that "thou art that." What is to be done with this knowledge? Compassionate action seems to be a pretty wise step to take. Helping those in need.

So if transcending the ego, as is the lesson of many a myths, leads to compassionate action and selflessness where do we draw the line?

Isn't it psychologically unhealthy to lose oneself entirely in charity and compassionate action. If our entirely lives are based around serving and helping others, does this not cause some problems to our own well-being?

What is the real issue here? Have I missed the part where the myths validate my interest in self-preservation? In todays world the opportunity for charity and compassonate action are limitless, yet i still have interests of my own that don't involve serving up food in a homeless shelter. I cannot find a myth or a writing that offers advice on this contradiction of interests. Sincere Christian theology reminds me that any selfish act, anything that is not in service of those in need, is a sinful act... no matter what.


Any thoughts?
Joe

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Post by markmc03 » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

I think the mandate is simply to follow your bliss. If that means for you doing charitable works and acting selflessly, then do so. If you are not inclined to do charitable works or act entirely selflessly, then don't force yourself to do something you are not naturally inclined to do. You wouldn't be following your bliss then, would you?

There is no shame in this.

Everyone has their own path (and remember, it's a tricky concept but the path is not a path at all). Not everyone is meant to be a Gandhi or Mother Theresa. If that IS your calling, and you ignore it, then that is your personal choice but one which I don't think you'd be comfortable with ultimately.

There seems to be a misconception that following your bliss necessarily entails a life of poverty and need.

If the Universe is indeed nurturing, as long as you are true in your intention, your needs WILL be met. I speak from experience. Each time I have been down to my last dollar, something came through. And it seemed bloody miraculous at the time.

How you define your needs may be at odds with how the Universe defines them. Money and the acquisition of money often pulls people away from pursuing their real bliss. God knows, I am often tormented by the memory of what I gave up to follow my dream. But finding spiritual fulfillment (and my definition of that may differ from yours) is far more satisfying than the very temporary gratification of acquiring material possessions.

This, of course, goes counter to the Consumer Culture in which we live. I know my own family is aghast at my attitude.

I enjoy the metaphorical beauty of the biblical story about Christ and the wealthy man. This man was so impressed by Christ, he approached Christ and asked "what do I need to do to inherit eternal life." And when Christ said "give away all your wealth to the poor and follow me", the man turned white and shrank away. Christ laughed and said, you know, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven (I paraphrase of course but I think this is the essence of the story). Giving up possessions to pursue bliss is not something people do easily.

Christ also said "For what will a man be profited if he gains the whole world and loses his soul". How many millionaires have lived empty miserable lives? How many bury their discontent in drugs and alcohol? What good is all their wealth when they can't find simple pleasure?

Break it down. If you are following your bliss but it does not bring you great wealth, do you turn aside from your bliss in order to acquire wealth? Is that being true to yourself?

Some people's bliss brings GREAT reward. How many A-List actors have I heard say they can't believe they get paid to do something they love? Ten to twenty million dollars per film? And graphic artists are more likely to receive considerable remuneration in this day and age. Musicians likewise. Lucky them.

Not every one is so lucky. But if you are truly following your bliss, then you are prepared to endure hardship and sacrifice. If you are not so committed, then can you truly say that you are following your bliss?

Not everyone seems to be aware of what their bliss is. Or sometimes fear of poverty and want prevents them from acknowledging their bliss.

When I was beginning my transition, I put myself through hell worrying about what was going to happen to me. But I was prepared to end my life, if necessary, rather than face a life without remaining true to my bliss. It wasn't necessary.

Oddly enough, it was a scriptural phrase that spoke to me. I am not a bible thumper. Far from it. But I find the New Testament to be a source of inspiration at times. And at one of those moments of desparation, I flipped through my little Gideons and the book fell open at this phrase:

"... I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat, or what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them ... all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow, for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

What is the difference between this, following my bliss, and what Christ was asking of the wealthy man? To my mind, following your bliss is following Christ - without the attendent religious tags. I don't think this has anything to do with any specific 'religion'. This has to do with our spiritual life, attending to the part of ourselves that is greater than our physical manifestation.

When you do as Joseph Campbell had done, and break it all down to its essential components, following your bliss is the true equivalent of picking up your own metaphorical cross and following the metaphorical Christ. This is also, to my mind, equivalent to taking the vow of poverty and adopting the monastic life of a Buddhist monk in order to gain enlightment and grow spiritually toward Nirvana.

This thought transcends the theological rhetoric and requires one to eschew fundamentalist demands. I find little in the New Testament to be in conflict with this view.

Nuff said.
Mark - <br><br>"To make an apple pie from scratch, first you must create the universe."<br>-Carl Sagan
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Post by Joe the Dragon » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

mark,

I agree with what you are saying. One must follow their bliss come hell or high water, even if it means living without material gain.

Yet as i see it living without material wealth is not the hang up. My concern is more about living with material wealth.

My guess is that most people in developed nations are able to follow their bliss and maintain some decent level of material comfort. Many of us eventually come to a place where we can "live to work," and im sure many who "work to live" are still able to invest there income in a fashion that allows them to follow their bliss.

My concern has something to do with excessive wealth, a slightly more expanded reading of your tale of Jesus and the wealthy man. To inherit eternal life the wealthy man needed to give away his excesses so that the poor may experience a life of material decency at least. In this ego shattering act of compassion, the wealthy man would find his bliss and come to God... he would get over his hang up on material posessions. The key is compasson.


How many actors who cannot believe they get paid to do what they love live in material excess while children are starving in developing nations?

My question is thus. What answer do you give to the suffering people of the world? (A demographic whose reality is frequently neglected) Do we tell the the children in Iraq to "follow their bliss and everything will be fine?"

There is a certain level of material comfort required to be able to follow your bliss. Even those whose bliss leads them to financial difficulty don't have it as bad as a great many people out there, and at least they have the privelege of choosing said financial/material situation.

What about the suffering in the world, who simply cannot follow their bliss do to their socio-politico-economic environment? The people whose life can only be dominated the need to have bread for their children to eat... the people who don't get a choice in the matter? The people whose circumstances render them incapable of following their bliss?

I'm beginning to feel that this business of bliss following is a noble, yet extremely selfish venture. Selfish in a bad way.

Many of us live in developed nations. This practically garauntees us a certain level of material comfort. Most of us gladly accept this comfort and i'm sure frequently take it for granted.

As "bliss seekers" with the means avaiable to follow our bliss:
Before we set out to follow our own bliss, do we or do we not have a human obligation to assure everyone else in the world has the means they need to follow their bliss?

I don't feel like my bliss lies in the same path as Mother Theresa, i do have other interests... but i can't help but feel a deep concern for the people in the world who don't have the option of following their bliss.

I am curious how other JCF associates feel about this issue, or if the studies of Campbell can revealed some sort message for those who suffering horribly in this world.

If Joseph Campbell were in Iraq today, or any other place with a similar climate, would he in fact tell those children to "follow their bliss?" What would be his rationale?

As bliss seekers who are in a position to follow our bliss, how do you guys feel towards those who simply cannot because of socio-politico-economic circumstances? Of course we aren't all cut out to be Mother Theresas, but in this day and age, how can we afford not to be?! How can we follow our bliss with out feeling guilty for not helping those who don't share the same privelege?

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Post by markmc03 » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

Joe,

I understand your concern. It shows you have a good heart, a sign of compassion. That is a quality I hope you continue to nurture in your life.

Following your bliss is not something everyone can do. Let me put that another way, it is something that anyone CAN do, but the vast vast majority won't because they feel they can't. Survival is the primary motivator. If you haven't eaten for the past three days, following your bliss means finding a crust of bread. It is a quality of life, not an Art form. Those of us with full bellies find that necessary degree of satisfaction through artistic expression.

Understand that people live in a variety of circumstances. Most are poor. Plain fact. Even Christ in the New Testament states the simple fact, "we will have poor always. Look at the good things you've got" no doubt a paraphrase which I remember specifically from Jesus Christ Superstar (which should show you how much of a bible thumper I am NOT)

If you were not born into those circumstances, then I would take that as a clue you were not meant to deal with that cruel fact of life. If it compells you to do charitable works, for those without, then act on that impulse.

Not all who appear poor are poor. Panhandlers are often addicted to drugs and they live simply, dress poorly, to accomodate their illness. I don't contribute to their addiction. I will, if I have the cash, buy someone a meal, but I rarely give cash.

Those who live in impoverished countries have unique challenges. I do not live in those countries, nor do I feel the impulse to travel there. That is not my calling. If you feel the impulse to travel there, and to do something to improve their lot, then act on that impulse. If you do not feel such an impulse, don't berate yourself. Understand how you may best serve the greater mankind. I believe the greater is served by understanding yourself better, by appreciating what talents you have to share and then sharing them.

Life is said by the Buddhists to be a veil of tears. Joseph Campbell always said it is our purpose in life to joyfully participate in life's sorrows. Find what makes you happy. Do it. Share that happiness.

Do not feel guilty because you are not doing more for the oppressed. You will do what you are compelled to do when the time is right. Attend to yourself first and foremost. Learn, listen, share.

Disabuse your mind of the belief that this kind of selfishness is bad. It is necessary to think of the self before we expand our consciousness to take in the others, much less do something about others.

Step by step.

As for Iraq, we have good reason to feel shame for our complicity - whether through act or omission. What's done is done. Think positive therefore, when it comes to regime change. Recognize the opportunity you have, if you live someplace where the regime has acted in a manner counter to proper conduct in our world community.

Namaste


Mark - <br><br>"To make an apple pie from scratch, first you must create the universe."<br>-Carl Sagan
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Post by Siddha » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

Wow! Lot's going on in this thread...

I have dedicated my life to "my bliss" which is helping other's find their bliss and then bring it to life... I'm not so much a facilitator/helper more of a coach in that I teach people what I consider the basics, once they are on their way I step back like every guide (in my opinion should).

I use a couple of "truths" in this work that work for me and my clients. In this context I would suggest that you consider them as "rules of thumb"

1) Every quest is of service to someone else. For example the most selfish of artists can be a real SOB in person, yet if his/her art inspires another it was of "service". The first obstacle to perusing our bliss is often that it is perceived as selfish... As Joe said, "A vital life vitalizes" (I see it as part and parcel of this path)

2) The second challenge in "living" ones quest (I say "living" because in my experience discovering it is only 5% of the equation, bringing it to life with integrity is the other 95%) is financial. But in reality there is no connection. The rich man in your example would not find "bliss" automatically in giving away all his money, if he maintained attached to it he would experience "hell". Of course this isn't necessarily bad either. Jesus’ advice in my opinion was trying to get this man to shift perspectives or paradigms... it’s a good start but not necessarily a quick-fix. Money has been personally my biggest challenge, I love doing what I do and for a long time I didn't want to taint it with Materialism, Consumerism, etc. But there is really no connection between money and bliss (as your many examples illustrate already).

3) People often come up with extreme examples to question ideas or techniques. I do this all the time too; it is a good way to test a perspective or idea. The children in Iraq is one of them, it seems that anything we write as "advice" in how they could rebuild their lives to be trite and superficial. However, if I was sent right now to Iraq to counsel these children at the top of my list would be to help each one of them connect or reconnect with their bliss! I'm not saying that it would be easy; I'm not saying it would always be practical, but it would be the one thing I could do that in my opinion had the most meaning, dignity and integrity. Alas, the spiritual starvation is equally big in Calgary so I don't have to go anywhere... :wink:

My tip is, don't define "bliss" too narrowly, bliss is symbolic, you ask a kid in Iraq who lost a leg "what is your dream?" and the kid replies "to be on Iraq's national soccer team". OK, after you have swallowed that big lump in your throat... I would look at it symbolically, what would it feel like to achieve this goal, what would it mean? Both the feeling and meaning can be achieved in any moment, anytime, by anyone!

Finally, I believe that the challenge for each one of us is ultimately equal. People in poorer countries might not have material advantages but they have others. I find them (in general) to be more genuine, caring, helpful, connected, etc. A pan handling heroine addict has it as easy as a middle class house wife. The addict must over come the addiction, not an easy feat at all, but it is basically a live/die challenge, only two outcomes are possible (I'm exaggerating a little). The housewife while not in any sort of immediate risk has to overcome her addiction to stability, safety, routine, predictability. In my opinion both addictions have the same pull.

Let me know what you think,

May you discover challenges worthy of your many gifts!

Cliff


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Post by null » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

hello, sorry if this is redundant, but i think what others may be trying to say is that in self-actualizing/becoming the best "you" that you can be, you *will* be helping the community.

follow your bliss--do what gives your life meaning, and through that calling help others. just look at what campbell did by following his bliss.

as far as poverty etc, are you familiar with maslow's hierarchy of needs? basically, the idea is that if you dont have things like food, shelter, love..then one cannot self-actualize. certain conditions must first be met.

as for money, in this realm it helps to get things done. :smile:

peace,
null
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Post by Siddha » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

Null,

When people reach the stage in which "self-actualization" is their primary motivator they often end up re-evaluating the previous ones. For example:

Can I follow my bliss and:
1) Survive?
2) Make money? Most people earn much more money than what they need to meet their basic needs.
3) Still earn the respect of loved ones? This is a tough one as it can bring up unresolved conflict, etc.
4) Be any good at it?
etc.


I keep on meaning to read Maslow directly, have you read any of his books and if so can you recommend one or two?

Thanks,

Cliff
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Post by null » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

hey dragen.
i think i know what your saying. i feel like at a certain juncture you just say "yes" to this, maybe you dont even know what you're saying yes to, but you feel that there is really no other choice after the experiences which led you to this.

as far as the numbered list, well
1.its not *too* difficult to merely survive; there's a lot of people on this rock.
2.i havent had the too much money problem, but i feel that i have been well provided for.
3.yeah i know this one. this is all a process, right? give yourself some time. what kind of hollow unfulfilled shell would you be if you only existed to meet other people's expectations.
4.this is ego. i think that if you love what you are doing with all your being, then you probably wont be too bad at it.

i havent read any of Maslow's books, but this conversation has inspired me to obtain Religions, Values, and Peak Experiences. apparently it can be had fairly inexpensively.

peace,
null

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Post by Joe the Dragon » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

I thank you all for you insights. From these proceedings i glean two conflicting ideas.

1) A vital life vitalizes.
This completely validates and encourage the selfish interest (selfish in a good way) of following one's bliss. For in the end self-actualizing will aid the community more than any sort of forced charity work.

2) Maslow's Hiercharchy of Needs.
This means that people have certain prerequistes to follow their bliss. People require food, shelter, love... in order to self actualize.

The plain truth is that there are people in the world (i'm thinking mostly in developing nations) that do not have access to these basic needs, and cannot get access to them. This is by no fault of their own (compare: the housewife/heroine addict).




These dicsussions have certainly brought a more focused vocabulary to the subject matter. Which i think is wonderful. However, the question remains? How valid is the selfish act of following one's bliss if other people in the world do not have the basic needs to follow there's.

Is our responsibility as the "have's" of this world to use what we have to self-actualize? Or is it to take painstaking effort to make sure that these basic needs get shared with the "have-not's" So that they may experience the same self-actualization that we have are capable of.

It is interesting the way i see the different religions advise us. Considering my own studies (which are by no means thorough and definitive) i would conclude that Jesus would insist that we share our material benefits with those who have not, and we may only follow more selfish interests of bliss once everone else has the means to do the same. i.e. achieving the "Kingdom" of God.

The Eastern religions would adopt a more selfish attitude, and cling more firmly to the "vital life vitalizes" argument.


Anyway, I am very much interested in further comment/perspective on the subject.

Thanks so much,
Joe

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Post by markmc03 » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

Joe the dragon wrote:
Is our responsibility as the "have's" of this world to use what we have to self-actualize? Or is it to take painstaking effort to make sure that these basic needs get shared with the "have-not's" So that they may experience the same self-actualization that we have are capable of.
I'm afraid I am just going to repeat myself here.

If you feel compelled to share your material wealth with those in less developed countries, then that is what you must do.

If you are asking if it a pre-requisite for the wealthy in the developed nations to attend to the needs of those less fortunate before following their bliss regardless of what that may be, then I would have to say no.

As I mentioned before, even Christ acknowledged that there will be poor. Given my belief that all life holds an element of God (what I call the God spark), what you do to the least in this world you effectively do TO God. Interpret that how you will.

If following your bliss required a direct act on your part which deprived someone else of the necessities of life, then I would suggest that you might question how you interpret following your bliss.

Follow your heart/gut. That seems to be the rule. If you feel so strongly about the less fortunate, then I think you need to address that however you see fit.

Remember, the stories in the Bible are metaphors. The story about the wealthy man is a metaphor, not a factual report. Look to the core meaning. The lure of money is powerful in the world. Material wealth has always been tremendously seductive. It often distracts people from following their bliss because they confuse bliss with material gratification.

Substitute "follow your bliss" with the Biblical references to Heaven and God and I believe you will understand the importance of that command.

You need to stop thinking in absolute black and white terms. This is not an absolute one or the other. There are ways of combining needs and demands without compromising the process of following bliss. And when you are on the right track, the Universe seems willing to provide you with means.

This is what I believe.



Mark - <br><br>"To make an apple pie from scratch, first you must create the universe."<br>-Carl Sagan
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Post by Joe the Dragon » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

Thanks for your input Mark. I really appreciate it. I need to make an admission here... i'm sort of playing devil's advocate. Which i think is a fine thing to do, so long as one admits that's what's being done. Sorry for not being clear about it.

I figure it may be worth while for me to share what prompted this line of thinking. I recently read a book about the message of Jesus before he became the subject of doctrine and dogma. It seems that the preaching of Jesus was focused on compassion above all.

As i read it, the key seemed to be that the poor shall inherit the kingdom of god. (we can define the kingdom in many ways, i think to me it represents a utopian world where everyone is following there bliss, and we all live in harmony)

According to Jesus it is impossible for a rich man to enter the kingdom, for he is too attached to his money. The only way for the rich man to enter the kingdom is to become poor... to realize that his money is not the major factor, and offer his surplus to those who are deficient. This compassionate action will lead the rich man to his bliss.

That is how Jesus put it, at least according to my understanding of my reading (which remember is neither thorough or definitive). There is an ENORMOUS emphasis on compassionate action, that all acts that are not driven by compassion are sinful.

This attitude of demanding compassionate action was stated pretty strongly in the book i read, and had an effect on me. It seemed to contradict the selfish interest of following my bliss.

I for example am a musician, my bliss is music. Reading about this attitude concerned me that perhaps my pursuits in music were not valid, though its what i love, and live for, it is more important for me to invest my life energies in Peace Corps and things of that nature, and that everyone else who can afford it ought to as well.

For the record, i do see what your saying, and i do agree with you... Peace Corps doesn't sound all that appetizing to me. But if compassionate action is more important that following my bliss, i am obligated to participate in healing those in need bu any means necessary.

I don't like this view... obligation doesn't seem to be a good motivator for life decisions, however, i still feel the need to reconcile these two seemingly conflicting ethical directives...

One provides us with a very strict moral command, help others, take none for yourself... compassion by any means necessary (it pretty much makes all the decisions for you)

the other seems rather morally ambiguous (in a beautiful fashion). it forces you to decide your own morals for yourself.


This discussion has helped me clarify a few things in my own mind, which i apreciate.

It is likely that there is a flaw in my reading of Jesus... i am probably skewing something to read that compassion should drive everything, and nothing else will be tolerated.
If anyone could illustrate for me a more versatile and accepting reading of Jesus, one that is more encouraging and embracing of the business of bliss following, i would be quite grateful.


two by the ways:
1) By the way, the book is called "Jesus Before Christianity" by Albert Nolan.
2) By the way, Mark, i really like your signature. That Sagan quote makes me chuckle everytime i visit this board.

Thanks,
Joe :smile:

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Post by Joe the Dragon » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

A few more thoughts...

Mark please don't take offense, i am not attacking you personally. Like i said, I'm just trying to clear up a contradiction in my mind, so i can strengthen my own attitudes about the virtue of following one's bliss.

I was re-reading this thread, and i found something in your second post that can drive straight to the heart of the question:

(i don't know how to do the cool quote thing, help is appreciated)

Mark said:
Those who live in impoverished countries have unique challenges. I do not live in those countries, nor do I feel the impulse to travel there. That is not my calling. If you feel the impulse to travel there, and to do something to improve their lot, then act on that impulse. If you do not feel such an impulse, don't berate yourself. Understand how you may best serve the greater mankind. I believe the greater is served by understanding yourself better, by appreciating what talents you have to share and then sharing them.


I'm not a bible thumper, I'm not preaching Christianity and Jesus on this forum, i'm just trying to reconcile my views with his (Jesus).

According to the way i've read Jesus one MUST berate himself for not feeling an impulse to help the poor and downtrodden. Self-understanding, while useful, is simply not enough. It seems to me that Jesus demands something more concrete/physical/material... (i.e. charity work/ compassionate action) which would make sense because as Campbell has said, "The Western Religious view is a very materialistic view."

The Jesus i imagine would call Mark a sinner for speaking the paragraph i have quoted. I'm perfectly happy being with being a sinner in the eyes of that Jesus. But it'de be nice if i could find a way to reconcile.

I think my question has been getting clearer and clearer over the course of this thread.

Thasall,
Joe
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Post by Siddha » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

Joe,

Great thread! First off all I have to say that I fully agree with everything Mark has said so far. Second I’m going to add a couple of ideas that may spark something for you.

1) Bliss = selfishness? I see people’s bliss as what God/Jesus wants them to do. This planet has 6 billion people mucking about in the dark, IF each one of them followed their bliss it would be a tightly orchestrated symphony! We’d all understand God’s plan then quite easily… :wink: We can’t all be firefighters, brain surgeons and rescue pilots… although some of us MUST!

2) Like Mark says, if helping people abroad gets you excited then do it, but don’t do it out of obligation or guilt. That is not God’s plan for you at all! You don’t have to fly half way around the world to be compassionate, step outside your door and you’ll find over 300 million you can express compassion to.

3) From my perspective (I’m going out on a limb here) music by itself is not your bliss. I’m guessing it is a very important part of it, but not all of it. There is something missing in your life isn’t there? What are you curious about? What else motivates you? I’m guessing that from this thread a more genuine and or spiritual experience of life. The fact that this book moved you is an important clue. Anyway, no one can tell you what your bliss is, just let your curiosity and intuition continue to guide you!

4) Don’t look at people from underdeveloped countries through our Western eyes. A person needs very little to actually meet the first levels of Maslow’s hierarchy. Just because they aren’t microwaving Pizza Pops and driving to 7-11 in $65K SUV’s doesn’t mean that they are not self actualizing. Victor Frankel self-actualized in a Nazi concentration camp after all… Also Maslow’s theory is usually presented in a very linear fashion in most text books, but based on the little material that I have read from him directly he never envisioned it like this. Instead of a pyramid I tend to see the five levels more like overlapping spheres (meaning, you can move on without fully realizing the level below). For example you have spiritual rites that use fasting or sleep depravation to get people in touch with the transcendent.

5) I think you are at a very exciting part in your life. You’re waking up to the fact that there is something you are meant to do and maybe you haven’t fully discovered what it is yet. Go for it! When you discover your bliss (I tend to think of it as more of as a theme that encompasses your life then a specific action like work or play) it will not seem selfish anymore. The magnitude of it will seem overwhelming at times and instead of being guilt ridden (because you feel it is selfish) you will find yourself asking Jesus what ever made him think that you can pull it off… :wink: Following your bliss, demands that you sacrifice (well really surrender) everything, all your fears, ego and desires! It’s not some life long picnic at Club Med, however, at the end of this quest lies a great treasure, the possibility of living a genuine life, free of illusions (fears and desires) in which the world is a finely conducted symphony of life!

May you discover challenges worthy of your many gifts!

Cliff


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<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: dragen on 2004-03-28 10:35 ]</font>
Psyche
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Post by Psyche » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

How about this:

The Hero is the champion of things becoming: breaking the status quo. That
concept seems at odds with the notion of having an Ego, and in fact, the
idea of transcending(?) is to break down the Ego.

But, it occurs to me that one can't exist in the real world with out an
Ego; meaning, that cluster of traits that we believe ourselves to be and/or
that we present to the world. If that is true, then it seems to me that
the Hero's journey is about changing the nature of his or her Ego and is
not about eliminating it. Upon completion of the journey, the Ego is
synonomous with the authentic self and has acquired the capacity to be
flexible in order to adapt to the changing needs of the world. In this
light, there could be more than one Hero's journey in one's life time.

cheers,
joanne
Siddha
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Location: Calgary, Canada
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Post by Siddha » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

Joanne,

I couldn't agree with you any more, all good things carry within them bad and viceversa. Ego is what makes the spiritual search possible. What/who else drives us to seek out the ultimate experience of life? I've been exploring dragons (ego) for that reason as I believe like you that full integration and not destruction is the key.
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