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

Painted Owl:I am headed for the light on god's back porch.

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


Thank you so much for sharing your views and understanding of this subject.

I recently attended a retreat with Sogyal Rimpoche ( the author of Tibetan Book Of Living and Dying ).

I was made aware of the importance of mindfulness during meditation.

Mindfulness being mind-full, awareness, alert and not emptiness as I am certain many assumed.

it is also further explained and broke down to 8 different state of awareness.

the first 5 are to do do with our basic senses ( touch, taste, hearing, smell and sight ) and interestingly the following 3 are our less obvious mental state.

the 6th level is through the sense sight, a cognitive response to what we see ( ie; recognition of an object or situation )

then very quickly the 7th mental state arise(too quickly normally)which is explained to us as our 'judgement'(on the object or situation we just perceived.)

Through this mental state we assign value to what we see, hence closing the door shut before the 8th mental state have a chance to give rise.

The 8th mental state being; compassion, tolerence, acceptance etc..

We were taught to make space in our mind by slowing the process of the 6 and 7th mental state through mindful observation of this natural process that happens rather automatically.

It is through mindful cultivation of mental space then can the 8th can come through.

We are so busy mentally most of the times, we may miss the point.

I don't think I am fluent as yet to explain this effectively, and may you all forgive me for my attempt.

Transformation of conciousness through trials and revelation.

Thank you.

Garry Tee
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Post by wyldeflower » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

[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...]

jung tells us that the aim of individuation is to find and live out of one's center. i equate campbell's "bliss" with jung's "center".
what's interesting is that finding one's center requires a transpersonal (beyond one's individual persona) process. so the dichotomy may be understood in the differentiation between the *finding* and the *identification* of one's "bliss".

looking at the *finding* which is process, philosophers, theologians, and arahats, tell us that through various meditative-concentration methods, i.e. prayer, anapansati-samadhi, that there is a descent of transcendent power and illumination through the whole consciousness and persoanlity. what may be discovered through process is that the source of the power exists in some realm that is beyond personal consciousness and ego. christians would call this the "descent of the holy spirit" while buddhists would tell us it's not so important to name everything :smile:

the experience of the process provides in continuous mode (nature of process) what "bliss" is all about. we know that it has descended or entered from somewhere. we may discern from the experience that it is not just "ours". because it is not just ours, bliss may be defined as what we do as instruments of the process.

how can we, through this experience, not be compassionate where compassion recognizes our commonality with all life?

so are we obligated to do good works? i think campbell was telling us it becomes who we are rather than our becoming it.

Ubi nunc sapientis ossa Merlini
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Post by Vissi » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am


great observations, beautifully expressed.

wyldeflower wrote:
so are we obligated to do good works? i think campbell was telling us it becomes who we are rather than our becoming it.
If we see ourselves as under obligation to do good works, haven't we already invalidated the opportunity to actually do a positive work by assuming the work requires our participation rather than someone else's? At times, it is an interesting action to see a possibility for achieving merit and pointing it out to another, offering them the opportunity to act compassionately or lovingly. This sort of action is a sharing of possibility that may be a vehicle for mutual good? In some forms of Buddhism, spontaneous action without filtering through value judgments or personal gain, is viewed as indicative of a Bodhisattva's state of being. Such actions reveal the Bodhisattva's great compassion and personal fearlessness, both contributive to even more vital states of being. In considering the question through a Buddhist perspective, to judge whether a work is truly "good" one would have to possess the state of full enlightenment to be able to discern the complete chains of karma present on each side of any interaction. Even then, judgment would not be a simple matter as all beings must come to realization through their own means. Likely, there are existent parallels in all spiritual systems, particularly through the mystical understandings of the various wisdom traditions.

Interesting subject. Thanks to all.
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Post by alice lee » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

Hi Joe The Dragon, it would be interestion to know how Albert Nolan spends his time and money. Also, according to the Da Vinci Dode and Holy Blood Holy Grail, Jesus came from a wealth family. I remember in sunday school class years age, asking the question how came Mary the mother of Jesus had servants if they were poor. The answer was that everone back then had servants. I wanted to ask, even the servants.

Remember Jesus came along at a point in history when being poor or afflected was seen as a punishment because these people didn't deserve any better. Thru compassion we recongnize the human value in others and that suffering is the result of a condition. How to change the condition of other people is a tough one. I think that the best thing one person can do for another is to help them believe in themselves. Don't you agree that music does that. It creates a feeling of well being that equates into a faith in oneself. Don't underestimate your contribution. alice lee
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Post by Dmouse » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:22 am

Hi all,

Interesting topic here. Bliss as selfishness.

I was reading all the different thoughts about doing good works, Jesus, a vitalized life vitalizes, ect, and a thought from my own life came to mind. You never know who you are lifting up when you follow your bliss although sometimes you are allowed glimpses when someone out of the blue comes up to you and tells you how much of an inspiration you have been to them. This happened to me when I was teaching, I had a student tell me that I had inspired her to continue her education. As I was teaching in a program that focused on getting people ready for family wage jobs this was a big step for her. The student population was not one that had experienced academic sucess before.

Interestingly, I didn't even know I was following my bliss at the time, it took time away from teaching for me to realize that teaching was it for me.

From my own personal experience, it's true, a vitalized life does vitalize others. You can't save everyone but you can have an effect on those in your own backyard, those people that you do come in contact with. I seem to remember a line in the bible about entertaining angels unawares...I think this applies a bit here.


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

Perhaps I'm wrong, but, for me transcenence of Ego is something that has happened because I just say "yes" to what circumstances have been thrown at me, asking at the same time for the strength and the perseverence to get through.
Each crisis and challenge seems to hit me at a deeper level of both consciousness and unconscioness. And the years make one less resilient.
Each crisis feels like a death which I have to mourn along the same paths as Kuhbler-Ross describes.
But, the suffering continues with an attack from left field just when I think I've got the hang of the way things are, and have reached an adjustment.
And as far as Compassion is concerned, I really don't think one need move beyond one's family circle to put this virtue into practice.
How can I do anything of impact on the "poor" of our world, when I live with family and with my own self, who are poor "spiritually", let alone financially as they have children of their own?
To recognise the economic poor , for me, is an important coordinate. By that, I can evaluate the hypocrisy of those who claim to be. But, I can compare how things were during WWII, when I was a small child . Then , everyone was really in the same economic stratum in Australia, almost.
To own a house or a car, meant wealth.
Even running hot water and an inside toilet were not the suburban norm.
Growing up, our family had none of these "luxuries", but felt no different from the people next door.
We were all rationed with "Ration Books" for all goods, from food to clothing. The coupon for that month was removed by the shop-keeper, and that was it until next month.
As a child, I took that living as the norm.
For children now, in economically deprived countries, they would feel the same.
But,morally, it is unacceptable, because communications have made us aware of facts that were previously hidden from the ordinary voter.
But, even at this stage when I would dearly love to be far more financially generous across the board, I find our assets diminishing from demands of taxation and from the natural growth of our children and their children , in need.
So, in summary, ideals must be tempered by reality.
Compassion, like love, for me, begins at home.
We shall not cease from exploration<br>And the end of all our exploring<br>Will be to arrive where we started<br>And know the place for the first time.<br>T.S.Eliot.