Becoming Worthy of Bliss

Joseph Campbell formulated what became his most quoted dictum, "Follow your bliss" in the decade before his death. Join this conversation to explore this idea and share stories.

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sladeb
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Post by sladeb » Fri Oct 03, 2008 9:08 pm

Bliss - ah bliss...

If you have read the blog I wrote this month you will see that for the bliss is at the conjunct between what I love to do and the ability to aid others.. So while we cannot be responsible for their response, we can use our bliss to at least help them find the stable launching point for their own bliss...
The one thing I have learned about the quest journey is that as soon as you draw to the close of one quest - another calls and the journey begins once more.
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Post by CarmelaBear » Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:16 am

Well spoken, sladeb.

When one realizes how rich our inner resources are, the harshness of life is mitigated.

Because of the smallness of my life, I am lucky that there is mostly one individual who tests my bliss on a daily basis. If I can earn my bliss in this situation, I am worthy of bliss anywhere. This is a harsh learning environment, but it is a protected one. If I'm going to be challenged in the softest parts of my psyche, then I have the supreme opportunity to learn the skills that will work for me in other places and times.

This freedom to say whatever I wish on the internet may disappear soon. You are few and this place is safe. If I move to the next level, I may find myself in another kind of prision reserved only for those who might be fatally misunderstood.

Challenge is a kind of bliss.

~
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Post by freespiritintraining » Wed Dec 31, 2008 10:22 pm

Hi Carmela Bear:

Here are my responses to the questions . . . how did i do? In all cases I am more sure of the correctness of my "yes" answer as opposed to my "no" answer.

A 40% level of uncertainty for me (about what the question meant, for instance). was enough for a "No" answer.

A strong "yes" would be say, a 90% certainty that I understood the question and could answer clearly yes or no.

Conversely a strong "no" only took a 40 percent doubt that I understood the question . . .

So, here they are:

1. Are you clear about how much appreciation others need you to show, and do you keep working to show it even if you don't understand why others need it so much?

NO

2. Do you defer to the criteria others use for the help they require by doing more even when you think you do more than your fair share?

NO

3. Do you "stifle yourself" by not saying what you feel like saying, because you think it might hurt other people's feelings?

NO

4. Do you acknowledge and try to live up to the ideas other people have about acceptable conduct, even though they are not the same as your own and even seem unnecessary or silly?

YES

5. Are you willing to communicate in other people's terms by listening and reading and understanding as long as others want and discussing what others want to discuss, even if it requires you to draw on your entire store of energy, attention, and ability to mask boredom?

YES

6. Do you do things just because others enjoy doing them and do you try to enjoy them more when you do them with others?

NO

7. Do you avoid correcting others even when you easily and rightly could do so?

NO

8. Do you know what makes other people laugh, try to cheer them up when you can, and laugh with real enthusiasm when you may have heard the same joke many times before?

NO

9. Are you cautious with your comments and jokes even though you think other people are being hypersensitive on some issues? (Rule of humor: Is it appropriate, timely, and tasteful by other people's standards, not your own?)

YES

10. Do you think most people would want to go out and vote for you in a general election?

NO

How did I do?

-Brian Leslie Engler
May God Bless you And Those you Love And Care For: It does Anyway: Whether you Like it or Not.
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Post by CarmelaBear » Thu Jan 01, 2009 12:38 am

Wow! You did a lot better than I did..... :!:
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Post by freespiritintraining » Fri Jan 02, 2009 12:07 am

OK . . . . . so what?

give me some parameters; some detailed description . . . is there a scale for instance; is it linear? incremental? exponential? or a simple percentage . . .

Just to add some juice to the mix: the last time I checked, I had an IQ of 138. I have scored as low as 125; and as high as 140 (borderline genious, for instance . . . .)

Or does this test really mean anything at all? And everybody is simply "making it up" because they really don't understand any of this sh*t anyway . . . I mean a took a dumb test.

At least tell me what it means . . . . and thanks, it was fun.

-Brian
May God Bless you And Those you Love And Care For: It does Anyway: Whether you Like it or Not.
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Post by Ghost Leaf Skald » Mon May 11, 2009 12:51 pm

I am not sure if bliss is necessarily a thing to be earned, per se... It is my belief that as humans we are all deserving of bliss, and it is our self destructive behaviors that may prevent us from attaining that which we seek, not necessarily a matter of worth. It could be we are saying similar things in different words, that we becoming "worthy" by overcoming these behaviors, it is more the word "worth" that I am unsure of. In my mind it is more mental and spiritual purity that enables us to find our bliss, not necessarily something that one must be "worthy of". Thoughts?
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Post by Neoplato » Mon May 11, 2009 4:02 pm

Welcome to the Forum GLS.
I am not sure if bliss is necessarily a thing to be earned, per se... It is my belief that as humans we are all deserving of bliss, and it is our self destructive behaviors that may prevent us from attaining that which we seek, not necessarily a matter of worth. It could be we are saying similar things in different words, that we becoming "worthy" by overcoming these behaviors, it is more the word "worth" that I am unsure of. In my mind it is more mental and spiritual purity that enables us to find our bliss, not necessarily something that one must be "worthy of". Thoughts?
Whether it is “spirituality”, “higher consciousness”, or just a change in thought processes, to me “something” has to happen to find “bliss” which for me is inner peace. Remove the thought, and the behavior will change. To me it’s not as much being “worthy” as coming to an understanding. A balance between the inner and outer aspects of ourselves, our world, and this "reality".
Infinite moment, grants freedom of winter death, allows life to dawn.
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Post by Ghost Leaf Skald » Mon May 11, 2009 6:06 pm

Thank you, Neoplato. And I would agree, that finding that balance between inner and outer is a key to finding bliss, a word which I would define as a deeply internal individualistic experience. An important concept, which you introduced, is that of balance.. how does one balance the search and pursuit of ones bliss with the social and familial obligations almost all of us face?
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Post by CarmelaBear » Sat May 30, 2009 1:06 am

Ghost Leaf Skald wrote:..... how does one balance the search and pursuit of ones bliss with the social and familial obligations almost all of us face?
Welcome to the Conversations, Ghost. Glad to hear from you.

Much of the challenge of living comes from finding that balance between the pursuit of one's own individual bliss with our duties to others. Parents, especially, learn the hard way that it can be a serious conflict.

The word "worth(y)" implies all kinds of moral judgment, and most of us don't mean to suggest anything so value-laden. The key idea is that there are certain steps or stages through which the individual (hero) may have to travel before bliss becomes possible as an experience. There is knowledge and experience to be acquired. There are choices to be made. There are tasks and objectives to fulfill along the path to bliss.

The world never lets go. Demands pile up until we have to just stop and protect ourselves from the onslaught. We have to make time to have an inner life, a sacred space of our own, and to feel the sense of timelessness that comes with real bliss.

~
Once in a while a door opens, and let's in the future. --- Graham Greene
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rabar
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Post by rabar » Sat May 30, 2009 7:45 pm

CarmelaBear"
The world never lets go. Demands pile up until we have to just stop and protect ourselves from the onslaught. We have to make time to have an inner life, a sacred space of our own, and to feel the sense of timelessness that comes with real bliss.
I think the real trick is to find something that works for oneself all the time, no matter what 'world demands' are being made. Also there is is what Sonja Lyubomirsky, in her excellent workbook "The How of Happiness: A new Approach to Getting The Life You Want" calls 'the phenomenon of hedonic adaptation,' which is a kind of rapid habituation to something pleasurable before returning to your 'hedoni set point.'
Human beings are remarkably adept at becoming rapidly accustomed to sensory or physiologic changes. . . relocations, marriages, job changes ... make you happier for a time, but only a short time"
before you return to your 'happiness set-point,' which she defines as the '50% of your 'happiness pie'' which you were born with. i.e. genetic. The other half breaks down to 10% circumstances and 40% intentional activity. That last 40% is what she claims you can work with to increase your overall happiness. I think we can substitute Campbell's 'bliss' for Sonja's 'happiness' and it works just fine.
I have my own home-grown set of things I do to keep happy, and I try to select for as 'self-arising' as posible -- as naturally occurring as possible. These include breaking out of thought-streams by blinking, nursing on my soft palate, purring in and out so that I vibrate the trachea. these and others are described in greater detail here (I've learned most of these from observing animals and children -- and the blinking from watching the Dalai Lama being interviewed (smile)):
http://www.raysender.com/obeats.html
Clck on the link at the bottom of the page "exercises and articles"
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Post by CarmelaBear » Mon Jun 01, 2009 10:51 pm

Happiness and bliss are easy for me.

My set-point allows for the fact that I have assumed a role in life that requires me to be brutaly honest about things that cannot but leave me with a realistic understanding of the limits of feeling bubbly all the time.
Once in a while a door opens, and let's in the future. --- Graham Greene
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rabar
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Post by rabar » Tue Jun 02, 2009 8:17 pm

a realistic understanding of the limits of feeling bubbly all the time.
Ah yes, where the pedal hits the metal... I have to confess that my limits, now that I'm retired and in my mid-seventies, only require one thing: that I do not travel beyond the sixty-mile-in-diameter circumference I've drawn around our home. I do look forward to the day when I can travel anywhere and still stay bubbly, but this requires fine-tuning my receptors so that the tingling sensation of my in-breath vibrating my nose hairs is available effortlessly all the time -- and learning to turn the tickle into a tingle into waves of blissful energies rushing up and down my spine,

P.S. If you want a taste of my current favorite book, "Pronoia: The Antidote for Paranoia - How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings"
by syndicated astrologer Rob Brezsny go here:
http://pronoiaresources.wordpress.com/

Quoting: "Pronoia means that even if we can't see and don't know, primal benefactors are plotting to emancipate us. The winds and tides are on our side, forever and ever, amen. The fire and rain are scheming to steal our pain. The sun and moon know our real names, and the animals pray for us while we're dreaming... Can you guess how many humble humans are busy making things for you to use and enjoy?"
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Post by CarmelaBear » Wed Jun 03, 2009 4:32 pm

Paranoia. Hmmmm.....

Do you have a specific individual in mind or are you speaking hypothetically?
Once in a while a door opens, and let's in the future. --- Graham Greene
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rabar
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Post by rabar » Wed Jun 03, 2009 5:23 pm

Hi CarmelaBear:
No particular individual in mind..
Just passing on info about a great read. I rarely come across a book
that I wish I had written, but this is one of them. I have to confess to
buying about twenty copies and mailing them to friends.
You can use it as a workbook, or do what I do: open it at random and
read a paragraph to start the day with a sunny outlook.

Check out the sample link I mentioned. And if you want a novel from Rob
to read cover-to-cover, try his very amusing Santa-Cruz-based novel, online
at http://freewillastrology.com/writings/

More Brezsny:
BE BRAVE ENOUGH TO QUESTION THE AUTHORITY OF THE FEAR-
MONGERS
When all the economic news you read is gloomy, you're getting a
distorted picture of reality. Try these to supplement your fact-finding
mission.
http://goodnewseconomist.com/
http://positiveeconomicnews.com/

Twinkles,
R
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Post by CarmelaBear » Mon May 03, 2010 2:56 am

Must confess that I really don't think that one's conduct or choices or status have a determining effect upon the experience of bliss. It seems to be part of the survival mechanism. I think that one can be said to be blissfully miserable and miserably blissful.

I imagine a kind of joyful freedom in using death as the ultimate escape from misery.

I imagine a kind of miserable closure that overtakes the person who accepts the timelessness that happens at the moment of enlightenment and oneness with a vast universe, finally divorced from self.

Bliss can cancel out any sense of worth in the comparative sense. It may be a non-judgmental experience of life's essence.

~
Once in a while a door opens, and let's in the future. --- Graham Greene
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