Bliss, etc.

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.

Moderators: Clemsy, Martin_Weyers, Cindy B.

Locked
User avatar
romansh
Associate
Posts: 2277
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2008 5:25 am
Location: In the woods, BC, near US border
Contact:

Post by romansh » Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:29 am

orpheusmaximo wrote:
Passing judgement means rational evaluation and surely will take You from The realization of Your bliss ( Joy? ), that undescribable moment of atonement with our center of being ( soul? )
The bliss itself ( I believe ) is bigger than the mere momentary realization of it. Is life itself in harmony with our fundamental, .....
Hi orpheus
For me ... passing judgement is not rational, quite the opposite (emotional).
For example some food tastes really good or bad. ... A person a saint or evil?
As opposed to rational evaluation:
The food tastes sweet or of bitter alkaloids.
The person has done A,B and C and the likely consequences are P, Q qnd R.

Again, bliss for me, is being able to put aside judgement (good or bad). There is bliss in sadness and in joy only if we can somehow not put a moral value on them.
orpheusmaximo
Associate
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:08 pm
Contact:

Post by orpheusmaximo » Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:22 am

romansh wrote:
orpheusmaximo wrote:
Passing judgement means rational evaluation and surely will take You from The realization of Your bliss ( Joy? ), that undescribable moment of atonement with our center of being ( soul? )
The bliss itself ( I believe ) is bigger than the mere momentary realization of it. Is life itself in harmony with our fundamental, .....
Hi orpheus
For me ... passing judgement is not rational, quite the opposite (emotional).
For example some food tastes really good or bad. ... A person a saint or evil?
As opposed to rational evaluation:
The food tastes sweet or of bitter alkaloids.
The person has done A,B and C and the likely consequences are P, Q qnd R.

Again, bliss for me, is being able to put aside judgement (good or bad). There is bliss in sadness and in joy only if we can somehow not put a moral value on them.
I feel that even if the outcome of the judgement is emotional, the judgement itself is done through logic. Otherwise it wouldn't be judgement at all but an expressing of one's personal tastes, likes & dislikes.

For example some food tastes really good or bad. ... ( why is so? )
A person a saint or evil? ( why is so? )

The why and the methodology for the response is the judgement

There is bliss in sadness and in joy only if we can somehow not put a moral value on them.

The bliss must be realized in Your life, the joy and sadness taken at face value. If the sadness comes from steping on a nail or other painful situation, it is not any moral value acribed to it that makes it bad, it is bad because You feel it is so,

If the Joy comes from making love to Your loved one, it is not any moral value acribed to it that makes it good, it is good because You feel it is so.

In my own opinion the bliss in one's life is a fundamental and an overtone of one's being.
It is living with a plan but being able to enjoy each moment just because.
It's a journey of love and compassion with oneself's conscious & unconscious & with other people ( surely most specially those closer to You ) & living creatures, places and moments. Is living WHILE surviving, not just surviving at the expense of the environment around You ( which includes people and society in general ).

Needless to say it is a high standard of living that may not always be realized in full, but if the fundamental is there, whether by accident or hard learning curve ( so many times - like myself - both ), things tend to fall into place, apparently by chance but after a hard, long planning stage...
User avatar
romansh
Associate
Posts: 2277
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2008 5:25 am
Location: In the woods, BC, near US border
Contact:

Post by romansh » Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:00 am

Hi orpheous
I feel that even if the outcome of the judgement is emotional, the judgement itself is done through logic. Otherwise it wouldn't be judgement at all but an expressing of one's personal tastes, likes & dislikes. Perhaps it is the way we are using words? I came to the conclusion that there is not a good or bad in an absolute sense using the evidence I can see and a little thought (a dangerous thing? )
For example some food tastes really good or bad. ... ( why is so? )
A person a saint or evil? ( why is so? ) Are not good and bad, and saint and evil, moral judgements?
The why and the methodology for the response is the judgement I'm using judgement in the sense of placing a moral value on something. eg an apple that has gone rotten is not per se bad

There is bliss in sadness and in joy only if we can somehow not put a moral value on them. agree

The bliss must be realized in Your life, the joy and sadness taken at face value. If the sadness comes from steping on a nail or other painful situation, it is not any moral value acribed to it that makes it bad, it is bad because You feel it is so, I agree

If the Joy comes from making love to Your loved one, it is not any moral value acribed to it that makes it good, it is good because You feel it is so. Agree up to a point, but if you start thinking this is good (as opposed to bad) I suspect one is not in bliss?

In my own opinion the bliss in one's life is a fundamental and an overtone of one's being.
It is living with a plan but being able to enjoy each moment just because.
It's a journey of love and compassion with oneself's conscious & unconscious & with other people ( surely most specially those closer to You ) & living creatures, places and moments. Is living WHILE surviving, not just surviving at the expense of the environment around You ( which includes people and society in general ). I'm not sure I understand
orpheusmaximo
Associate
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:08 pm
Contact:

Post by orpheusmaximo » Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:28 am

For example some food tastes really good or bad. ... ( why is so? )
A person a saint or evil? ( why is so? ) Are not good and bad, and saint and evil, moral judgements?

In my opinion, just as the speed of light is an absolute, there are absolutes that can define good or bad. Overexcess of salt will be judged bad by any person ( though not necessarily overexcess of sugar... ). Why? Because the human body won't tolerate it. Thus, it is bad.
Atmosphere with an excess of carbon Dioxide is bad. Etc...

Saint or evil are moral adjectives, why the person is deemed so not necessarily. Arbitrary violence / murder. Incest. Etc... ( I do know that incest was preferred by the Ancient Egypt Pharaos as a way to keep the royal lineage pure, but is condemned by most all other societies surely by the genetic degradation, not counting psychological
problems that may arise )

There is bliss in sadness and in joy only if we can somehow not put a moral value on them. agree

You should, that's a quote. My response to it was:

The bliss must be realized in Your life, the joy and sadness taken at face value. If the sadness comes from steping on a nail or other painful situation, it is not any moral value acribed to it that makes it bad, it is bad because You feel it is so, I agree

If the Joy comes from making love to Your loved one, it is not any moral value ascribed to it that makes it good, it is good because You feel it is so. Agree up to a point, but if you start thinking this is good (as opposed to bad) I suspect one is not in bliss?

I feel Your too stuck on the moral behind words. When one feels it's good there's no need to think ( it's natural for humans to repress bad moments anyway ). It is so to the senses.

It seems I'm talking in Dyonisiac terms and You are interpreting it in Apollonian. The diference is between being it and looking at it.
User avatar
romansh
Associate
Posts: 2277
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2008 5:25 am
Location: In the woods, BC, near US border
Contact:

Post by romansh » Fri Jan 30, 2009 6:35 am

I feel Your too stuck on the moral behind words. When one feels it's good there's no need to think ( it's natural for humans to repress bad moments anyway ). It is so to the senses.

"too stuck" I think I know what you mean.
I understand it is OK to feel 'good' as it is to feel any emotion, but but as soon as judgement kicks in then I have a concern.

Carbon dioxide bad example, 3 or 4 billion years ago, cells started photosynthesizing and removing CO2 from the atmosphere, and producing a toxic gas called oxygen; decimating life on earth! Bad bad photosynthesizers.

Incest is, by and large inadvisable. The psychological damage that is caused by it is, I would argue, due totally to the societal reaction to it.

Absolutes, they well exist, but we can only approach them never reach them. Plus the universe is relativistic. So good and bad are relative anway.

"You should, that's a quote." I'm sorry, I agree with things because they, for me, are logical and coherent with the evidence, not because it is a quote.

"It seems I'm talking in Dyonisiac terms and You are interpreting it in Apollonian. The diference is between being it and looking at it." You have the advantage over me here. You may find bliss in being, whereas I in (trying) understanding it.
orpheusmaximo
Associate
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:08 pm
Contact:

Post by orpheusmaximo » Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:45 am

I feel You will only truly understand it ( in Your own personal way ) if You truly experience it and to experience for what it is, You must let go of concepts and language all together.
Above all ( I believe ) You must take in account that:

By science alone inevitably one comes to limits: Incapability of stating the electron's speed and position in Quantum physics, speed of light in relativity, etc...

As a human being there are limits to what one may estabilish ( though disregarding that is inevitable to keep on progressing and evolving ), so the struggle is always valid. But in the end are You reaching for experience or semantics?
User avatar
romansh
Associate
Posts: 2277
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2008 5:25 am
Location: In the woods, BC, near US border
Contact:

Post by romansh » Sat Jan 31, 2009 1:52 am

orpheusmaximo wrote: I feel You will only truly understand it ( in Your own personal way ) if You truly experience it and to experience for what it is, You must let go of concepts and language all together.
Above all ( I believe ) You must take in account that:?
I agree we may have to let go of language.
orpheusmaximo wrote:By science alone inevitably one comes to limits: Incapability of stating the electron's speed and position in Quantum physics, speed of light in relativity, etc...?
Agree totally
orpheusmaximo wrote:As a human being there are limits to what one may estabilish ( though disregarding that is inevitable to keep on progressing and evolving ), so the struggle is always valid. But in the end are You reaching for experience or semantics?
Understanding

I agree we can temporarily rid ourselves of conscious thought, say by looking at a flower or a landscape (losing language, judgement etc). It is a very relaxing feeling and pleasant, but is it bliss? I would argue not.
orpheusmaximo
Associate
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:08 pm
Contact:

Post by orpheusmaximo » Sat Jan 31, 2009 11:03 am

romansh wrote:
orpheusmaximo wrote: I feel You will only truly understand it ( in Your own personal way ) if You truly experience it and to experience for what it is, You must let go of concepts and language all together.
Above all ( I believe ) You must take in account that:?
I agree we may have to let go of language.
orpheusmaximo wrote:By science alone inevitably one comes to limits: Incapability of stating the electron's speed and position in Quantum physics, speed of light in relativity, etc...?
Agree totally
orpheusmaximo wrote:As a human being there are limits to what one may estabilish ( though disregarding that is inevitable to keep on progressing and evolving ), so the struggle is always valid. But in the end are You reaching for experience or semantics?
Understanding

I agree we can temporarily rid ourselves of conscious thought, say by looking at a flower or a landscape (losing language, judgement etc). It is a very relaxing feeling and pleasant, but is it bliss? I would argue not.
And You would be right ( in my opinion ) Bliss would be being able to look at the flower, wanting to look at it, experiencing it by all the senses ( the visual being just one ), understanding its place in space / time and experiencing how and why it relates to You.

You reaching for experience or semantics?
Understanding

Wouldn't that mean translating experience through reason to abstract thoughts, and languange? And if so. during the experience shouldn't one be detached from such reasoning as not to "taint" the moment, not to project into the experience pre - formed values and thought process?

In my own opinion there's the moment of action ( active or passive ) and the moment of judgement and logical or aesthetic reasoning.
User avatar
romansh
Associate
Posts: 2277
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2008 5:25 am
Location: In the woods, BC, near US border
Contact:

Post by romansh » Sat Jan 31, 2009 5:15 pm

Hi Orpheus
orpheusmaximo wrote: Wouldn't that mean translating experience through reason to abstract thoughts, and languange? And if so. during the experience shouldn't one be detached from such reasoning as not to "taint" the moment, not to project into the experience pre - formed values and thought process?

In my own opinion there's the moment of action ( active or passive ) and the moment of judgement and logical or aesthetic reasoning.
So we have a world (brain state, whatever) of words and one without. Perhaps there are others, but leaving those aside for the moment. Are you suggesting that bilss is found in only the world without words (thought)?
jufa
Associate
Posts: 629
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 5:07 am
Contact:

Post by jufa » Sat Jan 31, 2009 10:21 pm

In all the defining of bliss personally and collectively has anyone here ever thought to consider what bliss is from this vantage point?


A Rose is just a Rose

"No one can free himself from the belief in two powers and make the return to Eden until HE IS WILLING TO RELINQUISH his human judgments and look out upon the world with an unconditioned mind. The practice of seeing neither good nor evil can begin at this very moment with any object which comes within range of your vision or with any person with whom you may be confronted. In most cases, however, it is simpler to begin the practice with some object or person with whom you are not emotionally involved.

The practice might begin with a bouquet of flowers which may have been sent to you as a gift. If you have no preconceived idea of them, you do not know whether they are going to give you joy in their beauty or an attack of hay fever. Contemplate them, look at them; and if you see them as having power for either good or evil, you will be thinking thoughts about them for a long time to come.

Change all that and acknowledge that these flowers, in and of themselves, have no power whatsoever, that they are not good flowers, and they are not bad flowers. At this point, you may be willing to admit that they are not evil, but you may still wonder why they are not good. The answer is that they are not good in the sense that good is embodied in them. The good is in the consciousness of the individual who provided the flowers because that good is love. Love is good, love is invisible and spiritual. Love is the substance that sent these flowers to you, perhaps from a great distance; love is that invisible thing of which these flowers are the visible _expression.

If you were to call these flowers good, and then three or four days they faded and were gone, you would have lost your good, but inasmuch as their only value beyond a momentary sense of pleasure lies in the lasting remembrance of the giver--of the love that prompted them, of the devotion, the friendship and gratitude--it makes no real difference what happens to them. When the flowers themselves have faded and are long since gone and forgotten, still the good, the love and the appreciation of which they were the _expression, will remain, creating on the invisible plane an immortal and eternal bond between the giver and the recipient.

For this reason, there should never be grief over the loss of anything to which you have attached value, because the value of the object lies in that which is invisible and which prompted its coming into your experience. The real good is always invisible--it can never be seen, heard, touched, tasted, or smelled--and because it is invisible, it is intangible to human senses.

These flowers, then, in front of you are just flowers--beautiful, yes; nice to look at, yes; colorful, yes; fragrant, yes; but who says they are? Who says they are colorful or fragrant? Ask yourself, "Are they beautiful?" Then wait until you begin to perceive, "Why no, no color registers until those vibration touch my eyes and my mind interprets them, and then I know that the flowers are yellow; but they are not yellow, they are not beautiful, they are not fragrant until my mind translate these vibrations into beauty, color, and perfume."

As you ponder this, you will find that even the form of the flowers is not beautiful, in and of itself, but is beautiful only because of your interpretation of it; and as you sit there contemplating them, convinced that these flowers are neither beautiful nor ugly, suddenly into that vacuum which you have created will come the awareness of what it is you are looking at, and there you will find that it is much more than a bowl of roses, and you will be led to this conclusion: "Roses, roses, you are nothing: Using the unconditioned mind as an instrument, I* (this I* is God) created you in my own image and likeness; I* give you your color, form, beauty, and perfume. This I*, however is not the personal sense of "I", which can never do such things, but the I* which is God, that part of me which is my true identity, and it is that I* which has created these roses in Its image and likeness, and therefore they are not good and they are not bad, but by virtue of the grace of God they are perfect."

Gradually, it will be revealed to you that these flowers are the very form of God Itself,placed there in your room for some miraculous purpose, not just for the purpose of being admired for a day, but as a part of the allness and fullness and completeness of God in Its beauty and essence."

"THE THUNDER OF SILENCE"

Joel Goldsmith
Never give power to anything a person believe is their source of strength - jufa
http://theillusionofgod.yuku.com
williack
Associate
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 5:58 am
Location: Brisbane Australia

Post by williack » Wed Feb 18, 2009 7:26 am

HI Everyone

I have spent years reading and re-reading, listenting and listening again to what Joe said about bliss. What I have learnt is that bliss is that thing, that activity which makes you feel alive. Joe gives the example of working with his students at Sarah Lawrence. Each week they would meet and discuss what they were reading, studying. Occasionally a student would find something that switched something on for them: an interest, a topic, an idea, a person. That thing grabbed their interest; animated them. All you have to do is to hold on to the thing that grabs you. Another of Joe's examples is his own bliss. First it started with American Indian mythology and then it moved on to other mythologies and then Jean his wife and then dance and on and on.

IIn my own life I have found bliss in what I do. Initially it was singing and takling. Singing in school concerts, then in groups, then in theatre. My 'talking' was having hearts to hearts with people, revealing more about myself, learning more about them. Once I got to theatre I realised that I was interested in stories either just in talking or seeing characters in a play. That lead to studying psychology and learning how to create, analyse stories. Now I am a full time therapist and I spend a lot of time helping others find their bliss. Most have no idea as I usually see people in crisis. But the main proint then is to start looking for your bliss. What is it? What thing makes you feel alive? It might be cooking or walking dogs or your child or a certain topic. What ever it is as Joe said make a regular bliss station and the more you go there, the more of your bliss you do, doors will open that you did not even know existed.

Bliss is not about constantly being happy but it is about feeling alive! My last example is from my own life. Recently I saw a couple whose son had been suspended from school. We were there to talk about the son but it soon became obvious that it was pointless until they address the poor state of their marriage. In that one hour session I had to bring all of my knowledge, all of my experience, all of my skills to guide these people to some resolution (hopefully a new beginning). For that whole hour I was in my bliss, I felt fully alive. Was I happy? No. Was I alive? You bet! I thank Joe every night for helping me find my bliss.

The journey continues....
User avatar
romansh
Associate
Posts: 2277
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2008 5:25 am
Location: In the woods, BC, near US border
Contact:

Post by romansh » Wed Feb 18, 2009 2:56 pm

Hi Will
This is close to what I see as bliss is for me.
Whether we follow it, find it or just recognize when we have it, I will let semanticists decide.
boringguy
Associate
Posts: 459
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 1:36 am
Location: Idaho

Post by boringguy » Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:52 am

Hi all,

I ran across this again the other day and as I read it, thought it a pretty good description of someone following thier bliss and thought it might be worth sharing.

This is Albert Einstein talking about Max Planck, considered the father of modern quantum theory.

"The longing to behold harmony is the source of the inexhaustable patience and perseverance with which Planck has devoted himself to the most general problems of our science, refusing to let himself be diverted to more grateful and more easily attained ends. I have often heard colleagues try to attribute this attitude of his to extraordinary will-power and discipline--wrongly, in my opinion. The state of mind which enables a man to do work of this kind is akin to that of the religious worshipper or the lover; the daily effort comes from no deliberate intention or program, but straight from the heart. There he sits, our beloved Planck, and smiles inside himself at my childish playing-about with the lantern of Diogenes. Our affection for him needs no thread-bear explanation. May the love of science continue to illuminate his path in the future and lead him to the solution of the most important problems in present-day physics, which he has himself posed and done so much to solve"



bg
____________________
like sunshine to daisies, so are friends to our lives
williack
Associate
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 5:58 am
Location: Brisbane Australia

Rings true

Post by williack » Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:31 am

I really like this idea. It reminds me of those 'blissful' things I do which don't pay, don't pay well, take a lot of time to organise, blah, blah blah but they are bloody well worth every minute cause they give me bliss!

Am running my third roundtable this week so looking forward to some more bliss.

cheers
boringguy
Associate
Posts: 459
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 1:36 am
Location: Idaho

Post by boringguy » Tue Feb 24, 2009 4:36 pm

Hi williack,

Yes I think that comes close, and best of wishes for your roundtable meeting. 8)


bg
______________________
like sunshine to daisies, so are friends to our lives
Locked