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.

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CarmelaBear
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Post by CarmelaBear » Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:29 pm

Wow! :shock:
Once in a while a door opens, and let's in the future. --- Graham Greene
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rabar
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Pursuit of Happines et al

Post by rabar » Mon May 11, 2009 8:20 pm

Carmelabear wrote back some pages in this chat:
Hey, Rabar!
Your shouting tells me I may not have been as clear as I would have liked.
[snip]
There is a price to be paid for the bliss we choose, and this price is not at all blissful.
Sorry about the font size - I tend to get carried away sometimes (smile).
As for as 'the price for bliss' goes, I find it's free to the discoverer if it's true bliss.
Part of true bliss's blissfulness is that it's (1) free and (2) available any time all the time.
All this in MYO of course - or perhaps I should adjust that to 'in my humble experience.'

I just finished a book titled 'Satisfaction' by Gregory Berns. Somewhere he defines satisfaction as a balance between cortosol and dopamine levels - a balance between stress and momentary ecstasy. One example: finishing a crossword puzzle that is Goldilocks-perfect -- i.e. not too easy to bore you, not too hard to discourage you. When completed, you feel a momentary satisfaction as dopamine squirts through your cortex. Note 'momentary,' which is why 'satisfaction' is not as interesting to me as 'ongoing happiness' -- i.e. 'bliss'.

Inasmuch as my pursuit is happiness (using 'pursuit' as intended in the Declaration of Independence as the ‘business of happiness.’) That is, the Declaration of Independence’s ‘Pursuit of Happiness” did not mean “following with a view to obtain.” The 18th Century meaning of “pursuit” can be defined “a course of business, occupation, avocation such as ‘literary pursuit,’ “mercantile pursuit.” Therefore a ‘happiness pursuit’ can be viewed as an ‘occupation’ or ‘avocation’ instead of a galloping off after an indefinable something that's always just over the horizon or -- oops! Is that a carrot attached to the brim of my fedora?
One can be a ‘happiness-er’ or into ‘happiness sales’ — i.e. in the business of distributing happiness – or a ‘happiness researcher.’ I consider myself the latter,
a 'happiness-ist'.
Because of my chosen pursuit, I read every book that comes along on either happiness, satisfaction, ecstasy, etc. etc. Bern was interesting, although I thought the book trailed off towards the end into a discussion of sex and orgasm that did not provide any new insights for me - I love 'em both, but they do not provide more than a brief taste of what I feel I now can have anytime, anywhere, via various fun techniques focusing these days mainly on very lightly touching the unmyelinated afferent nerves of the face and back of the hands and fingers. Excuse me if I'm riding my hobby horse yet again. Nowadays I discover that my hair is long enough to constantly trail just a few strands across my cheeks and nose, which are enough to trigger the effect describe above. Interestingly, if I 'trail hair' and watch TV, I notice that I remain one level removed from an emotional involvement - ie. I don't get the racing heartbeat and sweaty palms when watching a suspense thriller. Good or bad? I think good!

Anyone interested can find further discussion and links to exercises at:
http://www.raysender.com/obeata.html]
These days I'm mostly concentrating on the above 'touch' method. I suggest "turning the tickle into a tingle into a wave of bliss that travels up and down your body". You can avoid the tickle becoming what I name 'The Shoo-Fly Shudder Nose Tweak" by wiggling your toes frantically.
Meanwhile, it seems that the drug companies are closing in on my chosen profession:
Try to enjoy this as little as possible:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jd4tugPM83c

[/url]
Heh-heh, joke of course.
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Post by Pussycat » Tue May 12, 2009 5:40 pm

It is strange how much I wanted to speak about bliss. But then I couldn't find words because words were a symbol or metaphor for bliss. Having written that little bit of mental confectionary, I can feel I've left my bliss!

After a little bit of exile from the site, I realised I just wanted to chip in again, and there was a sort of bliss in that!

Pussycat
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Post by Neoplato » Tue May 12, 2009 6:27 pm

Hi PC,
After a little bit of exile from the site, I realised I just wanted to chip in again, and there was a sort of bliss in that!
I'm relatively new to the site and I can't seem to stop talking. I've been wanting to talk about this stuff for quite some time, but unfortunately I've had no one to talk to. So right now I'm finding bliss just being active on the website. :D
Infinite moment, grants freedom of winter death, allows life to dawn.
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Post by Pussycat » Tue May 12, 2009 7:11 pm

Hi NeoPlato

Think of this moment and think that we are sharing it, and words might express it, and you can talk, and I can talk, and neither of us can 'hear' each other exept through a little interstice - and perhaps that is bliss! And certainly it is silent!

Good thoughts to you,
Pussycat
Perseverance brings good fortune
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rabar
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Post by rabar » Tue May 12, 2009 8:43 pm

Regarding how to talk about bliss, I thought this book and its review ght be of interest.
found it on the Nondual Highlights daily digest. Their URL is:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights/
THe best price I found on lne is $18, which would break my promise never again to buy a book that costs over $10. But the book is browse-able on Amazon.com and that's what I'm doing. If I find interesting quotes, I'll grab them.
Best,

R

Editorial Reviews
Product Description

The subject of Mystical Languages of Unsaying is an important but neglected mode of mystical discourse, apophasis. which literally means "speaking away." Sometimes translated as "negative theology," apophatic discourse embraces the impossibility of naming something that is ineffable by continually turning back upon its own propositions and names. In this close study of apophasis in Greek, Christian, and Islamic texts, Michael Sells offers a sustained, critical account of how apophatic language works, the conventions, logic, and paradoxes it employs, and the dilemmas encountered in any attempt to analyze it.

This book includes readings of the most rigorously apophatic texts of Plotinus, John the Scot Eriugena, Ibn Arabi, Marguerite Porete, and Meister Eckhart, with comparative reference to important apophatic writers in the Jewish tradition, such as Abraham Abulafia and Moses de Leon. Sells reveals essential common features in the writings of these authors, despite their wide-ranging differences in era, tradition, and theology.

By showing how apophasis works as a mode of discourse rather than as a negative theology, this work opens a rich heritage to reevaluation. Sells demonstrates that the more radical claims of apophatic writers -- claims that critics have often dismissed as hyperbolic or condemned as pantheistic or nihilistic -- are vital to an adequate account of the mystical languages of unsaying. This work also has important implications for the relationship of classical apophasis to contemporary languages of the unsayable. Sells challenges many widely circulated characterizations of apophasis among deconstructionists as well as a number of common notions about medieval thought and gender relations in medieval mysticism.

http://www.amazon.com/Mystical-Language ... 701&sr=1-3

Ed.Note: Amazon's "Search Inside This Book" makes available some introductory pages well worth reading.

A quote form a commentator:
"But perhaps this name `One' contains [only] a denial of multiplicity.
This is why the Pythagoreans symbolically indicated it to each other by the name
Apollo (a pollõn: not many), in the negation of the multiple. But if the One -
name and reality expressed - was to be taken positively it would be less clear
than if we did not give it a name at all.
"I added the Greek derivation of "Apollo" above to show that for the Greeks it
meant the same thing as "Advaita", at least in some circles.
[/i]
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Post by Neoplato » Wed May 13, 2009 1:45 am

PC Wrote
Think of this moment and think that we are sharing it, and words might express it, and you can talk, and I can talk, and neither of us can 'hear' each other exept through a little interstice - and perhaps that is bliss! And certainly it is silent!
Interesting expression. Yes, two people can share thoughts over an ocean who would have never had met otherwise or known of each others existence. The mere fact that this can happen is blissful in itself. :)
Infinite moment, grants freedom of winter death, allows life to dawn.
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Post by CarmelaBear » Sat May 30, 2009 1:15 am

Pussycat wrote:
After a little bit of exile from the site, I realised I just wanted to chip in again, and there was a sort of bliss in that!

Pussycat
I know that feeling very well.
Once in a while a door opens, and let's in the future. --- Graham Greene
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Re: Pursuit of Happines et al

Post by CarmelaBear » Sat May 30, 2009 1:22 am

rabar wrote: As far as 'the price for bliss' goes, I find it's free to the discoverer if it's true bliss.
Part of true bliss's blissfulness is that it's (1) free and (2) available any time all the time.
All this in MYO of course - or perhaps I should adjust that to 'in my humble experience.'
Monetarily, it may be free, but metaphorically, there is sometimes a "cost" involved, don't you think?

Availability is relative. I think that in North Korea or Saudi Arabia, for example, it may be much more difficult for everyone to achieve the kind of bliss we all seem able to reach in places where thought and speech are not so carefully monitored and censored.

~
Once in a while a door opens, and let's in the future. --- Graham Greene
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Post by CarmelaBear » Sat May 30, 2009 1:27 am

Neoplato wrote:...I'm finding bliss just being active on the website. :D
Lots of people work really hard to make this experience happen. We are the blissful recipients of amazing dedication by the working associates and others who give of themselves so that we can express ourselves. This website is awesome! :!:
Once in a while a door opens, and let's in the future. --- Graham Greene
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Post by Neoplato » Sat May 30, 2009 9:08 am

CarmelaBear Wrote:
Monetarily, it may be free, but metaphorically, there is sometimes a "cost" involved, don't you think?
There's always an "opportunity cost" in everything we do. We should be aware and make sure that if we're participating in something that is blissfull to us, that our actions are not indirectly causing someone else to pay this opportunity cost for us.

To me, nothing is ever free. A person may not be paying "cash" but "spending time" is also a cost.
Infinite moment, grants freedom of winter death, allows life to dawn.
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Post by jonsjourney » Sat May 30, 2009 11:41 am

Lots of people work really hard to make this experience happen. We are the blissful recipients of amazing dedication by the working associates and others who give of themselves so that we can express ourselves. This website is awesome! -CB
Kudos!

And a specific 'thank you' goes out to Martin, Clemsy, Bodhi, and MarkO for their active participation to keep the dream alive. These guys have made the work of Joseph Campbell and this website a big part of their lives so that we can enjoy engaging in conversations of a higher order...and sometimes...not such a high order! Cheers to all!

JJ
"He was a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher... or, as his wife would have it, an idiot." -Douglas Adams
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Post by Clemsy » Sat May 30, 2009 2:26 pm

Don't forget Bob Walters, David Kudler and SongwriterPhil!

On behalf of one and all, I will now bow deeply in appreciation of your appreciation.

Clemsy, bowing
Give me stories before I go mad! ~Andreas
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rabar
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Post by rabar » Sat May 30, 2009 7:17 pm

Yes, thank you to those who keep these conversations so interesting!
Neoplato wrote:
To me, nothing is ever free. A person may not be paying "cash" but "spending time" is also a cost.
Well, there is that good old tune, "The Best Things In Life Are free..."
And if you listen to the Nonduality folks, if 'It' does not arise on its own, then it's not the right 'It.'
The breath is self-arising, and ofr this reason has become the most popular 'object' to focus on during meditation. But there's also the heartbeat, and even easier, the blink.
I use a voluntary blink to break out of thought-streams, something I've bee told that some TIbetan lamas use. I guess a 'willed' blink is sort of fudging the 'self-arising' nbut, but it does work for me.
Try thought-swatting with voluntary blinks, let's say 4 per second for 25 seconds, and see if you don't enjoy a blissful energy flow from the solar plexus!
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Post by Andreas » Sun Aug 23, 2009 7:29 am

Well doesnt bliss mean to bring something back to the world? Something that will help the world understand better its nature?

I remember reading "Pathways to Bliss" in dialogues JC was asked
-what is it that you do
-what is your bliss mr Campbell?

and he answered - oh i underline books

Yet by doing that he brought us something amazing with his teaching and books.

Well for me bliss is again to lose completely yourself into others to be selfless. Now i dont mean to be judgmental and i really honestly wanna analyze this in more depth but if you say you take pleasures in simple stuff like mowing the loan or playing squash or driving or sitting down and looking at the view that i have to admit i really much like.

I think cynical views like this have its dangers and that danger is exactly the opposite of being selfless. For me a cynic is a defense for either one who had to much of life and thus doesnt want to confront anything or someone who hasnt suffered at all and thus doesnt know and doesnt care.

Society demands sacrifice and for me so does bliss.
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