If you haven’t explored Campbell and his hero’s journey yet, get on it! I trust you’ll enjoy my Notes on this gem, —which provides some Big Ideas on applying the power of myth to transforming our modern lives.
Bliss = The Transcendent Wisdom Within You
That’s beautiful: “…bliss is the welling up of the energy of the transcendent wisdom within you.”
As I mention in the other Notes, Campbell initially arrived at his sense we should follow our bliss when studying the ancient Upanishads—the core texts of Hinduism.
The classic Sanskrit scriptures tell us there are three jumping off points to enlightenment: sat (beingness), chit (consciousness), and ananda (bliss).
Cambell says he wasn’t sure what his proper “beingness” looks like and same with his “consciousness.” But his “bliss”? He knew what THAT felt like and figured if that was one of the three pathways to enlightenment, he’d follow it!
And, he likes to say, it seems to have worked out pretty well. :)
So, KNOW that there’s an incredibly transcendent wisdom within you and it wells up THROUGH YOUR BLISS! Meaning: When you feel joy, bliss, rapture, it’s because GOD is flowing through you. And, well, that’s a good thing. :)
Alternatively, when you DON’T feel that bliss, that’s a sure sign you’ve disconnected from your Source. Then what? Then it’s time to find it again.
How? Follow your bliss.
Think the thoughts, do the things, and be around the people who help you feel radiantly alive.
Abraham-Hicks says that we have an Emotional Guidance System that tells us whether or not we’re connected to Source. We feel great when we’re plugged in. Not so great when we’re not. The trick is to check in to how we’re feeling, know that our emotions are an amazing tool to help us tune in and then CHOOSE better feeling thoughts as we take inspired action in our lives. Fun!
Your Life Composed by A Novelist
Reminds me of (see Notes). He says: “The voyage of the best ship is a zigzag line of a hundred tacks. See the line from a sufficient distance, and it straightens itself to the average tendency.” And reminds us that: “The years teach us much the days never knew.”
Isn’t it amazing how, when we look back on our lives we can see a set of beautiful themes and a remarkably coherent story line that looks like it was composed by a novelist?!?
What are YOUR big themes?
As you explore your memories and your diaries, what ideas do you come back to again and again and again?!? Can you see the bliss these ideas bring into your life? Can you structure your life so you’re more consistently swimming in ‘em?
Speaking of novelists and life scripts and all that jazz, don’t forget that the word “authentic” and “author” come from the same root. So, if you want an authentic life, you’ve gotta be your own author!
Get on that masterpiece that is your life, will ya?! I’m giddy to see the next chapter. :)
(That reminds me of a story my friend Tripp Lanier shared during one of our chats on his show “The New Man.” He says we should imagine our life as a novel. And ask ourselves: “Would I really want to keep reading this book or is it wayyyyy to boring to even want to get to the next chapter?!?” Hah. Awesome standard to know whether we’re rockin’ it or not, eh? :)
Life Is Calling
Life is calling. Are you answering?
If not, beware.
No matter how much you try to numb yourself, the pain’s not going away. Not till you step up and answer the call. Then? Well, then God’s on the line and flowing through you.
Enter: Bliss, Enthusiasm, all the things you want but are afraid you may not get so you keep on doing the same ‘ol, same ‘ol. :)
* ring ring *
* ring ring *
PICK UP, already! :)
Say “Yes,” Please
Are you saying yes to it all?
Bringing the Boon Back
First things first: “Boon.” What a sweet word. Defined as “a thing that is helpful or beneficial as in: the navigation system will be a boon to both civilian and military users.” Boon. :)
Alright. Now that we’ve got that squared away… :)
So the hero goes on his or her journey. For what? To discover (and recover) the unrealized, unutilized potential in yourself! Then what? Then we return with the boon. :)
And THAT can be even more difficult than the first part of the journey!
As says: “It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.”
You might’ve noticed that it’s kinda challenging to REALLY give your highest self to the world, eh? So, even after all this work, all this heroic growth, all this discovery and recovery of our latent potentialities, it’s STILL hard to come back to the world and get our shine on, huh?
Welcome to the hero’s journey. And, let’s not forget that it’s the RETURN that’s the most essential part of the trip. :)
So… Where are YOU on your journey?
Do you need to head out? Or do you need to return?
(Fun. And, don’t forget: Life is really one beautiful journey and return after another so don’t get too comfie (and/or stressed, of course) with wherever you’re at. :)
Your Spiritual Practice? I Underline Books
That. Is. Classic.
Campbell spent five years during the Depression READING, READING, and READING. Love it.
What’s YOUR spiritual practice?
The Simple Tasks of Life
Reminds me of ’s wisdom from his fantastic book, (see Notes): “Could all of us reclaim lost hours of our lives by making everything—the commonplace along with the extraordinary—a part of our practice?”
Campbell also says this in conversation with a woman talking about doing the dishes and how that ties into the hero journey: “You bet your life. All life has drudgery to it… In Zen, however, even while you’re washing the dishes, that’s a meditation, that’s an act of life. It’s not a chore, and it’s not what you’ve just been calling it. Sometimes the drudgery itself can become part of the hero deed. The point is not to get stuck in the drudgery but to use it to free you.”
Are you “weighed down” by “the simple tasks” in your life?
Whether it’s doing the dishes or changing the diapers or any of the million and one mundane tasks that’re part of our lives, we always (!!!!) have a choice about how we engage in them.
They can weigh us down or elevate our souls.
What’s your choice?
Balancing Cosmic Power + Your Personality
First, cool story about the samurai, eh?
To the extent he was impersonally fulfilling his vow, he’s all good. The moment it became personal, time to sheath the sword.
And then this gets a Big Wow: “… the problem is to balance yourself against that [cosmic power which is operating through you] and have a personality at the same time.”
I think this is definitely one of the (if not THE) biggest challenges we face in our spiritual evolution: How do we align with the Divine AND allow our personal essence to shine through?
There’s all this talk about annihilating the ego. It always make me wince.
Why’d we want to do THAT? Part of a whole ‘nother conversation, but even the WORD “ego” rubs me the wrong way. 99% of the people who throw it around can’t even tell you what it is and then even the ones who DO know what they mean when they say it use it in totally different ways depending on whether their orientation is from the West or the East.
In the West, your ego is an important aspect of who you are—the part of you that balances your desires (Id) and your conditioning from the world (Superego). In this world-view, we want to develop a healthy ego. In fact, it’s *essential* to proper functioning. Then we head East and all the sudden we’ve got a totally different take.
As Campbell says: “We hear so much talk now, particularly from the Orient, about egolessness. You are trying to smash this thing which is the only thing that keeps you in play. There’s got to be somebody up there; otherwise you’re not oriented to anything. The self, that’s the great circle, the ship, the ego is the little captain on the bridge.”
He continues: “Of course, to reach the transpersonal, you have to go through the personal: you have to have both qualities there.”
“But ‘egoless’ does not mean ‘less than personal’; it means ‘more than personal.’ Not personal minus, but personal plus—all the normal qualities, plus some transpersonal ones. Think of the great yogis, saints, and sages—from Moses to Christ to Padmasambhava. They were not feeble-mannered milquetoasts, but fierce movers and shakers—from bullwhips in the Temple to subduing entire countries. They rattled the world on its own terms, not in some pie-in-the-sky piety; many of them instigated massive social revolutions that have continued for thousands of years. And they did so, not because they avoided the physical, emotional, and mental dimensions of humanness, and the ego that is their vehicle, but because they engaged them with a drive and intensity that shook the world to its very foundations.
The great yogis, saints, and sages accomplished so much precisely because they were not timid little toadies but great big egos, plugged into the dynamic Ground and Goal of the Kosmos itself, plugged into their own higher Self, alive to the pure Atman (the pure I-I), that is one with Brahman; they opened their mouths and the world trembled, fell to its knees, and confronted its radiant God… There is certainly a type of truth to the notion of transcending ego: it doesn’t mean destroy the ego, it means plug it into something bigger… Put bluntly, the ego is not an obstruction to Spirit, but a radiant manifestation of Spirit.
The integral sage, the nondual sage, is here to show us otherwise. Known generally as ‘Tantric,’ these sages insist on transcending life by living it. They insist on finding release by engagement, finding nirvana in the midst of samsara, finding total liberation by complete immersion.” [from One Taste: November 17]
* queue Hallelujah music *
Back to Campbell: “You are acting not in terms of your individual, personal life but with the sense of yourself as the priest, so to say, of a cosmic power which is operating through you, which we all are in circumstances, and the problem is to balance yourself against that and have a personality at the same time.”
And back to you: How are YOU showing up?!?
How’s the balancing of your personality and your role as priest of the cosmic power working out?!?
Too much of your personality (without the plug into Source) or too *LITTLE* of your personality (in which case, it DOESN’T MATTER how plugged in you think you are because you’ve lost your power)?
As per Wilber, I say we plug into Source and let our radiant manifestation of Spirit shine! Yah? :)
Do I Dare?
Well that gives me a big ‘ol smile. :)
I love the fact that there’s always the possibility of fiasco… It wouldn’t be fun if the outcome was totally guaranteed, eh? And, of course, when we *really* see the rhythms of life, we transcend our fears and laugh a little more throughout the whole process.
Here’s to a life of one hero journey after another after another!
(Do you dare? :)
Questing for It Is Not An Ego Trip
Let go of your fears that following your quest is an ego trip…
And let’s become transparent to transcendence, my friend!