Do you know what your bliss is?
Are you following it?
Now that I've started to follow my bliss, I realize it's a kind of trap. A trap I set for myself and in which I have caught myself. If escape is possible, I do not know, but I cannot imagine getting out without injury.
My trap, the bliss trap, is the same trap that befell Adam and Eve: knowledge. Now that I know what it feels like to follow my bliss, nothing else will do. I have to have this within my life.
I have to awaken early, much earlier than I used to, just to have time to work on my bliss. I think and act on my bliss nearly all the time. So much so that I need to force some breaks in the work to ensure I don't become stagnant and dull. As it is, I'm sure I'm a bore to some of my friends since all I can talk about is my bliss. Mostly, I try to listen instead.
Adam And Eve
Have you ever really thought about Adam and Eve from the individual perspective before? I've always considered the story from the mankind angle, something I still think has some merit and the potential to inform us about where we came from and show us a path as to where we might go. But Adam, the man (imagining there was such a man), what was his experience of eating from the Tree of Knowledge? What knowledge did he gain? Good and evil, so the bible says, but what was evil in his eyes? Here he was, living in the Garden of Eden, Eve's there and all is well. He's in bliss. Everyday, is blissful, without worry, for the garden is plentiful, safe, and nurturing. What evil knowledge, beyond mere nudity, could Adam have learned?
Could he have learned of soulless corporate offices and mindless workers whiling away the hours in cube farms? Could he have seen the drudgery of "It's just a job?" Tempted by the devil-as-snake, did he learn to abandon his soul? I think so. The evil of non-bliss. A waste of your human talents.
By following your bliss, you take a step back into the Garden of Eden, just a step. Life around you still provides plenty to bedevil you away from your bliss but you can see the garden, and taste the fruit of the Tree of Bliss.
This is the danger. Most of us have fallen so far from our blissful nature that when you taste the fruit of Tree of Bliss, you know you cannot go back. Just as Adam and Eve could not go back to the bliss of ignorance once they had tasted the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. You want to reenter the garden, this time knowing the nature of evil from your years of experience, but having tasted the fruit of the Tree of Bliss. Once you enter, you are again of a fallen nature. Fallen from an unfulfilled life.
Of Heaven And Hell
From your new vantage point you can see the promise of bliss and the evil of non-bliss. These are the places of heaven and hell. Here, right here, on Earth.
All the heavens and all the hells are within you. - Joseph Campbell
Are you living in a hell of a life, failing to follow our bliss, just making do?
Following your bliss, entering heaven on Earth, is challenging, requiring courage and self-confidence. Fear, uncertainty, and doubt, the tools of the devil, are constantly tugging at your sleeves encouraging you to stay away from the garden. And it is safe there, among the cubicles, steady paycheck, certainty of life. But to what end? Are you living fully?
And what if should you actually taste the fruit of the Tree of Bliss? How much more painful is your return to your personal hell. Here, the only remedy is acceptance. Turn the other cheek, be the meek patiently awaiting your inheritance.
Perhaps you can follow in the Buddha's footsteps, eliminate your desires, and regain your peace. But is this necessary? Need you accept your life, hell and all?
Stairway to Heaven
What if you did not to accept, did not acquiesce to meekness and impotence? What then?
Isn't this what you admire in your favorite celebrities? What is the common thread between the musicians, actors, and athletes you admire? Each is following his or her bliss. You see it shining like a halo around them and you admire them for it. Most of all you admire their courage.
What would you do if you were to follow your bliss? Do you have the courage?
The path is not easy but the path is the way to peace and fulfillment. The highest use of the wonderful and unique person you are.
Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway. - John Wayne
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. - Anais Nin
Courage is the price that Life exacts for granting peace. - Amelia Earhart
Can you summon the courage to live your life fully? To follow your talent, your bliss, to the "dark place where it leads?" This is no easy task but who ever said that reaching heaven was easy? The promised land is within you. It is up to you, and you alone, to set yourself on the correct path. Put an angel of courage on your shoulder to guide you, give those devils of fear the brush off, and get going.
It's your one and only life. How will you choose to spend it?