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Follow Your Bliss


It has been twenty-some years since I first heard the great American mystic Joseph Campbell say that the secret of life was to "Follow Your Bliss". At the time, that simple little phrase seemed quite foolish to me. It seemed so selfish, so hedonistic. How can anyone just follow their bliss?? There's work to be done, bills to be paid, matters of consequence to take care of. But now, twenty-some years later, after struggling to no avail on countless foolhardy paths, it is very clear that the simple phrase "Follow Your Bliss" is exactly right!

If one imagines bliss to be the satisfaction of day-to-day lusts, and pursues a life of self-centered actions, eventually one will discover that such trivial goals do not bring any lasting sense of true satisfaction. The self-centered path is hollow, unfulfilling and fails to bring any lasting peace. The transient delights are not bliss. Bliss is not a transient place, and bliss is not a self-centered place. True bliss is beyond all such petty, selfish pursuits.

The pursuit of bliss is not at all about being self-centered. There is no bliss in the little self. The real pursuit of bliss is exactly the opposite... it is the setting aside of the little self, a rising above the little self, an awakening to the Divine.

The key to the phrase "Follow Your Bliss" is discovering what true bliss really is. True bliss is not momentary. True bliss is not monetary. True bliss is not self-centered. True bliss makes no demands of anyone. True bliss does not require fame or fortune. It's free! And it's available in every moment. In the simplest of terms, bliss arises when "you" depart.

Bliss arises when one is in harmony with "what is". Bliss arises when cravings and attachments have departed. Bliss arises when the petty desires of the little self have given way to the Divine Harmony of the True Self. The little self imagines that it is very important, has great authority and exercises control over myriad events... but, alas, that is not true. Actually, there is very little that happens each day that we have any control over whatsoever. The workings of Life do not follow our whims.

When one begins to enjoy the witnessing of the awesome spectacle of Life and rises above the little self's petty whims, the Divine Harmony of all of nature becomes apparent. Every person has the capacity, and indeed the need, to discover this Divine Harmony. All of the longing and separation and selfishness of this world can be instantly vaporized by being in harmony with what is.

In every moment, bliss is awaiting discovery, longing to be expressed. In every moment, bliss is ready and waiting to shine forth. Your bliss, your own realization of the bliss of living in Harmony with all that exists, will be a unique expression of Life flowing through you.  You don't need to do anything other than allow harmony and bliss to happen.

The greatest imaginable joy is in discovering the Divine Song that wants to express itself in a unique way though you. There is no grander pleasure than dancing the Divine Dance that is uniquely you.

Don't ask so much what the world needs.
Go out and do what makes you come alive,
because what the world needs most
are people who have come alive.         
                                        Howard Thurman

That's Bliss! It comes from within, not from striving for outer appearances or outer circumstances. Living your own unique life in harmony with Life... that's Bliss.

Sing your song... Dance your dance....Follow Your Bliss!

 

(Note: for further ideas about following your bliss, also see the Sacred Space page.)

 

with love,
    wahiduddin

posted June 23, 2002... updated 18-Aug-2007