Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Hanging onto Bliss

As I have been reading the last chapter (Celebrating Relationships) in Kathy Oddenino's third book, Sharing, I've also been re-reading Reflections on the Art of Living: A Joseph Campbell Companion. What a book. Please read both of them! Joseph Campbell was born in 1904 and lived until 1987. He is best known, most popularly known perhaps, for his philosophy of "follow your bliss." I am a peripheral student of Joseph Campbell's - I never met him, though I continue to enjoy and learn from him in the form of his work and the preservation and popularization of his work. That sharing comes from his passion, and the passion of those with whom he interacted, those whose lives he helped to change for the better. I am a first-hand student of Kathy Oddenino's. I have the opportunity to learn from her directly, in person, as well as from her many books and "continuing education" classes.

"The energy within you is only affected by your perception of self. ... In each and every event of your physical world there is a celebration that is hidden. It is hidden from your conscious view by your own resistances to learning the lesson. Celebration is inherent in learning. Learning is movement, change, and growth." (Oddenino, Sharing, 341)

"You do not have a complete adventure unless you do get back. There is a time to go into the woods and a time to come back, and you know which it is. Do you have the courage? It takes a hell of a lot of courage to return after you've been in the woods. There are modes of having this realization, and the final thing is knowing, loving and serving life in a way in which you are eternally at rest. That point of rest has got to be in all of it. Even though you are active out there in the world, within you there's a point of complete composure and rest. When that's not there, then you are in agony.

When the world
seems to be falling apart,
the rule is to hang onto your own bliss.
It's that life that survives."
(Campbell, Reflections)

Read a few other readers' views of the Companion. Then make up your own mind!

Joseph Campbell knew how to use his mind for good. The only true use of a mind is for good, since we are designed to "know thyself." Daily I find little ways to "know thyself" more, with guidelines such as these. How easily and with what determination we attach ourselves to every physical way of thinking and doing as "all that is." This week I've gotten lots of advice, about a number of different things. I'm learning to listen, sift, absorb more purely what is truly in keeping with me and my own consciously opening energy self, and not be hyper-reactive to someone who comes with advice unsolicited. It's a big lesson for me in this life, and I love the many-splendored ways of finding and hanging on to my my own bliss. I've been hyper-reactive in my life when I've felt like I wasn't doing something right, and interpreted this as my own "failure," rather than simply, maybe there's a better way. It's amazing to me to THINK, to learn how my mind is coming to know itself, and love what it gains as I grow.

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