We hear "Follow your bliss," and think the Hero's Journey is a joy ride. The bliss is "joyful participation in the sorrows of the world." If you can stand in the tension of that contradiction, you have met the only requirement for the journey. Joseph Campbell said, "Where you stumble and fall, there lies the treasure." That doesn't mean we roll over and there the gold is! It means we start digging! Being a writer does not mean writing best sellers with movie contracts attached. It means writing, day in and day out, whether anyone reads your work or not. If you write because that is your bliss, rain or shine, whether you feel like it or not, whether you are in the mood for it or not, whether you want to or not, whether you "feel it" or not, for no other reason than because you are a writer and writing is what you do no matter what, and nothing is going to knock you off of it, because you're a writer. Write on! Campbell also said, "That which you seek lies far in the back of the darkest corner of the cave you most don't want to enter." Following our bliss means going into the cave all the way to the very back and feeling around in the darkest corner. It means doing the work! And it is Real Work! Sticking with it! Soldiering through! But, it is our work-- and that makes all the difference! No one is forcing us to do it. We are called to do it by some mysterious energy/force calling us away from the pastimes and entertaining asides, into the expression/incarnation of our own depth, our own heart and soul. In this, we engage the mystery at the center of our life, of all of life, and know there is a Source beyond us that is living in us and through us, guiding our way, urging us on. I have been writing from high school on. This is the 6,305th post of its kind since 2011. I don't know why. I don't know where they come from, or to what end. and I don't care. I sit down because I must, because of an inner compulsion, and I would be remiss if I did not, I would be betraying something that I consider to be worthy and deserving of my honor and respect, reverence and service, and I have liege loyalty to the Source of what I write. I start out with a few words, maybe a sentence, that just comes upon me out of the blue, and everything flows for there, with a life of its own. My job is to come up with the right word for the occasion. And I write to be amazed at what I'm writing. That is Mystery! Where does all this come from? From the darkness and the silence of my unconscious! That is our bliss station! And we are wrong to not open ourselves to what beckons to us from what we call our "unconscious mind" (Simply because we are not conscious of it!)! The journey to the heart of ourselves awaits us all, and it is never too late to begin the never-ending process of self-discovery along the Bliss Road that runs through the time left for living.
We believe in causality. Cause and effect. Everything is caused by something. There are no accidents. "There is a reason for everything." "I think, therefore I think I am." Things do not have to be the way they are. The world would be fine if World War II had never happened. Nothing has to happen in order for something else to happen. Whatever happens will be fine. Nothing is in charge. There is no design. Everything is free to be what it is, doing what it does, in conjunction with everything else being free to be what it is, doing what it does, and the limits and restrictions will work themselves out, and be what they are. In the beginning there were a lot of collisions while things were looking for smooth and easy. It is smoother and easier than it was (Remember how dark it got each night before we domesticated fire?), but it still is far from smooth and easy (And nothing is as boring as smooth and easy). It is all still working itself out. Everything is finding its way. A lot of things are in the way. Some things have to get out of the way, or pay the price. We can find patterns everywhere. That doesn't mean anything was "meant to be." It means we can find patterns everywhere. They are caused by our brain's ability to perceive relationships and impose order in helping us find our way. Our brain is a meaning-maker! We see patterns among the stars and conclude that they had to be placed there for a reason, and that where they are when we are born has dramatic implications for our life. Jumping to conclusions is what we do best. No! Kidding ourselves is what we do best! NO! Telling ourselves what we want to hear is what we do best! NO! Shooting ourselves in the foot is what we do best! ... We are the victims of our own constructions of reality. We do not just observe the world, we also interpret our observations in ways that make them meaningful to us. And then we go to war over our conclusions. For instance, we take it on faith that we are all going to hell if we don't believe Jesus saves us from going to hell if we believe in him-- and we have to tell everyone to believe as we do because we believe Jesus will hold it against us if we don't convert the world-- and we are making all of this up!!! Why do we take that on faith and not something else instead? How do we find comfort in a God who will send anybody to hell? Who can ever relax around a God like that? We are making everything up-- why not make up things that are life-enhancing and mutually beneficial across the table, around the world? We make up Us and Them! Why not make up WE?! And find ways together to live together in ways that improve everyone's chances at a life worth living? Why not see everything, all things, as a Thou? Why not identify with all sentient beings? Adopt, "Inasmuch as you have done it, or not done it, to every living thing, you have done it, or not done it, to me!"? Why not do everything we do because it needs to be done and not because of what we stand to gain or lose by doing it? Why not live the mystery? And not make up conclusions about it that have no basis or grounds for being?
We cannot help how we see things, the way we feel about things, the way we think of things, and we have never had a motive that we fully understood. We do not know why we do what we do, or what we will do next (And if we do, we have symptoms we cannot manage, and our life is going quite to hell). We swagger around as though we are in total control-- or, we are afraid of what the next minute will bring, and have no idea of what we will do about any of it. Either way, we do not have a clue. Joseph Campbell said, "The individual must realize that the grandeur of their being is that of representing something larger than themselves-- that they stand for something that is bigger than they are. They have to know they are an agent of something, and live conscious of being a presence in the world as a representative of that thing, as an incarnation of it in their daily life-- and they have to know what it is that they are living to exemplify" (Or words to that effect). And, of course, we have no idea of what he is talking about. What are we living to exemplify? What are we the bearers of? Allow me to make a suggestion: We are expressive and representative of The Mystery of Life and Being! Carl Jung said, "There is within each of us another, whom we do not know." We carry within us unconscious depths that we dismiss without a thought about what we are doing. We live to feed our appetites, to enjoy our entertainments, to serve our addictions, and never consider that we represent anything more than our desires and our fears. We don't look within because we know there is nothing there, or are afraid there is nothing there, or are afraid there is something there and it is terrible and out to get us. It is out to get us, of course, but in a fulfilling, enlightening, amazing and wonderful kind of way. We are looking for something to relieve our terminal boredom with our life, and the adventure of a lifetime is a perspective shift away. We are the embodiment of The Mystery! And only have to trust ourselves to it to step into the power, the tremendum, the fascinans of the mysterium every day.
Donald Trump is completely responsible for himself, and he cannot help being who he is. Which is something that can be said about each of us. We are who we are because of our refusal to be anything else-- or because of our striving to be something else, which we also could do nothing about. We all could be worse than we are, and better, but which it will be is out of our hands. We live at the mercy of forces quite beyond us, and are where we are by the grace of the journey, and the timely accidents that shifted everything into place-- without our knowledge of anything that was going on. We think we are free to do as we please, but we are not free to choose what we please. We think freedom means doing what we want with our life, but we cannot not-want what we want, or want what we do not want. We are not free to pick what we will want today anymore than we can pick what we will dream tonight. How free is that? We are bound to our wants the way the sun is stuck in its orbit. It is all a mystery-- where it comes from, where it is going, how it fits together. We are a mystery. Our life is a mystery. Everything is a mystery. And we walk past it all as though it is completely unexceptional, thoroughly routine, outrageously boring and nothing more than the same old same old.
Reframe the things you are ashamed of-- your liabilities are assets unknown. Joseph Campbell said, "Where you stumble and fall, there lies the treasure!" Is it a weakness, or is it a strength? Is it better to win or to lose? Is it more important to see, or to see that you don't see? Etc. All our dichotomies are false dichotomies. What we take to be a dead-end is a threshold to a different kind of outcome. We are the incarnation of mystery beyond infinite. And miss the adventure we were born to live by refusing to trust ourselves to the mystery in digging for the gold buried in the rejects and discards. "Nothing good comes from Nazareth," you know. "The stone the builders reject," you know. The priceless pearl lost amid the costume jewelry, you know... "Reframing" is a synonym for "recognizing," for "reclaiming," for "redeeming," for "realizing," for "repenting," for "being born again" ... Seeing what we are looking at means seeing beyond what we think we see, means seeing into the mystery, and throwing ourselves into it with all our heart, and soul, and mind and strength-- in a "Okay! I'm all in! Show me what you got in the time left for living" kind of way.