April 25-B, 2023

Monument Valley Dawn 05/26/2011 Oil Paint Rendered — Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, Arizona
Joseph Campbell made a comfortable living
telling people to follow their bliss.

Truth be known,
so did I.

Why would anybody pay anyone
to tell them to follow their bliss?

What could be more obvious than that?

It is like people paying you
to tell them to breathe.


Here's my theory:
People are looking for relief
from their own lives--
one might say,
from their own miserable existence,
from their own tortured experience
of the day-to-day.

Somebody keeps buying alcohol
and pot at high rates of consumption.
Did no one ever tell them
to follow their bliss?
Did no one ever tell them
how to do that?

What is the problem, really,
that we are trying to escape/avoid?
The wrong kind of emptiness, perhaps?
The realization of the sorry ends
we serve with our lives?

The music and entertainment industry
floats on a sea of misery and discontent--
in the fans that keep them afloat,
and in their own dissatisfaction
with their own lives.

What's the source of the dissatisfaction?
Why aren't we all following our bliss?
What is the missing element
we keep spending money hoping to find?
How do we find it?

It is right here,
right now,
all the time!

It is the simple (and impossibly difficult)
shift in perspective
that sees things as they are
and as they also are,
and laughs at the wonder of it all.

What is the key to the laughter?
The carelessness of babies
and small children,
who laugh at nothing,
and enjoy themselves with a rag doll,
and being rocked,
and told stories. 

Whence the seriousness 
with which we go at life?

When following our bliss
is not serious at all?

What is with taking all things seriously?

Where is the laughter?
What form does our playing take?

When is the last time you played?

What is keeping you from learning
how to play with everything
just by the way you look at it,
see it,
think about it,
receive it,
respond to it?

And fold it into your life
of wonder and bliss?

It cannot be that easy, right?


Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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