Bliss

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by wil, Jun 3, 2009.

  1. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    19,864
    Likes Received:
    1,055
    bliss - definition of bliss by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.
    Please note, while I cannot stop you this thread is not for the woe is me, we are all sinners, the world is coming to an end, the sky is falling, what are we ever gonna do, decline and fall of the empire crowd.

    This is for those that experience bliss.
    • Walking across a asphalt parking lot in 90 degree weather with 90% humidity...bliss.
    • When your broke and living in the woods... bliss.
    • Standing on the side of the road with your thumb out... bliss.
    • Lost your home to forclosure....bliss.
    • Not knowing where your next meal is comng from...bliss.
    • Livin in a tent in the mangroves and the hurricane blows it all away...bliss.
    • Driving home thru the Yukon Territory and your van rolls and now you've got to ship everything and hitchike back to the states....bliss.
    For me, I've done all of the above and more... and currently don't have my future in the bag, but currently not having any monetary issues...

    I contemplate why many of my moments of bliss...and definitly my extended times of bliss are when I'm at my lowest on Maslo's heirarchy.

    I don't have any major issues now...and find moments of bliss and am generally content...but my real times of serious bliss is when I am without.

    When do you find bliss?
     
  2. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Messages:
    2,907
    Likes Received:
    0
    Most days I find bliss. The tough part is finding it when I'm commuting, working most of my waking hours in a cubicle, or dealing with the Federal or state governments (tax season and the like). :) I only partially jest.

    Having lost my home to foreclosure after the recession killed our newly created construction company a year ago (into which all our credit and savings were poured) and being 2 years out of a PhD with a practical hiring freeze in colleges nationwide... most people I meet once they know my situation feel bad for me and think I must be stressed out. Actually, the most stressful recent year was in 2007 when we made the most money we ever had, were both working 50+ hours a week, and were living extremely comfortably with excellent credit and a house. I was often miserable.

    The current state of affairs has given me time to create art again, to appreciate all the small things, to remember what is important and makes my life worth living. We just moved our stuff into our little mountain cabin back in the town we lived in before and I'm listening to the birds and thunder of an incoming storm and feeling the cool breeze waft through my office/art studio window. I'm ecstatically happy and more at peace than I have been in years. We reduced our lifestyle to minimum and we're so much more blissful this way. Our minimal working hours- just enough to cover our rent and groceries- allowed us to have 1 1/2 weeks to move and I have all month to unpack. It's the most relaxing move I've ever had- we even had time to camp out at the Redwoods and hug the trees. (And for those of you who know me fairly well, you'll know I mean literally ;).)

    In short, what would cause some to wonder "God, why me?" I feel like "Thank you, God!"

    God gave me what I wouldn't give myself- time to breathe and remember what my purpose is... to serve, to love, to be joyful.

    To have bliss.
     
  3. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Messages:
    3,231
    Likes Received:
    1
    Everywhere. It feels good just to be alive. I think most beings are hard-wired that way.

    But I do live in a quiet corner of the world, far from any real strife or suffering. So I do have to question how deep is my bliss? How would it stand up to a real test?

    My admiration goes out to those who face real difficulty and still maintain their peace and equanimity. They are an inspiration to me.
     
  4. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    19,864
    Likes Received:
    1,055
    Namaste Poo and cz,

    cz, I think your upto the test...not that you need it...I'm not asking the universe to conspire. But thru your discussions and the fact that Poo's experience seems similar to mine...(and most biographies I read)...bliss is easily found in the midst of what others perceive as disasterous.
     
  5. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    19,864
    Likes Received:
    1,055
    Oh and tree huggin....Once you've hugged one can you ever give it up? I miss my tree from my old house... a scotch pine right by the driveway...I'd park and get out and give it a hug, it would take the entire day away, every issue, without complaint, and it would give, give me a connection to earth anytime I wished it. Plenty of trees around but I miss that ole tree...the new owners cut it down.
     
  6. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2005
    Messages:
    5,826
    Likes Received:
    0
    YouTube - Roger Waters-5:01AM (The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking)Pt.10
    YouTube - Roger Waters-5:06 AM (Every Stranger's Eyes)

    Being alive is wonderful :)
     
  7. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Messages:
    2,907
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yep. When I was a kid we had two huge pine trees in my front yard and I'd spend hours reading in one of them about 50 feet up where three branches had formed a little seat. When my mother and step-father divorced, the house was sold and the couple dozen trees on the property- all- were cut down. It was awful. Those trees were over 50 years old, were planted by the original house's owner when he and his wife were young... the pines had personalities. I wish everyone could feel the real communications and energy and love from trees. We'd be more careful about ending their lives.

    The Redwoods were the most amazing... those trees bring me to tears and they have an energy that is amazing. It makes me feel like I'm humming. I really don't know how to explain it. I've had friendships with trees since I was a child but never had been there before and never felt that kind of presence. It's really overwhelming, but in a good way. :)
     
  8. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2003
    Messages:
    3,552
    Likes Received:
    93
    Up until a few years ago my backyard was basically for the dogs and weeds.. It was a veritable jungle..

    Then in 2007 I had some work done on the house and my wife and I decided to transform the backyard into a garden area.. So we put grass and planted herbs and various plants..flowering ones and native plants around..

    After a lawn was planted I had a fountain placed in the center and a hammock in one corner under a persimmon tree using some of the old clothes line poles to hang the hammock..

    I also painted the garage and a supply building and adorned them with Mexican, Turkish and Moroccan tile.. Now the place is more like a walled garden or Paradise for me.. We had a satellite dish on a steel pole.. I removed the dish and replaced it with some prayer flags.

    So the back yard has been transformed and provides a great place for meditation and uhh bliss.

    - Art:)
     
  9. Avi

    Avi Interfaith Forums

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    Messages:
    1,399
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wil, your observation of experiencing bliss is very interesting. Do you think it is related to your ability to overcome the fear that you felt in these cases ?
     
  10. Eudaimonist

    Eudaimonist In Galt We Trust

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Messages:
    297
    Likes Received:
    0
    That simply confirms what I've thought for some time -- that bliss doesn't properly exist in Maslow's heirarchy. It's an entirely separate issue.

    I find a form of bliss from what Maslow would consider episodes of self-actualization, but it might not be the same thing as your bliss.


    eudaimonia,

    Mark
     
  11. nativeastral

    nativeastral fluffy future

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    1,525
    Likes Received:
    0
    maybe it is, moments of peak experiences when you feel 'at one' with everything can happen in all circumstances.
     
  12. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    Messages:
    2,924
    Likes Received:
    1
    I haven't had any bliss in a long time. My life is nonstop stress from the time I get up until I go to bed. My wife and I are living on opposite sides of a wall of resentment and indifference. I'm happy for you all.

    Chris
     
  13. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Messages:
    3,231
    Likes Received:
    1
    And you have my deepest sympathy. Is there any way to bridge the gulf between you two? If not, wouldn't you be better off on your own?
     
  14. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    Messages:
    2,924
    Likes Received:
    1
    We're trying, but it feels like one step up, and two steps back. Don't want to derail this lovely thread.

    Carry on.

    Chris
     
  15. Penelope

    Penelope weak force testosterone

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2009
    Messages:
    181
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bliss is nice.

    Sure, there is probably some perfectly good neurochemical explanation for why you or I experience bliss. No need to reference things magical or mystical. But ...
    Bliss is nice.

    & & &

    Several years ago I found this map in the local Sunday section of the newspaper. What it featured sounded like a good idea to my husband, Les, and I ... when our two kids got older.

    Les died in July of 2006. Not unlike the French airliner that went down off the coast of Brazil. Except it happened halfway around the world, it was a much smaller airplane, and they never found a debris field. They never found a trace.

    Monday before last (May 25, the Memorial Day holiday in the USA), we parked the car behind a small-town grocery store. Troy, Brandi, and I pedaled our bicycles across virtually deserted farm-country roads for 40 miles. The three of us lunched (picnicked) at a famous battlefield of the Indian wars of 151 years ago. Then we pedaled (taking a different route) for another 40 miles back to our car.

    The day was hot. Some of the roads were unpaved - and dusty. The battlefield contained minimal background information about how the battle progressed. In between, there were no spectacular sites along the way. We followed the shoreline of no great rivers or lakes. There were limited mountain vistas off in the distance. But ...

    The day was bliss.

    & & &

    I'm not going to say anything schmaltzy, like "Les was there, riding a bike beside us in spirit." But the day did reinforce our sense of family.

    Even though Les never served in the military, the bike trek was our own private memorial to him. It was like a religious act. (An act of devotion?) The children talked about their father, that day, more than they had on any occasion since he died.

    & & &

    It was a tiring day, emotionally as well as physically. I don't know about Brandi and Troy, but something about this day transcended mere happiness for me. There was never anything particularly joyful about the day. Just a sense of being right with the world.

    Is that what bliss is?

    (This is perhaps as good a definition as any.)
     
  16. Eudaimonist

    Eudaimonist In Galt We Trust

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Messages:
    297
    Likes Received:
    0
    It's quite a bit better than most.


    eudaimonia,

    Mark
     
  17. nativeastral

    nativeastral fluffy future

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    1,525
    Likes Received:
    0
    yeh an at-one-ment; l feel like that floating on a warm sea:)
     
  18. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    19,864
    Likes Received:
    1,055
    What I find interesting is that for me bliss is often not ignited by external events or situations, but the opposite. The external does not seem like bliss, but it bubbles up from within.

    I wonder if being thankful is part of it? I'm divorced, I'd rather not have been. But I am thoroughly thankful that my bride to be picked me up hitchiking, that we got married, that we had some wonderful kids, and even that she found another and left, it has opened other doors to me that would not have been otherwise. I think it quite possible that my thankfullness for all that this world provides helps lead to my bliss.

    Namaste Penelope,

    Thank you for the story, twas wonderful to ride along with you in that moment.

    Welcome to IO.
     
  19. Penelope

    Penelope weak force testosterone

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2009
    Messages:
    181
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bliss.

    I read something, probably back in college (the first time around, over 20 years ago), which made sense to me at the time. A set of ideas by, I think, some anthropologist. Or maybe a sociobiologist? (Can anyone tell me who?)

    It involved 6 stand-out principles which make you and me human. The first three link us to our animal cousins on the evolutionary chain. These involve organism and species survival.

    1. Fight-or-flee (immediate survival).
    2. Food/shelter (short-term survival).
    3. Procreation (long-term species survival).

    The remaining three principles appear to be unique to humans alone. They reach beyond mere survival, and involve some kind of questing or growth, by the organism or the species.

    4. Curiosity (immediate growth).
    5. Adventure (short-term growth).
    6. Bliss (long-term species-connected growth).

    Bliss is both a personal experience, but one also linked to the entire human species.

    On those rare occasions when your experience or when my experience reaches beyond those protective walls of egocentrism which each of us have erected around ourselves – when we individually let our defenses completely down – we receive an uncanny kind of emotional reward, a reward from ... godknowswhere.

    - There is a certain degree of risk-taking with curiosity.
    - A higher level of risk-taking with adventure.
    - But to let all one's defenses drop – this is the riskiest behavior of all.

    Why would anyone willfully engage in this extreme degree of risk-taking? Engage in ...

    Letting go of the personal ...
    Connecting to what all humanity has in-common ...
    Dance with the entirety of humankind ... ?

    It could be argued that this gets to the heart of the religious experience. Bliss is connection to godhead.

    And godhead is ...

    Collectively the human species.
     
  20. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2004
    Messages:
    3,915
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Penelope, Welcome.

    I think your sentence above sums it well. :)
     

Share This Page