Bliss

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

  1. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Messages:
    2,907
    Likes Received:
    0
    Penelope, lovely posts and welcome to IO. I don't know if you had heard something by an anthropologist or sociobiologist; I'm a cultural anthropologist myself and have trained horses for years and I often compare their responses to human responses.

    I'd say that other intelligent social animals also have a sense of curiosity- I've seen it in dogs, horses, cats, birds, bears, coyotes, cows, even squirrels.

    But I think humans are somewhat unique in our sense of adventure. It was Homo erectus that first looked out at the distant horizon and started walking, without any substantial evidence that this was done for ecological or other evolutionary reasons. It seems that at some point, humans just started to be curious about distant places, and later, the depths of themselves. Philosophy, religion, art... perhaps rudimentary in animals, but a huge part of human life.

    Now, I think animals, plants, even rocks have a lot more consciousness than most people give credit for. But it's a different kind of consciousness, a different way of communicating. Humans seem to be at a peak of individual being-ness in nature, a sort of extreme on the scale of unity and diversity as consciousness. On the other end of this continuum is a total loss of self and individual identity- the sort that occurs when our left brain shuts down and we can't even distinguish between our own atoms and the atoms of a wall, floor, or the air around us.

    For me, bliss is a sense of finding the unity, of a deep joy that comes from an inner realization of the profound peace that is in the part of me that is infinite and eternal... that which is connected to the entire universe. Reading your wonderful story about the bike trek reminded me of when my mother, aunt, sister and I traveled to Crazy Horse to release my grandfather's ashes into a coming storm. As we did so, the clouds parted, a rainbow arched above and there was an amazing sense of connection, of rightness.
     
  2. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Messages:
    2,907
    Likes Received:
    0
    Chris, you're in my thoughts. I have been there, done that, and I know it can be exhausting and draining.

    If it gives any hope, my husband and I nearly divorced in 2005 and had a long, hard slog to get to a better place in our relationship. But we are still together and it is better than it ever was. We learned a lot about ourselves and each other.

    I hope it is not too presumptuous, but I'll share a couple things that helped me/us. Of course, perhaps it wouldn't help you guys at all, but I know at the time it helped us to hear from other couples who'd been through a sort of "dark night of the soul" in their relationship and know we weren't alone, and to get a few ideas.

    We found that in our case, it was hopeless to "fix" our problems. We tried counseling and the best it did was cause us to laugh at the counselors' recommendations. It just wasn't for us. We are too artsy and moody to have "scripted" lives, no matter how "healthy" others think that might be. Instead of fixing anything, we figured out that life continues to happen despite the problems and we just decided to acknowledge when we had bad feelings and the problems came up, and then move on. We decided to practice constant forgiveness rather than trying to create a "perfect" marriage. We had major issues like how to balance our careers and who should give up what, not ones like squeezing the toothpaste tube in annoying patterns. So somehow, these issues continue to be there, yet by practicing a day-to-day life and finding joy in every day, and committing to forgive each other and not harbor resentment, we do OK.

    We found it most useful to talk to couples who'd been married a long time and hear that they had lousy years, even many years, too. So long as it isn't abusive, we found that couples who stayed together had toughed it out through the hard years and then fell in love again. It was a test of endurance, and it's not worth it for everybody. Both parties have to feel the endurance is worth it, and for us that was the case because we felt we were soulmates and always loved one another, even if we were otherwise unhappy.

    The most help, for me, in finding joy through the ups and downs (mostly downs) of that time was to escape to solitude and nature. I could be utterly miserable, but go out and lay my head against my horse's neck or hike out to a remote stand of trees... and the suffering melted away. The energy of the trees, the total acceptance of my horses and dogs, these things healed my turmoil. One of the best things that happened for us is that after we decided not to divorce, I was gone doing fieldwork in the Sierras. This gave us each time to heal in solitude, to date again, to put aside the worries, to work on ourselves. And I was employed in very physical labor for 14 hours a day in gorgeous country. This brought a peace to my mind and body, got me healthy again.

    I don't know if it'd help you find bliss, but I find a profound love and peace in the midst of stones and trees, out in the wild. There is a sort of grounding I find that reminds me the pain is temporary, but the bliss is eternally available and requires a change in my focus. I know that's really hard to do. There were times- right before my husband had asked for a divorce, for example- that I was pretty much spending each day in meditation because otherwise I was miserable and could barely eat. When he asked for that, I collapsed and all I could do was recite the Lord's Prayer, which is a sort of mantra for me in times of stress. But... with time in the woods, I was healed and found joy. And when I found joy, I found forgiveness.

    Blessings to you and yours, Chris.

    Kim
     
  3. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2003
    Messages:
    6,537
    Likes Received:
    6
    I can really relate to both.
     
  4. Dream

    Dream New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    Messages:
    3,677
    Likes Received:
    1
    Tag, you're it. I have now visited the bliss thread!
     
  5. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Messages:
    5,259
    Likes Received:
    8
    Hierarchy of needs? Not Maslow? Do there need to be six? Would you settle for five?

    s.
     
  6. Francis king

    Francis king New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Messages:
    1,318
    Likes Received:
    0
    cheer up kiddo... it could be worse...honest...
     
  7. Francis king

    Francis king New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Messages:
    1,318
    Likes Received:
    0
    i feel blissful on an almost daily basis... although it may actually be ... mania... whatever it is, it feels good... I reccommend stoking the fires of your own ego every day, and getting drunk, singing, and dancing as much as possible. Hugging trees is good, so too anything that makes you realise how much of what we endure on a daily basis is utter crap...

    really, not much matters... the only real measure of success in life is... remaining alive... after that... contentment...

    a warm bowl of soup on a cold day, a hug from a friend, laughing with your brother, stroking a purring cat, dozing in the sun... small things, all of them, but together they make a good life... the rest? crap you can generally do without...

    life's essentials? food, water, sunshine, love, somewhere to live, a collection of hobbies, some vague sense of purpose... that's all...
     
  8. earl

    earl ?

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Messages:
    1,601
    Likes Received:
    6
    Indeed, welcome Penelope. I, too am an (ex) widower with my first wife dying at 29. Wil, as to me the definition of "bliss" seems more akin to ecstasy-though a step or 2 down from that energetically speaking-it seems that some of what is being described here is more of a peaceful contentment when our usual self-defended boundaries have loosened, (sometimes stripped away by tragedies and sufferings of all kinds), allowing us to need or want nothing and thereby allowing us to apprecaite everything. Certainly it seems unconditional thankfulness and perhaps forgiveness either accompanies such or helps to precipitate it. Path, am inspired by your never-ending ability to remember what really matters in life. Chris, here's hoping your suffering eventually turns to contentment. I think bliss is a relative rarity for most but joyful contentment may be more attainable. earl
     
  9. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    Messages:
    2,924
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thank you all for the kind thoughts! Especially POO for the long note! You and Wil and others seem almost Buddha-like in your serenity. I am not. At least my issues with my wife aren't about fidelity. They're about emotional needs, mid-life issues, andger and control issues, etc.

    Chris
     
  10. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Messages:
    2,907
    Likes Received:
    0
    Aw, you're welcome. I'm not Buddha-like, though. It's more a goal than a reality. I have my moments where I do better, and plenty more where I do worse. I rarely get angry anymore, but I have to work actively to avoid resentment, which is in some ways worse. I just try to diligently recognize each negative reaction and thought and figure out where it's coming from and what to do about it. I've a long way to go, but bit by bit, it seems to get better.

    Josh and I's issues were not about fidelity either- balancing careers, emotional and social needs, control... yep, sounds familiar. We could forgive each other for dating other people when we were separated, because we both thought we were getting a divorce. But the problems remained when we got back together, so we still had to work through all that crap. I say it like it's past tense. It's more like we renewed our commitment to work through the crap... for life. Sounds awful, but it's not. Everyone has baggage and junk to work through, and we figure we're best suited to do with each other. Plus we have lots of fun times and we really care about and love each other. We've been together since we were a couple kids- 17 and 20. So might as well stick it out and help each other work through life's difficulties. And enjoy the ride as much as possible!
     
  11. Dondi

    Dondi Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    Messages:
    2,615
    Likes Received:
    0
    I found bliss here.
     
  12. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    20,266
    Likes Received:
    1,188
    And I am finally enjoying it Dondi...
     
  13. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    20,266
    Likes Received:
    1,188
    I said here earlier it is not found without but bubbles up from within....while that happens often...and at strange times...reading thru this thread and the thought, contemplation and love it contains... opens the gate...activates some gland...intitiates some electro chemical responses and sends them coursing through my viens, into my brain, seemingly effecting dopamine and seratonin receptors making me happy on ananda
     
  14. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    20,266
    Likes Received:
    1,188
    Gotta break some eggs to make an omelette...

    Lotso negative going on. I'd say perceived negative but that may be misconstrued.

    But bliss befalls me again, dispite.
     
  15. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    20,266
    Likes Received:
    1,188
    And I must say reading thru this thread accentuated, elevated and accelerated...bliss
     
    StevePame likes this.
  16. dfnj2019

    dfnj2019 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2019
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    14
  17. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    20,266
    Likes Received:
    1,188
    Yay, something to look forward to I suppose.

    Frankly I think it is attitude...in any 5th grade class there are those that hate the teacher and those that love the teacher. Some get top grades and some fail.

    Try all you want I'll pick my rose colored glasses back up.
     

Share This Page