It’s good to be just plain happy, it’s a little better to know that you’re happy; but to understand that you’re happy and to know why and how and still be happy, be happy in the being and the knowing, well that is beyond happiness, that is bliss. — Henry Miller
Bliss is so many things to different people, and can vary wildly for us, on any given day. And one woman’s bliss is another’s tedium. But the components of bliss are really very simple.
In fact, the heart of bliss is simplicity. It is never a complicated machination, but more often has to do with slowing down, simplifying, and paying attention. Bliss is rarely expensive, can often be experienced alone, and is actually what our sweet bodies are hard-wired to seek and enjoy.
A couple of weeks ago, my favorite guru of rowdy bliss, astrologer Rob Brezsny noted, “The German word selig can mean both ‘ecstatic’ or ‘blessed.’ It implies that profound bliss can be a divine gift, that deep pleasure may generate or come from spiritual inspiration. The English language doesn’t have a term comparable to selig, maybe because our culture regards ecstasy with suspicion. Religious people tend to believe that the blessed are those who are good and kind, certainly not those who are skilled at cultivating ecstatic states. People who worship rationality, on the other hand, like intellectuals and scientists, often think of ecstasy as at best an irrelevant state, and at worst a non-productive or deluded indulgence.”
I have to admit that over these several days I’ve been writing about bliss, I have also found myself listening to the news, or seeing painful movies like Blood Diamond (strongly recommended, by the way), and thinking, “Bliss?? Who am I kidding?
Yet to understand, seek, share and create bliss is more important than ever. Not as an act of blindness or denial, but as a way of waking ourselves up from the nightmare that we have been seduced into believing is reality.
So, yes, as angry as I am at our so-called leaders, as heartbroken as I can be about the grinding misery in the world, as furious and frustrated as I am about the environmental and human horrors all around us, it seems all the more important to dance the dance-spell that evokes and inspires us to bliss, with my eyes and heart wide open.
I hope you’ll join me for more tomorrow.