"If you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living." - Joseph Campbell
There's never a perfect time, which makes now the perfect time.... paraphrasing Sam from The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
PILGRIMAGE - the inclination toward a willingness to live in perpetual discovery taken in form of an outer, worldly path or journey towards that which is simultaneously inherently Pathess and without distance; to move in unknown mystery and allow grace to unfold; sense of 'play' invoking gamer lingo -'sandbox' - for MMORPG which are "non-linear and open-ended" (hmmm, life on earth is THE ultimate massively multiplayer role-playing game but we often stick to the linear cause-effect closed-off 1.0 version); focused on active movement and engagement and experimenting and direct experience in and with the world as meditation over sitting still in concentration in a cave in Siberia; epiphanies; following the path with heart (i.e. "Before you embark on any path ask the question: Does this path have a heart? If the answer is no, you will know it, and then you must choose another path. The trouble is nobody asks the question." - The Teachings of Don Juan, by Carlos Castenada)
We have all known grace - sometimes it shows up as: serendipity, exhilarating adventure, synchroncity, coincidence, miracles, 'magic', breath-taking moments, sweeping moments of unexplicable love and compassion, simple joy, 'flow', time stands still moments, blessed moments, instants where you are buoyed and transported by beauty or nature or simply sublime extraordinariness of the ordinary. (Above two paragraphs I wrote in a private email outlining an idea sent 4/13/2006)
Last week I learn of a brand new New Orleans tourism advertising campaign launching today, May 6. It appears inspired by a mythic sense of journeying. The Times-Picayune article categorizes the just unveiled website as a "choose your own adventure" geared for the "discoverer" sort of traveler "who like to guide their own vacations and serendipitously find experiences." The new tagline 'Follow Your Nola' and accompanying hashtag #followyournola evokes shades of Joseph Campbell's famed quote, "Follow your bliss."
The first time I walk into the used bookstore called after the blue cypress, I interrupt the clerk listening to a monologue by a customer eruditely citing Ulysses and Lolita in the same paragraph if she has any of the Memory of Fire series by Eduardo Galeano. I'd already browsed the history section to no avail. She searches her computer, stares at the cover art before saying: "I think I saw that one in the fiction section."
“Myth is much more important and true than history. History is just journalism and you know how reliable that is.”
― Joseph Campbell
Clue: From The Diamond Cutter: The Buddha on Managing Your Business and Your Life, by Geshe Michael Roach:
"Stop being such a cheapskate in your business dealings and your personal life. Give, give, give to others; make sure deals are win-win for both sides. Again, it's not the amount of money involved, it's maintaining--all day long--a truly generous, creative, flowing state of mind that wants to see everybody prosper. Ben Franklin was perhaps the greatest statesman, scientist, and businessperson in America's history--and his response to competition was to invite all his competitors to join a new society called a Chamber of Commerce, dedicated to finding ways to work together to expand markets, and make everybody involved richer."
The roundup is on for the wounded and hiding strikers. They are hunted like rabbits, with broadsides from a moving train, and in the stations like netted fish. One hundred and twenty are captured in Aracataca in a single night. The soldiers awaken the priest and grab the key to the cemetery. Trembling in his underwear, the priest listens to the shootings begin.
Not far away, a little boy bawls in his crib.
The years will pass and this child will reveal to the world the secrets of a region so attacked by a plague of forgetfulness that it lost the names of things. He will discover documents that tell how the workers were shot in the plaza, and how Big Mamma is the owner of lives and haciendas and of the rain that has fallen and will fall, and how between rain and rain Remedios the Beautiful goes to heaven, and in the air passes a little old plucked angel who is falling into the henhouse. (187 and 464)
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Complete quote via the Joseph Campbell Foundation: "If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Wherever you are -- if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time.
* * *
Now, I came to this idea of bliss because in Sanskrit, which is the great spiritual language of the world, there are three terms that represent the brink, the jumping-off place to the ocean of transcendence: sat-chit-ananda. The word "Sat" means being. "Chit" means consciousness. "Ananda" means bliss or rapture. I thought, "I don't know whether my consciousness is proper consciousness or not; I don't know whether what I know of my being is my proper being or not; but I do know where my rapture is. So let me hang on to rapture, and that will bring me both my consciousness and my being." I think it worked." - Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth, pp. 113, 120
Art credits: Still from the 1963 film, Jason and the Argonauts; Argo by Lorenzo Costa --tempera paint on wood circa 1530 from Museo Civico di Padova via Wikipedia Commons; photo via Southwest Florida Water Management District