Our dear Reverend Ken at Unity recently quoted Joseph Campbell as saying that the purpose of life is to live your bliss. I do love that idea, that all we need do is decide what brings us the most joy, and allow those to be the most important things in our lives! This prompted me to consider bliss as the main purpose in life, and also to learn a little more about Joseph Campbell's philosophy. I really enjoyed what I read, and have included some of his quotes here. They reminded me of my son, Eric, so I dedicate this post to him.
It has occurred to me many times on my personal journey that the main reason we're here is to be happy. I believe that we are meant to glorify as grandly as possible in our countless different ways the God that lives in and through each of us. Moving through our periods of doubt and forgetting is part of the process of finding, and living our truth. According to Campbell, "Where you stumble and fall, there you will find gold."
Campbell's ideas validate the incomparable gift of our being. He said, "The priviledge of a lifetime is being who you are." How well said! It's so easy to get wrapped up in doing, that we don't delight in our awareness of being. At the end of my days, what I did won't be nearly as important as how present I was in experiencing all of the moments of my life.
His idea that we create meaning through our experience was simply and rather bluntly put: "Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer." What is the meaning of life? To simply be. That is miracle enough.
I also appreciated reading his thoughts on our path in life. "If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it's not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That's why it's your path." Also, "If the path before you is clear, you're probably on someone else's." This for me emphasized the importance of living in the present moment. Try as we might to nail things down into some manageable and predictable future, plans change as priorities shift. We are constantly evolving, in the midst of creating who we are, and who we want to be. Life happens, when we're busy making other plans.
Campbell had some wonderful ideas about our experience of challenge, and even though he died in 1987 his thoughts resonate today: "We have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us. The labyrinth is thoroughly known. We have only to follow the thread of the heroes' path. And where we thought to find an abomination, we shall find God. And where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves. And where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our existence. And where we thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world."
The heroes' path, then, is having the courage to do what brings us joy, and not make any excuses for it. It is choosing to seek the gift inherent in all circumstances. It is taking ample time to revel in the glory of being alive, here and now in this small segment of eternity.
Living our bliss is the heroes' path. I am grateful to have stumbled upon these wise words.
May you live your bliss, and may this tool be a blessing. . .