Pathways to Bliss: An Introduction

I went out to buy groceries and came back with a book. I forgot the groceries. But in my life, the two are almost synonymous. I went into the bookstore to find The Sacred Contract of America by Caroline Myss. Not in the store–would have to order. Too hungry. Browsed through the shelves and found this gem: Pathways to Bliss: Mythology and Personal Transformation from the collected works of Joseph Campbell.

Bliss is what I believe we all seek: “. . . bliss is: that deep sense of being present, of doing what you absolutely must do to be yourself.” In our culture, most of us have lost the model for finding bliss because we do not have the guides to show us how to get there. Or even more disheartening, we chase the almighty dollar thinking that it will take us there. But as we are experiencing here in America, that plan does not work so well because one day you can wake up and the money is gone. And with it, your attempts at bliss. True bliss comes from having one foot in the here and now and one foot in the eternal. And it is myth that serves as our guide.

He suggests the first place to look if you are feeling lost, unable to find your bliss, is to look to the myths of your childhood. They are there whether you accepted or rejected them. I rejected my cultural myths and have spent a lifetime looking to replace them. Ironically, it looks as if the country I live in has caught up with me. She seems to have lost her myths as a loud and confused cadre attempts to taut the symbol of the myth as the myth. They are lost in their own hall of mirrors not understanding that the myth is “transparent to the transcendent.” They espouse one myth as THE myth thereby losing the transcendent quality of the myth. “And one of the problems with the popularization of religious ideas is that the god becomes a final fact and is no longer intself transparent to the transcendent.”

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