This morning, a friend of mine on my Facebook page (actually a friend from work who just so happens to also be a Facebook friend) posted these quotes from an interview with Joseph Campbell on her page.
I can relate to what he says here about sacred space. Lately, I've been claiming my "sacred space" every morning: before everyone gets up, when the house is dark and quiet, I focus and center myself and write and read and think, and have that time "where you don't know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don't know who your friends are, you don't know what you owe anybody, you don't know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation."
And it is exactly like he says: "At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen."
And it's been happening. All I had to do is claim it. It's been invaluable. And I find that it "travels with me" through out the rest of the day. I'm happier, no matter what I do. I feel like I can see myself more clearly as a result.
Bliss is there for you if you claim it. Why not claim it?
"Our life has become so economic and practical in its orientation that, as you get older, the claims of the moment upon you are so great, you hardly know where the hell you are, or what it is you intended. You are always doing something that is required of you. Where is your bliss station? You have to try to find it.
"[Sacred space] is an absolute necessity for anybody today. You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don't know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don't know who your friends are, you don't know what you owe anybody, you don't know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen.
"Poets are simply those who have made a profession and a lifestyle of being in touch with their bliss. Most people are concerned with other things. They get themselves involved in economic and political activities, or get drafted into a war that isn't the one they're interested in, and it may be difficult to hold to this umbilical under those circumstances. That is a technique each one has to work out for himself somehow.
"But most people living in that realm of what might be called occasional concerns have the capacity that is waiting to be awakened to move to this other field. I know it, I have seen it happen in students.
Looking back on how he arrived at this notion of finding one's bliss, Campbell touches on the crucial difference between religious faith and secular spirituality:
"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.[...] The religious people tell us we really won't experience bliss until we die and go to heaven. But I believe in having as much as you can of this experience while you are still alive.
"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. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be."