The most common reason people do all that they do in this life this: bliss. Thus it’s the ultimate experience of the human soul. The deepest craving of all human souls is to attain a permanent state of bliss. In this post, using very simple illustrations, as well as more intricate concepts, I have attempted a fairly comprehensive description of bliss. I also tried to highlight some very simple guidelines for attaining this extremely elusive state. My goal here is quite straightforward: To help make your earthly journey a blissful experience.
This is a very long post. 3000 words. It is dense and intense stuff. But I have broken it into multiple sections for easier perusal and assimilation. Nevertheless, you may want to first browse through it. Read as far as you can. Then bookmark it for later reading. Eventually, you may also want to share it with your family and friends, as well as leave your comments at the end. You are welcome to do so.
Here’s a physical taste of bliss
You have been trekking now for three hot days; along a long winding dirt road; through waterless, sun-scorched terrain. The sun has been merciless and unrelenting in the daytime; no trees or mountain shades anywhere. In the night, the heat has been unbearable. The last time your parched tongue tasted water was three distant days ago. Your entire body is shivering, withering and weakening due to the intense thirst.
Suddenly, you think you heard a rumbling sound behind you. Turning, you see dust clouds floating up far behind: a truck is speeding towards you. Hope flares up within; and summoning every ounce of strength left in you, you start to wave hard at the fast approaching truck. You are lucky. The truck slows down and stops, about the same time you finally slump to the ground.
The two men in the car ask you where you are going.
“Water, water, water,” you croak.
The passenger quickly comes down with a glistening bottle of cold crystal clear water. You grab at it with both hands and gulp greedily down. As the silvery liquid courses down your throat, time stands still, nothing else matters, and waves of indescribable pleasure rush through your body: Bliss.
To a sun-scorched, travel-weary, parched and thirsty tongue, the taste of fresh cold crystal clear water is pure pleasure; refreshing; invigorating—a physical taste of bliss. But this taste is merely an illustration of something that happens at higher planes of being. For the true reality of bliss occurs at the spiritual and emotional realms: an all-consuming surge of ecstasy that suspends time, dispelling every sense of anxiety and fear in one sweet sensation of pure pleasure.
Blissful is successful
I have already asserted that the deepest craving of all human souls is to attain a permanent state of bliss; but this is also true with regards to success―everyone wants to be successful. Does this then infer a connection between bliss and success? Absolutely. There is a very strong connection between bliss, and personal success. Genuine personal success and bliss are inextricably linked; you can’t have the one without the other.
In fact, blissful is successful. Bliss and personal success mean the same thing; they are synonymous terms. Both are feelings; both are inward; and both are intensely personal. Genuine personal success, apart from bliss, is an illusion.
Just like bliss, true personal success cannot be quantified in measurable terms; simply because it is a very spiritual and emotional experience. Yes, success is both spiritual and emotional. It is also an intensely personal and inward feeling.
Today we all tend to evaluate success mainly on the basis of stocks, shares, bonds, and the balance sheet; on the basis of cars, yachts, mansions, and private jets; on the basis of fame, political power, and academic attainments. This is so wrong, because success is not a matter of material possessions.
Success is a subjective reality. Yes, it’s an emotional experience. It refers to how you feel about yourself, how you feel towards other people, and how you feel about the world around you. When how you feel about yourself, other people, and the world around you can be described by the word, bliss, you have attained genuine personal success.
It is common knowledge that the mere ownership of much material possessions does not automatically make a person happier. As a matter of fact, a lot of times, the path to acquiring material possessions is littered with betrayed trust, broken relationships, and compromises that warp the soul into a miserable wretch.
Of course, this is not always obvious. The powerful but miserable cash kings usually wear facial smiles for public consumption. Outward expressions can easily be faked. Misery and wretchedness can be colorfully cloaked with gorgeous smiles and throaty laughter. But when you look beyond the masks, they are merely rotten masses of putrefaction. Apparently, they have gained the whole world. In reality, they are lost souls.
Apart from inner bliss, of what value is the possession of much material wealth?
Bliss in relief
Bliss is a spiritual, mental, emotional, and even physical experience. It’s power is within and cannot be faked.
Bliss is contentment. It is daily gratitude.
Bliss is the complete absence of anxiety regarding tomorrow.
Bliss is a feeling of affection and kindness towards all men. It is the dominance of compassion within the heart.
Bliss is a state of not being threatened by the weaknesses and strengths of others.
Bliss is an inner assurance that all is well, regardless of outward circumstances.
This is bliss. And this is what it means to be truly successful.
At the root of bliss
Of course, it’s not easy to attain inner bliss in your earthly journey. It’s so hard, in fact, that it’s attained by just a few. But it is possible; it is within your reach; and you can attain it here—provided you properly nurture the two vital relationships that lie at the root of bliss:
- Your personal relationship with yourself, and
- Your personal relationship with your Source.
These two relationships determine whether your journey will be blissful, or miserable. And at the intersection of these two relationships is one person: You.
So, essentially, bliss is really not just a matter of action, but of position; position as defined by two vital coordinates: Self, and Source.
How you relate with yourself, plus how you relate with your Source, decide your own personal attainment of bliss:
- With yourself, you must cultivate acceptance; unconditional self-acceptance.
- With your source you must practice alignment; that is, unqualified submission.
Unconditional self-acceptance should be easy, right? Unfortunately, no. Everywhere I look I see people living in disappointments, pain, and frustration, because they loathe and reject themselves.
Souls that are unable to accept themselves unconditionally, become miserable and ultimately wither away; a condition that, sadly, describes the journey of most people.
Rejection can be a very terrible ordeal; and self-rejection is the very worst form of it.
The proper way to relate with yourself is to accept yourself unconditionally. Accept your strengths and your weaknesses. Accept your virtues and your vices. Do it with humility. Do it with gratitude.
And stubbornly refuse to compare yourself with any other person.
When you can practice unconditional self-acceptance, with humility and gratitude, you will be rewarded with bliss.
The most blissful hearts on earth are those souls whose relationships with themselves are described by unconditional self-acceptance.
To enjoy bliss, learn to stop lying to yourself. Learn to accept yourself with complete openness; in a non-judgmental, non-condemning manner. Let unconditional self-acceptance define your personal relationship with yourself.
The finest gift you can give to yourself is the gift of unconditional self-acceptance. It is also the best gift you can give to anyone. But, make no mistake about it, it’s not an easy gift to give. And you will never be able to give it to others until you first give it to yourself.
Two simple self-acceptance exercises
Here are two simple actions you can take right away to practice unconditional self-acceptance:
#1. Spend more quality time with yourself
When was the last time you got alone with yourself, and had a heart to heart conversation with you?
Personally, I spend a huge amount of time with myself, compared to what I spend with others. A lot of that time is heavily invested in gaining more self-awareness: Who am I? What do I really want? Why do I do what I do? What are my deepest values? What are my enduring preferences? What do I really believe? And on and on and on. It may be tedious; and boring; but I think it’s a profitable activity.
The investment of time towards a better understanding of you, is a helpful baby step along the path of unconditional self-acceptance. A better awareness and understanding of self eliminates conflicts with self, and paves the way for a harmonious relationship with self. This in turn leads to bliss.
As a result of the large volume of high quality time I regularly spend with myself, I understand myself very well. And so today I am a very happy man. I am doing the things I love to do. I am living my life strictly by design. And I am enjoying it. I have no regrets. Most excitingly, I’m much happier today than I have ever been at any previous phase of my life; the older I get , the happier I am―so I’m actually looking forward to getting older. This sense of bliss is rooted in the harmonious relationship I enjoy with myself; a relationship that is aided by the large volume of high quality time I spend regularly with myself.
I’m certain that if you can start today to spend more quality time with yourself, you will definitely gain greater self-awareness, your relationship with yourself will become more harmonious, and you will start to enjoy more bliss in your earthly journey.
#2. Value your own personal views and opinions
Another simple but very powerful step you can take immediately towards greater self-acceptance, is to value your own personal views and opinions. They are not inferior to those of any other person.
The interesting thing about this is that you experience pure bliss to the extent that you can accept, value, and dare to express what you really think, and how you really feel. They don’t have to be accurate or lofty thoughts; in fact, they maybe outrightly’ silly’; but if they are yours, and you can dare to accept, value, and even express them, you gain tremendous capacity for bliss.
Unfortunately, in a world that is ruled by fear and hate, that strives daily to squeeze you into its mould, this simple step may turn out to be just so hard.
So you should be ready to fight even harder. Your desire to be accepted and to fit in, coupled with your fear of rejection and pain, can intimidate you into ceding your God-given power, freedom, and happiness to others. Don’t let that happen to you. Don’t be a miserable slave! Don’t succumb to the fear tactics of your external world. Drill deep into the very core of your being; establish a vital connection with your God Himself—and draw the courage to be blissfully you.
Align with your Source
The other relationship that determines whether your journey will be blissful, or miserable, is the one you have with your Source.
The term Source is really huge for me. It is my personally preferred way of referring to God; my own God. I am absolutely convinced about the reality of God. This is one of the very few core beliefs and convictions that I have. The reason I refer to God as my Source is that I experience Him that way. I believe that I came from Him. I feel Him within me. I hear His voice within me, guiding me. I feel His presence and power deep within me, undergirding and strengthening me.
There are those who pretend not to believe in the existence of a personal God. That is their privilege, and I don’t think their pretensions pose any threat to God. Contrary to the position of ignorant religious bigots, the God I know and express is not an insecure deity that is threatened by the very freedom He gave to freethinking souls. The way I perceive Him, I think He’s really cool about Himself. I do not think He’d lose a moment’s sleep just because some speck of dust, on a speck of rock, somewhere in an infinite universe, opines that He doesn’t exist.
In any case, regardless of your preferred position on the matter, the nature of the relationship You have with your Source—referring now to the uniqueness of your design, plus the universal laws governing all human interactions—decide your own personal attainment of bliss. With your Source you must practice alignment; unqualified submission.
The most blissful hearts on earth are those souls whose relationships with their Source are described by unqualified submission.
For the parched tongue bliss comes from fresh water. For the restless heart, it comes from a perfect alignment with the Source.
An ancient prophetic verse phrases it so beautifully:
You have made known to me the path of life;
You will fill me with joy in your presence,
With eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Using the very beautiful terms, ‘in your presence’, and ‘at your right hand’, he paints a fine picture of perfect alignment with the Source of your uniqueness; with the Source of all universal laws. And he describes the result of this alignment in equally beautiful terms: joy and eternal pleasures.
To align means to fall in line.
First there is a reference object or point. Then there is another object that you are trying to line up with the reference object. The reference object could be static or dynamic; but it’s shape, position, or motion serves as the standard for the other object.
To line up the second object with the reference object, you continuously adjust the second object until it falls in line with the reference object; that is, until you achieve congruence. When this happens, the second object is said to be in alignment with the reference object.
In your personal passage through this region of time and space, your Source is the only valid reference for you. To attain the state of bliss here, you must constantly adjust your positions to achieve congruence with your Source. Your degree of bliss at any time is directly proportional to the congruence of your alignment with your Source.
Two simple alignment exercises
Here are two simple actions you can take right away to practice alignment with your Source:
#1. Carefully observe the natural world around you
The simplest and most basic step towards practicing alignment, is to carefully observe the natural world around you; for nature expresses the paradigm of her Source. The rising and setting of the sun each day; the sprouting of a plant from a seed in the ground; the variety of colors, species, and shapes in the visible world —all say something about how the Source thinks and feels.
Your aim here should be to understand how nature works. Then listen to the message she tells. An understanding of the way nature works is fundamental to natural and spiritual alignment.
Then, in each moment of your journey, strive to adjust your thinking, preferences, and conscious decisions to line up with the paradigm of your Source.
#2. Carefully observe and learn from yourself
Another simple but very powerful step you can take immediately towards better alignment with your source, is to tune in to your own uniqueness. Observe yourself. Look back at your journey so far. Examine your present.
What are the things that have worked for you? What do other people enjoy the most about you? What brings the most people to you? What do you love the most about yourself? In what have you achieved maximum success with the least effort? What makes you happy? What do you enjoy doing? What makes you cry? What pisses you off?
Take time to ponder these thoughts and listen deeply in order to gain a more accurate understanding of how you were designed. Then, in all that you do, never violate yourself. Instead, think, speak, and act in line with your own unique design.
You experience pure bliss whenever you can think, speak, and act in line with your own unique design.
Bliss is the ultimate experience.
It feels like fresh cold crystal clear water to a sun-scorched, travel-weary, parched and thirsty tongue: an experience of pure pleasure that suspends time, and dispels every sense of anxiety .
Unfortunately, though all souls crave this experience, it eludes most; it is attained by just a few —because as a result of ignorance, indolence, and timidity, most people have compromised their uniqueness.
Yet, the path to this ultimate spiritual experience is available to all that dare to unconditionally accept themselves, and congruently align with their Source in unqualified submission.
Enjoy a blissful month!