Meet Joe Campbell
Insights into the ideas of a mythologist
(more about Joseph Campbell)

Idea #4: "Follow Your Bliss"

This is Campbell's most famous saying.

It may also be his most misunderstood. This is not "Do your own thing" or "If it feels good, do it."

It's much deeper than that.

In Hindu teaching, the attribute of the "highest reality" (you can call it "God") is Sat-Chit-Ananda.

These three traits are usually translated:

  • Sat: Being, or Existence
  • Chit: Consciousness, or Knowledge
  • Ananda: Bliss

These are not only the traits of the Highest Reality; they are also the goal of yoga, and the purpose of all spiritual discipline. The devotee is to attain, to know, to become this Sat-Chit-Ananda.

Campbell seems to have believed this, too. But, he said, Sat or "Being" was too high a concept to be approached. And Chit "Consciousness" would be beyond the ability of our limited consciousness to grasp.

This leaves Bliss. We can recognize Ananda when we see it, he said.

So if we find the thing that fulfills us or completes us, and follow that, then we can expand our Consciousness and finally partake in ultimate Being.

So "Follow Your Bliss!"

Next time: The Hero's Journey

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