Follow Your Bliss

Maya, Seamus & Deer

[Tessa narrates]

We were out for a walk around the pond this morning. The pups took off chasing a doe who I’m sure was sorry she had ventured onto the land. Me and mom were walking back to the house watching all the commotion when suddenly a snake dropped down in from of me, dangling from a branch off the wild rose bush.

When I say I jumped I mean I lifted up off the ground and collided with mom coming up from behind me. I screeched like a cat, which got Maya and Seamus running to the rescue. The snake just hung there watching us with not even a flick of its serpents tongue. Then mom started to laugh.

The pups stopped barking and I looked closer at the snake hanging from the branch. It wasn’t a snake at all but a colorful piece of rope that had been caught in the bush and loosened when the wind blew. We all stood there waiting for mom to get a hold of herself.

Snake or Rope?

MOM
This is classic, the perfect teaching for maya, not you little Maya, but the metaphor for how human’s see the world. We view life through a veil covering our eyes, which creates the illusion that what we see or what someone else wants us to see, is real. This is not a snake dangling in front of us, it is a rope hanging. Yet as long as we see it as a snake, believe it to be a snake, we cannot see it for what it is, a simple rope.

TESSA
And this is how people see the world? But me and the pups were convinced it was a snake as well.

MOM
Well perhaps we are not so different in our animal instincts after all, eh Tessa?

MAYA
Or our genetic programming. I remember that Sri. Ramakrishna taught that maya is nothing but our genetic programming. And that our ego, our egotism, is governed by this programming. I definitely know this is true from how my terrier instincts control me.

MOM
So, you’re listening to what I am reading. Good to know. When spirit brings us the lesson we can recognize and relate it to the teaching. That’s how we grow spiritually, mi amigos.

MAYA
If I might interject here gang, in the Power of Myth when Bill Moyers asked Joseph Campbell about life having purpose he replied that he doesn’t believe that life has a purpose. That it “is a lot of protoplasm with an urge to reproduce and continue in being”. Is that the same thing as being run by our genetic programming?

MOM
Good question Maya, and yes, I think they are speaking of the same thing. What Campbell doesn’t mention is that our genetic programming, our ego self, has found a way to manipulate the divine qualities within each of us for its own ends. Anyone know what they are?

SEAMUS
I know! Peace, security, uhmmm….

MAYA
Love is one of them, knucklehead.

TESSA
And freedom! I know that one for sure. You mean the ego exploits these innate qualities to push its own agenda?

MOM
Yes, and we accept that this illusion, some might say delusional way of thinking is Reality.

MAYA
In other words we mistake the rope for a snake.

MOM
You got it.

What is real?

SEAMUS
I would mention here that even the physicist, Erwin Schrödinger thinks that egotism is a genetic invention to keep a living organism alive. Survival and procreation first! Too bad I was fixed, I would have liked to procreate.

MAYA
That’s all good and well, mom, but how do we put that knowledge to play in our lives?

MOM
Welllllll……….let’s go back to the Joseph Campbell quote about there being no purpose to life. What he went on to say is that life has “potentiality“, and the mission of each individual in this incarnation is to live up to their highest potential.

TESSA
That’s when he gives the famous quote to “Follow your bliss.”

MAYA
Yes, I love that expression!

MOM
But what it means is that when you follow your bliss you have the potential to evolve out of being run by your genetic programming and live within the higher spiritual virtues. Ultimately this includes a life filled with happiness, joy, purity, love, and devotion; rather than a life mired in struggle, hatred, doubt, fear and violence.

SEAMUS
In other words, following your bliss is not just a metaphor for doing something that makes you feel good; that it is so much more than that.

TESSA
I’ll take it from here genetically inferior doggies. Following your bliss is the integration of purpose with potentiality; and this allows for the growth of the spirit, not solely for the pleasure of the individual, as it must include consideration for all Earth’s creatures, for Earth herself…..

SEAMUS
For the surrounding planets and our life giving Sun!

MAYA
It must include not taking a step forward without first considering the impact an action will have on all our natural resources rather than just the money and jobs it will create.

MOM
Yes, that’s exactly right! When we turn our efforts to putting people to work to preserve our planetary resources we can create more jobs in caring for our precious Earth than in destroying her. And in turn this allows each of us to create a higher purpose that enables us to manifest our full potential.

TESSA
I get all of that intellectually, mom, but can we please take the rope down now. It still looks like a snake when it moves in the breeze. Guess I better practice how I see things around me.

SEAMUS
Knowing what is running your mind is the first place to start. Right mom?

MOM
You know, having a bunch of little Seamus puppies running around would have been fine with me.

SEAMUS
Me too.

MAYA
Not me.

TESSA
Me either.

 

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