I Don't Care About Your Bliss

spiritual bliss, spring, California, green rolling hills, blue sky
I don't care about your bliss.

And neither should you.

In the last couple of months, it seems that my inbox has gotten more questions regarding blissful experiences than usual, so I guess it's time to discuss spiritual bliss again.

The term bliss is immediately a problem because of its positive connotations and associations with joy, love, happiness, and so forth. This is on top of the fact that everyone experiences things differently anyone. One person's bliss is different from another's.

Regardless, I don't care about happy, pleasurable experiences, and furthermore, they tend to be one of the worst spiritual traps into which people fall.

So let's explore this topic and why you shouldn't care about your bliss either.


The Joy of Not Being Your Ego

We really don't understand how much of a burden it is to be an ego until we have a moment when we are not it. For some people, that moment is a moment filled with bliss. And it can be a bliss that lasts for awhile.

Days

Months

Years

But any and every experience will end, and then the ego returns. With this return typically comes a deep craving to return to the blissful experience because that is now associated with freedom, oneness, consciousness, or whatever term the person has associated with it. 

This is a massive trap.

Lost in Spiritual Bliss: Reclaiming Yourself from the Trap of Good Feelings


3 Important Types of Bliss

There are 3 really important and different types of bliss experiences to which I want to bring your attention. I'm sure there are many more.

In general, it's important to be aware that when people talk about bliss or any experience that they are having their own experience that experience is not your experience. Assuming we're all having the same experience is a huge error, and that misunderstanding can create interesting new forms of suffering like trying to make yourself have a bliss experience like one that a prominent spiritual teacher is said to have had. 

You'll never be able to do it; you're not them. They can't even do it. That specific instance in their life in which they had a certain type of bliss is now gone.

Anyway, here are three types of bliss to be aware of.


Bliss Type Number 1: The Relief Bliss

I already mentioned it above, but essentially, the person feels immensely relieved because of how "heavy" being an ego was. If a person has suffered from a depressive ego, for example, they may have this type of bliss. A momentary release from a traumatized ego can be a massive relief bliss experience. It can be like coming into a cave out of a freezing snowstorm.


Bliss Type Number 2: Feeling Your Natural State

The person in this type of bliss experience feels the joy of being in a natural state. The ego puts us into unnatural levels of tension, and when they momentarily release, the joy a person can feel can be immense and blissful. If the first bliss was like coming into a sheltered cave out of a blizzard, this is more like getting out of a cool autumn day and coming into a warm home. 


Bliss Type Number 3: High State

The high state is not a natural state. Rather, it is an elevated/agitated state of intense happiness. Orgasmic bliss states fit well in this category of bliss along with things that some mind alter-ing substances may do. It is completely unstable, and it is a type of bliss that will typically dissipate faster than the other two. It can also be highly addictive as an experience.


The first two bliss states are natural resting states that are not currently habitual for the person, and a person could conceivable have both at the same time. For example, a person with trauma may experience both. The combination of those two bliss types is like coming out of the blizzard into a sauna. It can even be overwhelming.

The differential--difference between one experience to the next as seen in the metaphor of blizzard and sauna--creates the experience of extreme bliss. People are profoundly impacted by this kind of experience. 

However, resting states normalize because they are natural. When you live in that warm home and are no longer stuck in a blizzard, the warm hearth isn't really anything to you anymore. So the experience of bliss goes away.

Spirituality and Substance Use


All Experiences as Well as Bliss Experiences Come and Go

However, realizing oneness and spiritual freedom aren't about attaching to any experience much less bliss, nor is it about arriving a natural state of experience. Sometimes, there are people who talk about the bliss of freedom/liberation/enlightenment, but really, what is being discussed is the purity of neutrality.

Not very exciting, is it?

Neutrality doesn't sell too many ebooks.

However, if we are going to attach bliss to oneness/the I AM, then this is what that means. Bliss means neutrality.

I can feel people getting ready to click away.

I used to make the same connection between consciousness and love in many of my earlier blog posts. If I say that all is love, this is what I mean. I'm saying all is neutral consciousness.

Oh, and there go a few clicks away from the page. Congrats if you're not one of them. :)

But I no longer do it because love is so heavily associated with feeling good. And all the term bliss means to most people is feeling good.

But no feeling ever lasts.

The Bliss State Comes and Then it Goes


Living in Addiction Culture

We are living in a culture that is increasing an addiction culture. Addiction culture is underpinned by the belief that you need something external to be happy, and then you want to repeat that external thing/situation as many times as possible to maintain that preferable experience.

As human animals, we are already inclined to believe we need external things because we need food, water, and air and other external things for our continued survival. Those things are ultimately illusory, but we'll leave that realization to another time. So we are attached to our form and continuing to live, and we have to look to the external world to support living. 

However, Western Culture is increasingly confused about what living even means, and a whole variety of unhealthy and misguided approaches to living have cropped up and proliferated. In the spiritual world, it's the idea of being blissful all the time.

Conversely, people's resilience towards and willingness to be with a certain amount of natural discomfort is very low. Consider fasting.

Fasting.

How many of you just cringed at that word. Yet, fasting is a natural thing to do, and there are suggestions in the scientific community that our bodies really benefit from fasting. On the spiritual path, we can also use fasting to disentangle ourselves from attachments concerning eating and our bodies.

But that's not sexy.

Then, someone comes along calling themselves a spiritual teacher, and they tell you that you can have all the bliss you want forever..

Tantalizing.

It's all downhill from there.


Freedom: The Only Sane Choice

But with just a little bit of brain power, we can reason out the truth--no experience ever stays. Trying to hold onto one and keep it is addiction, and addiction creates suffering.

Realizing this leads us inexorably forward on the path towards spiritual freedom. We increasingly see that we have no control over life, and in trying to control ourselves to get only feel-good experiences, we create more suffering. The brief moments of success in achieving any preferential experience are outweighed by the amount of life experienced outside of them.

So instead, we stop the grasping. We move towards the neutrality of awareness, which is always free. We realize that only through allowing life and all its experiences to move through us--enjoyable and unenjoyable--will we have a life free of suffering.

And suffering is not pain. Pain is part of life, and it always will be.

Like pulling my back muscle trying to put on pants. Very painful. But free of suffering, well mostly. haha.

Being at Peace with Pain

Spiritual Awakening and Pain: The Torment of Internal Resistance


I Care About Your Freedom

I want to repeat:

I don't care about your bliss.

I care about your freedom.

As you become free from your ego, a lot of upset emotions do go away as do some highly pleasurable emotions. The drama queen/king that is the ego does occasionally give us something we want--kind of a like a drug dealer. 

But waves of change in the external world don't stop. So any token dropped from the ego drama machine is soon taken away with the latest change. And when we are not anchored in awareness, the waves of ego reaction get only more vicious as we continue to react to everything.

Thus, we learn we have to surrender to be free of suffering, and in that freedom, we find that we don't even care about bliss.

Yes! Experiencing spiritual bliss doesn't matter when your ego is not resisting life and you just are. From that space that embraces all experiences, life flows through you, and you will no longer care about bliss at all.


When Your Spiritual Awakening No Longer Matters

5 Misunderstandings About Freedom

Comments

  1. Permanent bliss is not even sustainable, is it?
    Anyone who got to that point should realize that permanent bliss isn't even possible, it's the ego that's talking after the experience.
    Why would you even want (permanent) bliss when you already got the message from it?
    It's for sure a big pitfall and I'm glad you and others are talking about it.


    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular Posts