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Follow Your Bliss

I'm amazed at how the things I've been listening to lately all seem to interlock in surprising ways.

So, Merlin Mann mentioned "Follow Your Bliss", and linked to the "Follow Your Bliss" Wikipedia entry, which says:

One of Campbell's most identifiable, most quoted and arguably most misunderstood sayings was his admonition to "follow your bliss." He derived this idea from the Upanishads:

Now, 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.

I've heard a variation on this: "You can't think your way to right action, but you can act your way to right thought." Restated: "Act as if you have faith, and faith shall be given to you." Restated again: "Fake it 'til you make it."

And that nicely parallels some of the things that Sean Corn said on On Being about integrating physical action with prayer, and that through Yoga she reached a spiritual awakening that eluded her.

And that brings me back to something I've had to internalize in my efforts to improve my work life: I can't overhaul the whole system at once. I have to do the next thing, and then the next thing, and be gentle and mindful at each step.

Which of course brings me all the way back to Merlin Mann, yelling: "What can't you ship?"

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