Bliss ~ The Joy of Life, amidst the feelings from pleasure to pain, all feelings, but is not these feelings, underlying all feelings; this Joy arising from inside Life and expressed in many ways, like tears, laughter, yelling, silence, worship, joking, dancing, sex, ... any way you can think of, possibly more.
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It dawned, and slowly, with the wiping away of the sad history, the bleak memories, a fresh joyfulness, with the surprising insight of how reverent I could be precisely in being irreverent. Taking anything too seriously is too seriously, and what is most serious is as much receptive to being laughed at as anything else. Who would want a 'God' who could not take a joke? A dead serious way of life is deadly, as much regarding faith or spirituality as anything else.
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I kayaked up the river yesterday. I wanted to reach where the river rises out of the ground. I made it and exhausted, partly for not having gotten enough rest since a long trip cycling two days prior. Not only was I bedraggled, my buttocks were hurting much.
See, this was a 3.5 hours round trip sitting on a little seat of hard plastic. No cushioning. I had a cushion, and halfway, put it on the seat. I sat on it. This was not workable, the shift lifted me too high and made the kayak much more unsteady. I decided to endure the plastic seat and the pain, rather than risk turning over the kayak.
So, on the way back, I would lift up briefly, allowing my rear end off the seat to ease the pain. The pain would soon, too soon, return. Finally, within site of the dock outside my home, I again placed the paddle on the kayak and lifted myself up, now for a much longer time than before. I relished the relief, and the rear felt much better on sitting back down.
Now, this was such a relief, I exclaimed "Hallelujah!". I was smiling with gratitude. Then, I realized I had voiced a "Praise the Lord!". This dawned on me as humorous, I began laughing hilariously. I discovered a humorous link between rejoicing in relief from butt pain and responding with ritual thanksgiving.
Of course, I did not mean the ritual exclamation to be religious ~ or nonreligious. The language used arose spontaneously from my religious background. I had never considered I would join together such apparently incompatible verities as my solitary posterior pain and the Source of all reality. To someone else, such would likely not be humorous, not at all, for different persons, different reasons.
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Reflecting on this, there were two matters that have to do with the joyful freedom available to us. One matter is the humor itself ~ humor not always being funny, sometimes quietly blissful. Life, when engaged as means of compassionate connection with others, human and nonhuman, inner healing, and openness to divine grace, leads to bliss. Partly this is due to an innate humor to life itself, partly due to falling in love with life itself, which is a blissful communion. The second matter has to do with reverence. When spiritual wisdom arises, over time, so does the freedom to be irreverent, reverence and irreverence being one dance of Spirit. No longer is religion or spirituality, nothing, off-limits to poking fun at. Of course, if one believes in a 'God' up there somewhere who is keeping a moral register and this will decide happy heaven or hellish hell awaits one, there may be little room for humor and, certainly, irreverence is off limits. This could apply to someone fixated on the apparent utter-seriousness of karma, or fate, or any deadly-deadening-serious way of viewing reality.
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Seems the Hindu mystics got it right in calling the divine Presence by SatChitAnanda. This meaning, Being-Consciousness-Bliss, and has been rendered, Being-That-Is-Conscioius-Of-Bliss ~ I like that! And it seems the following words, by the late French novelist Gustave Flaubert, are apt for an ending today:
I laugh at everything, even at that I love the most. There is no fact, thing, feeling or person over which I have not blithely run my clownishness, like an iron roller imparting sheen to cloth.
*Gustave Flaubert. The Letters ~ 1830-1888.
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Grace and Peace to All
Lotus of the Heart is an interspiritual offering of Brian Kenneth Wilcox, who lives in Florida USA. Feel free to submit a query to Lotus of the Heart...
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