All sentient beings search for comfort, safety and well-being. When a lion hunts down a gazelle, I suspect that it experiences pleasure when eating its prey, which would not be the case for the gazelle…But if the gazelle is able to escape the lion, I suspect that it also experiences contentment when grazing safely again. So, both the lion and the live gazelle are enjoying their bliss. Of course the word “bliss” for us humans evokes heavenly transcendent images and we would never apply it, as I have done, to describe what the lion or the gazelle might experience because, after all, we think we are the only creatures capable of pleasure and pain.
When we finally can buy that beautiful expensive dress, drive the last model car or hear “I love you!” from our beloved, aren’t we also in bliss? For that moment our pursuit of happiness is fulfilled and we feel complete and satisfied just as the lion after a good meal. For how long? Well that’s another matter…
In Sanskrit, the spiritual language of the world, Sat-Chit-Ananda is that oceanic place of transcendence. Being-Consciousness-Bliss, our real nature, as described by the ancient rishis or seers. Real because it never dies and was never born, as opposed to unreal, that which has a beginning and end, that which is impermanent like the body, the mind and the emotions.
Today, on my birthday, I check how much I’m in touch with my own Sat-Chit-Ananda, my own true being, and realize that I still don’t know if what I know of my own being is the true being or not or what I know of my consciousness is the true consciousness; but I do know where my bliss is and so I hang on to it. Following my bliss has been the work of my life and now I can say that these past years were not wasted.
In the process there having been many trials and errors but, today, I can say they were not trials or errors and I’m not using this term lightly as I include here pride, stubbornness, greed, attachment and egoism. It is a journey – because it is unending – from passion to compassion, from lack to contentment, of being on the brink many times, holding on dead scared of letting go. And yet as I keep opening my heart to the unknown, at the expense of being called naive, I become more confident that I will not crash but, instead, I will join a space that has been there all along where the life that I ought to be living is the life I live now. That’s the moment of the great perfection, of the bliss of the now.
Certain religions tell us that we will not experience bliss until we die or are in heaven but what I say is have as much bliss as you can while alive so that we can taste heaven here and now.