Bliss

What is this notion of bliss, this most venerable of a concept? What is it about it that is so unattainable, so desirable, and so fulfilling all at once?

I would argue that the definition of the word is not necessarily the experience of the word; for to you and me, a standardised definition we may come to some agreement upon, but exactly what evokes this state of bliss in us, will undoubtably vary greatly.

So what exactly IS bliss?
Well it seems that bliss is a totality. It is a plenum of total joy, of ecstasy and happiness. It doesn’t have to be loud or abashed (although it can be), but it is not the same as being content – because content almost implies that you have everything you need, to be happy. In that moment, you are sure if you were to think about it, that you have everything you need. But perhaps bliss excels that. Perhaps bliss is an orgasm of what everything that makes you content brings you.

Contentment (as amazing a feeling and notion as it is) seems to come from an experience where you slowly come to realise you have everything you need. You may be aware of the experience or not; but you certainly are in it, for in the duration nothing bothers you.

Bliss; is more of an explosion. It has suddenly come upon me, that I am happy, as happy as I can conceivably imagine being in the moment, and I am overwhelmed by it. It is a cheering moment, a Eureka. It’s having all your desires met or surpassed in the moment, and having nothing else to replace them.

It’s one thing to be sat at home, reading a book, perfectly relaxed on some idle Sunday afternoon with someone you love; but it is quite another to have been trapped in a car in some snowstorm overnight on Saturday, and then walking in the door to the warmth and release of stuffy clothing you were absorbed by, on Sunday morning, realising you have a favourite hot meal waiting for you or ready to be easily prepared, and then suddenly checking your phone to find that you and the same person from before are off all of Monday also. Or perhaps you come to find, through some random monotonous chore, that some memorable item you thought to have lost a long time ago, in fact has been found again. Or perhaps the person of your greatest desires, seems to equally be befallen with you.

The two experiences of content and bliss are wonderful, and arguably the barometer for happiness you should aspire to; but it seems that one is a slow peaceful understanding, while the other is quite a violent event suddenly coming upon you.

And here, I believe is where the interesting part lies. We can agree on the definition of content. We can agree on some standardised understanding of bliss. But, we could rarely agree on the definition of bliss, because bliss is unique… to you, now. What you believe to be bliss, is defined utterly in the moment. It doesn’t have to be the happiest you’ve ever been, because you could find this experience of bliss when you have been made very unhappy by a colleague at work, and then find out simultaneously that this employee has been fired for bullying, and you have received a promotion. So while this moment may not quite compare to a wedding day, the birth of a child, or the realisation of some life long dream; relatively, it was the happiest you could conceivably imagine being at that moment. And you got it.

These unique, rare little moments, that seems to come too few and too far apart – you got one.

And so, by its nature, as fast as it arrives, it may dissipate. Just as some kind of detonation seems to cause its damage at its inception, and then seems to leave rather quickly. Fleeting as all things are, unfortunately this state of bliss will leave, because eventually you will conceive of new things, in a new moment, that could bring you new happiness. But if the moment is kind however, it will dissipate slowly and not all at once. And you will be left with this slow, after-climax, that you can enjoy. And if you find yourself very appreciative, and understanding, you may transition that moment of bliss, into content, and by its very definition, be perfectly happy with all that you have.

And that, is a most wonderful thought to think.

With all of the above in mind; I ask you specifically… What is bliss?

What Lies Beyond

As you look into the night sky; and remark on the beauty of the universe in the shape of stars and nebula, you may at some point if given enough time, come to a realisation. These beautiful wonders, that have guided humanity since the dawn of our time, that have inspired poetry and created great works of art; may no longer be there. Light is the fastest thing that we understand. Nothing we perceive is greater than the speed of light. And yet even it, is finite. And the great span of distance from where we are, to where the stars lie beyond, is so great, that it takes finite definable light considerable length of time to reach us, and display to us the grandiosity of the stars, and nebulae, and everything beyond our world.

Potentially, these works of awe may have existed a length of time so greatly long ago, that the stars have not only died – but have dissipated and spread the elements of life into the universe since then. They may have brought about life in other parts of the universe, a life that may be so intelligent they too have used it to guide themselves through the dark, and used it to create light in works of art. How fascinating it is to think, that balls of light, crucibles of elements and life may have in turn brought about more life in new form, in places we cannot even hope to see. They may have inspired entire civilisations worth of culture, in what lies beyond.

Image result for pillars of creation
Pillars of Creation – A long dead mix of star and nebulae. This is a real image, taken from the Hubble telescope. Courtesy of NASA.GOV

They have done this, and they have done it so long ago, that cultures we may never meet, have already came and went based upon them. Yet still we see their awe. With certainty – stars will come and go – and yet still they inspire long after their implosion. It serves as evidence – that long after something dies – it can still be experienced.

Imagine you are in a room, and you are with one other person, facing them directly, as it would not be uncommon for you to do. You’re talking about something trivial and generally just spending time with someone you enjoy. You may smile and feel so in the moment with someone at that time, which is beautiful and remarkable in every way. But on a scientific level – there is a delay.

There is a delay between what happens for the self, and what the other person will see. There is a delay in sound. Sound travels at the speed of about 345 m/s, meaning that if this was a particularly massive room, a ball room perhaps in some large palace in Germany, that was this distance from one end to the other, if you stood at one end and your companion at the other, then there would be a one second delay between what you said, and when they heard it.

Now, when we actually experience this in reality, talking to our friends in close proximity, this delay is remarkably small. So small in fact, that relatively it is negligible. However, let’s not forget… it is still there. There is a similar delay with light – except that light travels significantly faster than sounds, at about 3 * 10 ^ 8 m/s (30’000’000’000 m/s), meaning that the delay is even more negligible. However, it IS still there.

To reiterate, what this means is that every time you talk to someone. there is a delay in when they say it, and when you see and hear it.

The complexity intensifies however, when our understanding of the universe and technology increase greatly. Let’s suggest that some far away intelligent being can view that conversation you are having with your friend; that they can view it on their version of a telescope which can see unimaginable distances away, and perhaps even translate what you are saying via subtle movements in your mouth and vocals cords, into whatever language they speak, effectively meaning they can see and hear you. The problem is, that if they are doing this millions of light years away from you – by the time they see it, it will have happened a long long time ago. Millions of years ago in fact.

But they are seeing and hearing it right now, to them, and yet you and your friend would have lived and died millions of years before. So how can this be?

Well… actually… this is exactly what’s happening with humanity and the stars. The two examples differ in negligible ways. So why even provide the two examples to say the same thing?

The reason being, it is necessary to humanise the following question; if everything we do is technically in a delay – if everything that we see and perceive is technically a memory – if all of time is relative to the person observing it, and there is no definite point of certainty – when does something, or more specifically someone… die?

If your friend perished in some terrible accident, to you they would be “dead” and naturally you would be very sad about it, and yet at the same time, this intelligent being could be observing them in their now, and viewing some certain events that happened before they were killed off in the third act. So they are dead to you, but not to this other being, who still sees and hears them, millions of years later.

It would seem then, that as the problem continues, the true crux of the issue – is that the general person still views time as an absolute constant, rather than simply constant – to you. In other words, relatively constant. Which is of course is an oxymoron.

What lies beyond, is not only new worlds, homes, discoveries, people, and cultures, but also the past, present, and future, simultaneously and all at once. It’s all just based on the perspective by which you view it.

Some comfort you can take from this, is that friends and family whom you have lost, some time in the past. No matter how long ago it was, they are not truly gone. Sadly, they are only gone, to you. But they are still smiling, and being happy, and looking at you with adoring eyes, from someone’s point of view, somewhere. Someone, somewhere, may be looking at you both in the past, with wondering eyes, and thinking, “They look happy.” And if some future technology could transport you an unimaginable distance away in an instant ( perhaps some quantum entanglement one day may teleport us ) then you could too, sit and view this person and you, watch each other with those same adoring eyes.

What lies beyond, is the past, future, and present; it’s the now and then; it’s the you and I.

Think of that, as you look into the night sky.

 

 

HOW TO GET A JOB IN THREE EASY STEPS

Step 1 – Hone your craft.

You don’t have to be the best at it, you just have to hone it, to know that you can do it with a relative degree of certainty. You’re certainly going to be able to improve at it over time, you just don’t want to break down with pressure on the day. Try to learn something unique or do something using a method no one else does or is hard to do.

Remember that the harder something is to do, the less people have done it also, and so it puts you in greater standing.

Step 2 – “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”

You’ve heard this used in derision, maybe the last time a job interview didn’t go so well. You heard some other candidate got the job, they were friends with interviewers late cousins friend. You come home to let people know of your disappointing day, and someone will definitely say it.

It’s not that you think you’re magnanimous, but you’re better than that guy, right? You’ll tell yourself you were way more suited for the job – but of course you weren’t.

For a long time, I thought the phrase was only to be used for consolation, but it isn’t true. It’s to be used in celebration.

What this phrase actually means, is stand out. Do something that gets you noticed. If you’re not passionate about something, you shouldn’t be doing it as your career. And so many people aren’t passionate about it so they go in blind and to a degree stand no better than mere chance at succeeding in the interview.

However, let’s say you’re passionate about cars (of which I know virtually nothing about, so great choice of example) and you want to land a job where you work with or on cars all day. Well you find there’s an opening at a car dealership, or a mechanics, and you go for the interview, it doesn’t go well for you so you sulk home and the same phrase you’ve heard a million times is uttered once more. You’ll continue with unemployment or that menial job you hate for now. NO!

If you’re passionate about cars, it’s really what you want to do? Go to a convention. A meet-up. Anything. Find out where other people are meeting with the same passions as you! How could this go wrong in any way? Take a convention for example, it would have the biggest names in cars – and sure you can try your luck there if you’re bold or have the experience  – but importantly the small guys will be there. The guys who’ve paid x amount for a booth and they only return they’re looking for is interaction. Interaction with you! To know they’re time and money isn’t being wasted.

Go up and talk to someone, anyone! Rather than awkwardly making accidental eye contact and then shying away, just look right at them, nod and go forward. They’re looking for someone to talk to, and you’re someone.

Be honest. Tell them what you want, why you’re there. Most folk with the saavy to have a business or a booth somewhere can smell bull s#%t sales patter, so come at them as a human instead. The way I see it, the interaction can only go one of so many ways:

1 – They tell you that they like you, have a job opening, and offer you an interview right on the spot! (But it isn’t a regular interview, because they already know they like you)

2 – They seem interested, and give you a business card or you give them one.
(Don’t lock it away in the drawer, show you actually bothered to remember them, email them once you’re home to thank them for their time, then contact them again when you’re going in for the kill. Or they might contact you!)

3 – They say they aren’t looking for anyone right now, but they know a friend!
(Now you’re that guy who knows a who, rather than what a what!)

4 – They say they aren’t looking for anyone, they’re new to this and don’t know anyone.
(Quite unlikely at a convention, but either way, you know them now. They’re looking to improve the same way that you are, they’ll throw help your way and you’ll reciprocate! People remember gestures like that, so if they do come into a position that’s valuable to you, they’ll come to you as one of the firsts)

Not a single one of these scenarios are hurting your chances!

And you’ll feel less alone. It’s scary to know you know how to do something and want to do it, but you’re on the outer circle. People doing a worse job are getting the position first. So embrace it, be the guy someone knows.

Because the fact of the matter is, if they knew the person at the interview, a bond goes a longer way than you think, so that other person was right for the job at the time, just as you are right for it now.

And when you finally make it to the top. Return the favour. Don’t think you’ll be the person who goes for the what’s of the world, scouring the globe for unseen talent, return the favour and be kind to the ambitious, they’re the ones who want to go far, and they’ll return the faith you put into them. Loyalty goes a long way in a career.

Step 3 – Volunteer. It’s like conventions times a million.