Biology of Bliss

“Ignorance is Bliss” If you believe in this quote then better do not read further as it may make you less ignorant 😊   

We all want to be happy and remain like that forever, but we rarely are. 

“Bliss” is a word not used as often as its close cousin “Happiness”. Do you think there are any differences between the two? 

The Oxford dictionary defines bliss as “perfect happiness”. So, that raises an important question – What is imperfect about happiness? 

Happiness is real and we all experience it regularly and it makes us feel good, but the issue is it is short-lived, induced by external triggers, and is often succeeded and preceded by sadness. Let us visit each of these characteristics on by one – putting so many efforts for short-lived happiness does not seem like a good return on investment (ROI). Secondly, if it is triggered by an external event then it means that it is not in your control, hope against the hope that it will happen soon, and will repeat more often. 

All the above points in the context of bliss stand very different – Bliss is long-lasting, induced by internal triggers, and is preceded and succeeded by bliss only. The most important of these characteristics is that it is induced by internal triggers. This is so important as it tells us that we are in control of it rather than someone else. If we are in control of the same can we induce it on our own? – yes. 

Let us look where we will surely not find it so that we stop expecting it at these places – 

You may think that it will be perfect when this happens e.g. marriage or promotion or win the lottery. Unfortunately, nothing becomes perfect, you may get happy for a short period but soon you will be out of that mode. The reason is that we adapt to the new situation very fast. 

Do not look at money and material things. Dalai Lama said in “The book of joy” – 

“The ultimate source of happiness is within us. Not money, not power, not status. Some of my friends are billionaires, but they are very unhappy people. Power and money fail to bring inner peace. Outward attainment will not bring real inner joyfulness. We must look inside.” 

Now let us explore a few areas we can look for bliss – 

Be pure in your thoughts and action, one way to do it is trying to engage in the area you are passionate about. Passionate acts are not dependent on any external factors and do not seek any validation. It is done because you enjoy doing it, just for the joy. Nothing can be purer than that. That is closest you can come to experience bliss most easily. 

Serve others – A random act of kindness will bestow a glow of bliss to the givers. Even a small gesture will have the same impact as a big one. So, size does not matter, at least in this context. Forget doing something, even connecting with a stranger, and having a small talk has proven to uplift the mood. These kinds of engagements can be happy for everyone involved. 

Have you ever experienced bliss in your life? yes all of us have experienced it ourselves and seen others experiencing it. Close your eyes and recollect the smile of an infant, how pure it is irrespective of race, caste, creed, gender, and religion of the child. And it can make everyone around the child reflect the same. There is something special about the child’s smile which cannot be explained in words but can only be experienced – that is BLISS 

If we could experience it when we were not capable of doing anything else means that it has nothing to do with the material world and our capability of surviving in it. If we can do it then, we can do it now. 

Ignorance is bliss – A child is ignorant about the world around it and still is in the blissful state.