The path of bliss: 11 epic quotes from Joseph Campbell

The great mythologist reminds us that our bliss is part of our suffering.

  • The famous academic will forever be known for his message to "follow your bliss".
  • George Lucas admitted that Star Wars was heavily influenced by Campbell.
  • The Power of Myth remains one of the most popular public television series of all time.
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Why the Dalai Lama's reincarnation is up for debate

The Dalai Lama is important, so important that he might decide not to come back after his next death.

  • Tibetan monks from all over the world are scheduled to visit India to discuss the issues related to the next reincarnation of the Dalai Lama.
  • Some, including the Dalai Lama himself, have questioned if the institution should be continued.
  • The final decision will have far reaching effects, since China is unlikely to let the monks have the last word on the matter.
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Why Japan's Buddhists run a deadly 1,000-day marathon

Only 46 monks have completed the seven-year marathon since 1885.

Photo by Yuya Shino/Getty Images
  • The kaihōgyō — a seven-year, 1,000-day marathon — is among the world's most difficult physical challenges.
  • It is rarely completed, and those who fail are historically expected to kill themselves.
  • Why do Japan's Buddhist monks take on this nearly impossible challenge?
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What this epic obituary can teach us about living and dying

We tend to treat death and dying as a somber and serious event, but what if it doesn't have to be that way?

Legacy.com c/o Alex Walsh
  • An obituary published in Delaware for the late Mr. Rick Stein has the internet ablaze with discussions on how unique it is.
  • It stands in marked contrast to the normal, drab announcements we make when someone dies.
  • It reminds us that there are other ways to mourn than the typical all-black, dour funeral and dreary obituary that doesn't tell you much about who the deceased really was.
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Why your self-image might be wrong: Ego, Buddhism and Freud

"You" might not be as real as you think you are. Here's what Buddhism has to say about living ego-free, and how Freud misunderstood it.

You first develop your ego when you are two or three years old. It creeps into existence the moment you realize that you are not empty—you are a self, and everyone else has a self in them. As you grow up, it latches onto positive and negative feedback and uses them to build the story of who you are. "The ego likes certainty, it likes security, it likes repetition, and so it’s always reinforcing its own vision of itself, and that starts to restrict us, to confine us, to make us think that we know ourselves better than we actually do," says psychiatrist Mark Epstein. So what to make of the Buddhist concept of 'egolessness'? Should we destroy the ego? Freud seemed to think that's what Buddhists meant, but as Mark Epstein explains, the famous psychoanalyst got it wrong. The full nuance of 'egolessness' is not to be completely without ego, but to doubt the story that it tells you. "For many people [the ego] stays in a kind of immature place," he says. Your ego has been your constant companion throughout life, but was there some point at which it stopped growing? "Maybe some of those fixed ideas that have been operating inside of you since you were a little kid and conditioning the way you interact with other people, with the world, maybe those are not all so right. Maybe you’re not as "really real" as you think you are, and you could start to let go of some of that a little bit." Mark Epstein is the author of Advice Not Given: A Guide to Getting Over Yourself.

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