"Follow Your Bliss" is apparently a slogan coined by scholar Joseph Campbell. I just informed myself of this fact, and find it somewhat curious, since the bumper sticker nature of the phrase made me believe it just appeared out of nowhere, like many simple slogans. I would propose an alternative explanation, that someone poured too much saccharin in their coffee while reading Krishnamurti, and threw up this phrase.

I don't like this phrase, because it seems to lace in several assumptions into a simple three word phrase, that are then insidiously spread as hippies repeat them as the only advice you will ever need.

First, there is the problem inherent in the word "follow". Following suggests that the person is simply responding, unreflectively, to an agent that is unquestioned and undeniable. Second, there is the problem in "your". This suggests that the bliss to be followed is a private matter, that each person has their own locked away source of pleasure that they can not share or transmit with others, and that it is possible for people to pursue their private bliss without affecting or consulting others. If I may engage in some cultural foiling, it seems that no matter how much Americans break into subcultures, there is some things that it is very hard for them to shake, and the belief that everything can be achieved with personal autonomy is one of those. And thirdly, there is "Bliss", a rather amorphous concept, and one that it would be hard to follow. Although I do believe that there is some type of objective entities we can know about, and I think most of my readers do as well, I think that as we deal with more and more amorphous concepts, such as "bliss", that it is not simply a matter of knowing them and following them, but rather that through searching for them, we create them.

So the reason I object to this slogan, and why I think it is insidious in its suggestion, is because it presents the quest for "bliss" as being something that is passive, personal and objective. Instead, I would suggest that such a quest is creative, collective and subjective. But this is, of course, a bit of bile for me to hold against a bumper sticker slogan.

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