July 31, 2021
 by Paul McGowan

Yesterday’s post was about chills and that got me thinking this morning about bliss.

Bliss describes a state of perfect happiness. It’s a moment where one is oblivious of everything else.

I can count on one hand the consistent events that bring to me a state of bliss.

The unconditional laughter of children, a knowing smile from someone I love, a warm breeze on a summer’s night, music. Great music, rendered live or on the perfect HiFi system.


What brings you bliss?

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40 comments on “Bliss”

  1. Always loved walking, not obsessively, but peace and a good view does it for me. Walked the Quiraing yesterday. Lovely.

  2. My first solo flight had me buzzing. It took me days to come down to ground!
    I love that I can leave the earth, and nothing else exists until I land.

    Music, good music, reproduced on a good system that has been well set up, has a similar effect.
    Thanks to Paul and the audiophiles guide, I’m very close. But that is an asymptotic goal.

  3. Being oblivious does not equate to happiness. When I’m engrossed in a project whether for work or at home I easily can become oblivious to surroundings or outside interference, but attribute that to focus or something in the male genome.

    I’ve got a friend whom we call ‘Joeblivious’ when we’re on the golf course. Because he only focuses on himself and even forgets the person he’s playing with. Makes for an interesting round and game. While he’s being Joeblivious it’s hard to imagine he is in a state of bliss…. (Observations of club throwing, bursts of swearing at himself, and all the stereotypes that go along with being a golfer) Although for me and others a blissful state can occur just from watching him.

    Bliss means happiness. When you read about all the work involved, and things that are wrong with 2 channel audio, it’s hard to imagine anyone would have blissful feelings when listening to recordings. I guess that’s where the oblivious part comes into play. Then again maybe the bliss comes from the music….

  4. ‘Bliss’ was the name of one of our two family Shih Tzus, both sadly passed.
    Bliss always waited for my arrival home and brought me a toy.
    The word is always synonymous with happy family memories.

    1. The minister who presided at our wedding about 3-1/3 decades ago was named Cecil Bliss. A few moments that seemed to stretch beyond time as my just pronounced Wife and I lit the two halves of our unity candle and joined them together as the organist softly played “Somewhere” from West Side Story on the acoustic instrument and space collapsed into a bubble surrounding just two people standing together in front a burning light: that was emotional and spiritual bliss. It is hardwired into the synapses of this increasingly glitchy old slushware and I have no doubt that it will stay that way as long as life endures.

    2. My fiance (see above) had a miniature schnauzer named Rascal who developed congenital kidney failure. She was heartbroken. I promised to get her a puppy as a wedding gift. About a week after returning from our honeymoon, we visited her folks who lived in a not distant town and were informed that one of their neighbors had a farmstead/ranch just outside of town where they bread mini-schnauzers and horses. One of their dogs had recently given birth to a litter of puppies. It turned out that all of those were already spoken for, but they still had three slightly older pups for sale. That was on the 4th of July, so of course we named him Sparky.

  5. In real life:
    Having a nice time with family or friends
    Being in the mountains

    In music life:
    Experiencing emotionally appealing or fascinating music

    In technical audio life:
    Having achieved the balance of effortlessness and ease of music while getting all the details, transparency, dynamics, energy and control with most recordings.

    1. Was on a beautiful white Sandy beach not two hours ago. (See photography in forum.) My wife went for a swim, far too cold for me at 57 degrees north.

  6. when i was younger, i would have answered with “a sexy blond and a curvy redhead, at the same time” 🙂

    Now as a much older and wiser person (haha), i think the endings of various Mahler symphonies, especially the third, played live or through a very good audio system (of which I am blessed to have).

  7. A great meal, with great wine, with great company.
    Cooking that great meal.
    Great music, live or recorded.
    Losing myself in the woods while using my cameras.
    A long hot shower.

  8. I prefer a cold beer on a warm Summer night. 75 and dry with a light breeze. And an outdoor concert with that same beer and weather. Saw U2 outdoors with that weather and it was bliss. Finally have my Stones concert rescheduled but it was moved from Orchard park NY to Heinz field in Pittsburgh PA about 220 mile drive. Hopefully there will be a similar experience with the weather. I love outdoor concerts as long as the weather is good.

  9. To me, having grown up in Florida with no air conditioning, bliss is a cool (not warm) breeze on a summer night. Indoors, the bliss of music is enhanced by a well-designed air conditioning system that silently keeps the temperature and humidity in a perfect range.

  10. Professor Joseph Campbell Said it best “If you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.” I first heard of him years ago in a series of interviews with Bill Moyers ” the power of myth” We had pursue your bliss on our fridge and would recite that mantra to our girls growing up.
    Oh and another mantra of mine I would say when the occasion presented itself sadly those occasions began in elementary school “The world is filled with assholes these are little assholes who will grow up to be adult assholes and you will run into them all your life pay them no mind” well both followed their bliss and are scientists at top universities who on occasion would let me know their paths crossed an asshole.

    1. Joseph Campbell was a genius at articulating what most rational-thinking people already know deep down about certain philosophies and organized religions. Myths serve a function to inspire and provide moral compass to the masses. The problem comes when people accept the myths as facts and drink too much of the Cool Aid, and try to force others to drink it too.

  11. Most recently, watching Teensie Sweetie: the Next Generation scampering around a playground (“Wheee!”) or taking in at the beauty of Sunken Gardens.

  12. I remember standing in my basement as a teen in front of a portable record player that had two fold out speakers on its side. I was in bliss listening to Sandy Nelson records.

    Bliss is having the capacity for bliss.
    Depression is anti-bliss.

  13. The sound of my beloved cat Mariposa purring, especially when she is in my lap and I can feel as well as hear those good vibrations.
    A close runner-up is hearing bird calls and songs: mockingbirds singing their hearts out topping my list of many favorites.
    Third place goes to the sound of ocean surf crashing against the shore.
    Then comes music, the kind that touches and moves my soul in a positive way.

  14. For me it is Music of course, the looks of Hi-Fi setups followed by a comfortable environment to put them into. Another, Adventure travel. Love giant hikes weather it is Macchu Pichu or EBC. Marathon running. I’ve done 10 42K marathon runs and runners high is definitely a real thing. 🙂

    Lastly. Psychedelics. Psilocybin found in magic mushrooms really grounds me and makes me feel fantastic. I do 7 grams once every 4 months. It is terrific and blissful therapy for me.

    Okay. One more. My wife and kid are not half bad. 😉 lol.

  15. Paul, what a great choice of words…bliss. It’s a descriptive word that is seldom heard in the world today. Here is a link to a YouTube video of Hugh Bonneville that some readers might be interested in. He tells the tragic and victorious true story of a man who found bliss.

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