My joy unifies! Accepting my own joy—acknowledging it, sharing it, and expressing it—heals myself and others. To be wholly joyful means to be wholly love…means to be wholly my Self.
Joy is worth studying, in my opinion. It’s worth studying because it’s worth understanding, worth achieving. I think there is too little joy in the world, too few people who know how to attain it, even fewer who know what it is, and far too many who are lost before they are even able to consider it. I want to bring more joy to the world; to do that I need to be filled full with joy! Maybe if I become filled full enough, I’ll be able to show others how to be joy-fulfilled also.
This begins with understanding what joy is, thus the “studying”.
I think (and this is only my limited opinion), that most people only imagine what real joy is, including me. Real joy is beyond the mind, beyond the heart; it bubbles up and overflows (tears of joy?), and streams forth from the very center of being, all on its own. Real joy is a life and power that seems to be its own, seems to be out of our control, even often out of reach (If it were in our control or reach, do you think there would be the epidemic here, in the United States, of pharmaceutical addictions, rampant depression, alcohol abuse, illegal drug use?). When joy happens, it overwhelms us, radiates from us, and influences everything we think and feel and do.
But this is how I imagine it. I have felt what I would call real joy several times in my life. I have the memory, but I have not held onto the feeling; I know I’ve felt buoyantly blissful and unshakably loving and peaceful within it, but I do not currently feel it, nor do I know how to feel it again, or feel it consistently. But I know that the joy I imagine is possible. I know it because I have felt it, and I have read about it. There are people who KNOW this joy all the time. They have figured out how to attain it, maintain it, and have enough to give away.
Here is the first lesson for studying joy, so that we can learn together:
In Sanskrit, the type of joy I am referring to is known as Ananda. Perhaps you’ve heard of Paramahansa Yogananda, or Anandamayi Ma? Yogananda made the appropriate connection for us, with his words, “God is ever-new joy”. God is not just the Source of joy; and it is not that God feels joyful. God is Joy. Thus, when in this regard, we feel joy, we are experiencing God.
May we all Know God as Joy, the overflowing, eternal, all-existing, infinitely-conscious bliss.