Joy

I love the word joy. I love finally having enough experience of it to recognize how different, and how much more powerful, it is than simple ‘happiness’.

From slacktivist just throwing some thoughts around last week:

Quoting CS Lewis:

“an unsatisfied desire which is itself more desirable than any other satisfaction.”

And expanding

Not quite a glimpse of the transcendant, perhaps, but just enough to suggest that something transcendant is or should be possible.

That last one? Refers to the words “Avengers Assemble!” Joy becomes the idea the we can join, create something and create motion. When we studied the Inferno in first year Comp Lit, my prof really liked to focus on the idea that the further down in the layers of hell one went, the more trapped, stagnant, rendered immobile the sinners were, until Satan himself is locked in a block of ice unable to move anything but his mouth. Hell and suffering were immobility, joy is the opposite.

And joy and hope are not far apart. We can’t wrap our fingers around it–in my experience, the very act of trying means I lose the joy, in much the way Buddhists talk about attachment and clinging. Satisfying the desire would somehow ruin it, but knowing that desirable but unknowable something is there, somewhere, and hoping to get at in somehow, someday…that’s joy.

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2 thoughts on “Joy

  1. Kate says:

    I love that thought – of joy being tied to motion, pain to immobility. There’s such a sense of energy about the word ‘joy’. I think you nailed it on the head.

  2. purtek says:

    Thanks. It’s also interesting, in this light, to note that the epistle that Paul wrote from prison (Philippians) is the one in which he most often talks about “joy”. I think it ties back in to the sense that the immediate desires one would satisfy are not the same as that bigger, deeper vision of motion.

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