Many moons ago, while sitting in a wee, Victorian, Sunday School hall, in Northern Ireland, a spinster songleader whipped up our five-year old psyche-souls into a fervent, albeit conformist, frenzy. “I’ve got that joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart! Where? Down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart to stay” we belted out in response to the fervent arm movements of the lady in question.
Boy, what a Presbyterian gig that was, as we innocently sat there being dragged into worship by the devout Miss Hazzard. And yet, for all the metaphysical twists and turns of my subsequent journey, she may just have had a point. We do have a deep joy down in our heart spirits, even though zealous religious hoop jumping doesn’t really get us there to enjoy it. I’d better explain.
Joy mustn’t be confused with excitement, the euphoric sense of victory in our inter-personal desire battles. No, the buzz of triumph in our ego exchanges, isn’t joy, for joy hasn’t anything to do with our relationships with others. Rather, it’s a state of being, one that flows from the creative Source, that we tend to call God. For the Divine, resides in an Ocean of joy, the very energy of Love itself.
To be in touch with joy, is to be in touch with God, the Singularity from which Divine Essence flows. It’s a touch, and yet more than that, for it’s a timeless touch, one constantly waiting for us when we step outside our definitions of day-to-day reality. It’s a gift, that’s been given to every birthed one, though one that we sadly leave unopened. as we frantically opt for the glittering, short-term goodies of human happiness. While we seek to arrive, we have the buried treasure all along, deep in the repressed crevices of our inner being,
We tend to leave stories of ecstasy and joy to the mystic, the dreamer of no earthly use, and yet we secretly envy them their paradoxically immanent encounters of Transcendence. One thing that puts us off is the lie that to reach joy we must go through the esoteric hoops of a spiritual assault course. Not so, I reckon. To find joy isn’t the reward for the sacrifice of self, rather it’s the discovery of true Self itself. So how do we encounter joy if we don’t have to become a religious or New Age ascetic. Well, we simply have to reckon on it being there, like a seed in the grounded earth of our psyche-soul. It doesn’t lie outside, a prize to be battled for in the journey of life. It’s already ours, patiently awaiting our awakening.
To experience joy in the realm of consciousness we simply have to let go of our psychological attachments to thoughts, feelings, beliefs and others. When disturbances come our way, demanding a permanent audience with our psyche-soul, we just take note and move on. For like phantoms of the night, our ego warnings of impending disaster, are ultimately an illusion, albeit ones that we usually choose to accept without a second thought. No, like a ships mooring ropes, let’s cast them off and instantaneously sail into the wonder of Reality, where joy bathes our very being. A step toward this process of liberation is to observe, to take a step back and get in touch with the One who observes All.
Observation, rather than reaction, quells the pseudo-storms of ego. For as we watch from the safety of our Self, that spark of the Divine Nature, that dwells in joy, the experiential knowing of all knowings,the power of fear dissipates. This letting go of thoughts defensive role, brings us back to Reality with a bump, as Joy, like an airborne fragrance rushes in to fill the vacuum of consciousness, if only for a moment.
So, Miss Hazzard may have been right all along! Jesus, has indeed unclogged my psyche’s arteries by modelling an alternative Way to live. I’ve always had that joy down in my heart, and always will. And the good news? Well, we all have. Once we step back from script of attachments, we’ll be surprised at what bubbles up.