Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The Illusive ever-present Joy


I sought Joy,
making a terrible mistake in doing so:
Only when my whole attention
and desire
are fixed on something outside myself,
in nature,
in art,
in a  relationship,
can Joy be found.

It is a by-product;
its very existence
presupposes
that I do Not desire it,
but something else,
something outside me.

This mistake
is what turns religion into
a self-caressing luxury
and Love
into auto-eroticism.

The second mistake I made,
after making Joy itself my aim,
was attempting to produce it,
reading a poem,
listening to music,
going for a walk.

Far too often,
I scared true Joy away,
by my greedy impatience
to snare it.

I had to learn
that pleasure was Not Joy,
though often
a substitute.

Joy eluded me,
not by its distance,
but by its proximity,
something too near to see,
too simple to be understood,
just this side of knowledge.

It has always been with me,
out of reach
not because I could not do something,
but because of something
I did not stop doing;
seeking Joy.

I discovered I would never find Joy
if my focus was on me.

Loving another,
Beauty in Nature,
A Work of Art,
Music,
A Good Movie or Book
give me Joy
when they take me
out of me.

I,
like all of creation,
am bathed in Joy;
all I need do
is step outside myself.

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