Serious joy

Some pleasures leave a bad aftertaste. Or rather: almost every sort of pleasure can leave a bad aftertaste, often because you've had too much of it, or because you had it at the wrong time, in the wrong circumstances. So they are not unqualifiedly desirable all the time, are they? Strangely enough, although there seems to be some natural drive towards pleasant activities, there seems no equivalent tendency to stop at the right time, before the pleasure gets stale and flips into some sort of dégoût.

It feels good, however, in a deeper and more satisfactory way, when you're at ease with yourself, comfortable with what you're doing, when what you are doing is the right thing in the circumstances. It's not only that you are more successful in your undertakings. It means experiencing the world differently. And while this perhaps lacks the intensity and the thrill of the slightly uncontrollable that some pleasures could give you, it never becomes stale, and it doesn't have the unhealthy drive towards more and more.

Such steadiness and reliability is the mark of true value. A clear conscience, good intentions, well chosen actions, and a healthy disrespect for the fruits of chance and accident: you'll need these to actually plan and lead your own life, in contrast to those who are just letting themselves drift away in search of what is pleasant and nice. Reflect, and make it clear to yourself what you want to do with your live; and then go for it, and make sure you stay on course. You'll be rewarded with being at ease with yourself, your life and all the world, at any time ... and just feeling good with it.

This is a condition that goes deep (deeper than all the pleasures that there are). But even though it is a form of joy, you won't get it by throwing yourself where the fun is; you'll have to work for it. Take care.
Copyright © 2007-2012 by Leif Frenzel. All rights reserved.