Monday, September 15, 2014

Imagine, if You Will, Joy as Durable as Diamond and as Resilient as Steel

Like many well-meaning Jews who get deeply into our Tradition, I was being taught the ways of Salvation, Redemption, Healing and Comfort.

It felt wrong, essentially wrong, unacceptably wrong.

Salvation presupposes trouble. Redemption presupposes having fallen. Healing presupposes illness and woundedness. Comfort presupposes discomfort.

No. No. And No.

I know that Happiness is the Way. But Happiness has to be the Be-All, not just the End-All.

The problem with Joy, such as it exists now and has for all the history that any of us can remember or heard about, is that Joy is spiritual. It is ephemeral. It is fragile. It takes a supreme Act of Will to induce Joy in the Heart and then, for all our gargantuan efforts, it dissipates all too quickly and easily.

We idealize the natural and spontaneous Joy of Babies and Children. We ignore the fact that their Joy quickly dissolves into long fits of miserable tears and heart-wrenching, eardrum-rending, peace shattering wails.

When two things as flimsy as Happiness and a balloon are put together, the unpleasant outcome is assured. A moment's delight is replaced by ongoing tears.

The reason why those who are running our vital systems work off the platform of misery is because misery is durable. Misery is dependable. You can bank on misery. Joy, in juxtaposition, isn't worth flying on the bourse, because it is so unstable. It cannot be considered a commodity. It cannot be considered a natural resource.

And therein, precisely, is the problem.

We need Joy that is as durable as diamond, as resilient as steel as incorruptible as gold. Only then will it be a something we can build with, something we can bank on, something that we can build our civilization with and on. Joy has to be substantial and fungible and dependable and monumental.

We need to create substantial, really real Joy. We need to go far further than creating organic co-ops, although they are the sine qua non, the afflatus and the paradigm for an entire Human civilization built on Joy. We need to be able to construct magnificently impressive skycaressers from Joy. It has to be that, well, concrete. Our roads need to be constructed of Joy. Policy has to be determined in Joy. Justice has to be ministered in Wise Humor and Wise Humor needs to be the Laws on the Books. Joy has to be bankable and we need to know it's going to pay dividends and collect interest and compound interest.

The Promise cannot be redemption for our degradation or salve for our wounds or comfort for our troubles and grief or the breaking of our shackles – all because we lived in a world in which Joy was all too rarefied and ephemeral. We need substantial, actual Joy that we can build our World with and in. We need Joy as tangible and actual as the iron chains from which shackles were forged. Material Joy has to replace material misery. The legacy we give to our Children must be our Joy that they can then build further on. We don't need, and can't live, in a world in which Joy is spiritual and ephemeral, while misery is actual and durable. We need Material Joy.

When I came upon this vision, I knew that every good Soul would agree with me. I knew that if a Cosmic Pow-Wow were to be called to congress calling for a Creation characterized by material, durable, substantial, dependable, constructable and fungible Joy, the vote of Ay! would be overwhelming.

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