Inner Joy

bright sun, river, boats, digital, astitva

Inner joy is a very frequently used term, yet few of us ever understand it. What do we mean by inner joy? For most of us, it means dreaming about a place or a person and create some sensation inside. For others, it is fantasizing about something that tickles them and that they call inner joy. Then there are pious people who go on imagining their god or a holy name or a place or a building and that gives them some kind of happiness, which they call inner joy.
            But is any of these things inner joy? Think about it. They cannot be inner joy because all that we dream or fantasize or imagine, all these things/people/places are outside of us. They are not inside. We first of all bring those things inside us, in our mind, then we create some kind of pleasure for ourselves and that we call inner joy. How is it inner? It is outer joy. Simply because it is coming from the things existing outside.
            Have you ever noticed that whatever you dream or imagine, it comes from your memory. Dreaming and imagination can never ever be fresh. We can never dream about something that we already don’t know. We can never dream the unknown. It means dreaming is a kind of re-production of memory, so is imagination. This is why thought can never create anything. because thought is stale, it is never fresh. And dreaming and imagining are kinds of thinking only.
            Yet we know that there are very creative thinkers. How do they create freshness if thought is always stale? In fact, the greatest discoveries and the greatest ideas come out of thoughtlessness. In a moment when one is silent, either consciously or unconsciously, a fresh idea flowers. Conscious creativity comes from a conscious person, from someone who is aware of his surroundings and who lives moment to moment. And what about unconscious creativity? In fact, there is no such thing as unconscious creativity. Creativity is essentially a conscious act. Then how do unconscious people create? You might have observed that sometimes when you are tired of making efforts, when you have exhausted whole of our energy into thinking. In that exhaustion a moment comes of complete relaxation. Because mind has no energy to create anything, no energy to think, to dream. It is exhausted. Then silence arises. In this silence, all of a sudden a person is filled with some freshness and that freshness actually brings real creativity. So in either case it is never thinking that creates, it is always non-thinking. Just observe: when there is an extreme effort that extreme effort is always followed by extreme exhaustion and that exhaustion means there is nothing to do. One cannot do anything because one has no energy to do. At this point one is relaxed, is at rest and that is the magic. All of a sudden, something happens inside, something is born inside, something absolutely unknown, undreamed of, unthought of, unimagined.
            So thoughtlessness is the key. And what happens when we are thoughtless? Thoughtless means being empty, when there is no sensation inside, no thought, no dream, no desire. When there is vacuum inside, total aloneness that is called Silence. Remember the inner joy that we talk about is the joy of this emptiness. Obviously one who has not known this joy of emptiness will be confused because if there is nothing inside what will create joy. There should be a creator inside, there should be a situation, there should be something that will cause this joy. The real mystery is: the inner joy is actually causeless. It does not come because something has happened. It does not depend on anything else. It is a state of being totally empty. When one is at ease with oneself, not thinking anything at all this joy blooms. But obviously one who has not meditated will always find it difficult to understand it. You see our logic is if there is no seed, how can there be a flower? And if the inner space, if the inner soil is empty, there is no seed inside it, where will the flower of joy come from? In fact, emptiness itself is the seed. Nothingness is the seed. When one lives totally empty, one becomes capable of joy.
            One who wants to know inner joy must ensure that he is empty. So go on emptying yourself, taking out everything that is inside, all fantasies, all dreams, all the past, all the future, everything that is inside. Go on pouring your inner self out, pumping it out, everything that is inside. At last, the very thought that you are emptying it to get joy, this too has to be removed and then joy explodes. It does explode always. In the Quran, the Kalma reads la-illaha il-lillah, that means there is no god il-lillah, except god. These words contain the key of this emptiness. Let us try to understand them: la-illaha means there is no god. So when one closes his eyes and tries to perceive god, one or the other image comes, or some place or building. Anything is an illusion. Illusion of divinity. Hence it is il-lillah, no god. And when everything is removed, just everything, along with the very thought of removing also. Then one knows Allah. All the images have to be removed from the inside because god cannot be equated, god cannot be symbolized by anything. Yes, we do use symbols. The real trouble comes when we cling to these symbols. These symbols are impressed on our memory and we start treating them as the Truth. They are just symbols. We start believing them, taking them to be as the Truth. Symbols can never give real joy. Inner joy is an altogether different phenomenon. Indeed, the symbols lead us, they tell us something about the Truth. However, we must be aware that they are pointers only. Once we know what they are pointing at, pointers have to be dropped. When symbols disappear, the truth appears. When the outer world disappears, the inner joy appears.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *