By Roberto Assagioli from Il Cammino Spirituale, Assagioli Archive Florence, translated by Jan Kuniholm and Francesco Viglienghi
“The sufferings produced by the low tides and reflections of the spiritual wave are amply compensated for by the phases of inflow and elevation, and by faith in the great purpose and high goal of the inner adventure. The “dynamogenic” emotions and feelings — hope, trust, fervor, joy, devotion, admiration, spiritual love … must be aroused by all appropriate and effective means; and nurtured, strengthened, and reaffirmed continually.
Joy has a deep esoteric meaning and a ritual function of vital importance. It must be a practice and a duty for us. Discard the prejudice that joy is selfishness — only by having joy can one give joy. Much of the evil that man does comes from seeking joy on the lowest planes, by separative, illusory, misguided ways. We cannot induce people to abandon their mirages and idols by renouncing joy, but rather by the touch of spiritual joy; direct communion with the Divine (spoken or private prayer — contemplation — silence — meditation); “perfect action” in the Aristotelian sense; the joy of the new (the new stimulates!), of detachment and inner freedom, of “playing” the game of life.
Joy vivifies — it gives strength; it clears up emotional illusions — it gives clear vision; it eliminates self-pity and depression; it eliminates fear and criticism; it helps communication with the soul and the action of the soul on the personality; it tunes in with the “note” of the Solar Logos; it makes irradiation powerful.
The objection may be raised that in many cases one cannot eliminate physical or psychic suffering. Well, it is not necessary: joy and suffering can coexist at different levels of our being. We must always remember the complexity of human nature, of our internal structure; we live at different levels.
Bliss as well-being, security, a comfortable life is an illusion; it would be stasis — boredom — decadence — death. It would be contrary to the law of evolution and progress. It is therefore necessary to seek not a static bliss, but a dynamic happiness.
It is a question of decisively entering the current of life, which is a continuous flow. Let’s be clear: it is not a matter of passively drifting or lazily letting oneself be pushed by the slow evolutionary current. It is rather a matter of adhering to the Life that permeates and transcends all forms, all particular manifestations and identifications. This Life renews, regenerates and eliminates the contrasts, conflicts and oppositions that belong to the life of the personality.
Read also Assagioli’s article Spiritual Joy« Back to Glossary Index