58: Joy

Traditionally, joy was symbolized by a group of friends playing or a carefree child singing to themself while engaged in their chores. Whatever the example, happiness is rising from within and spreading out into the world!

Joy comes into the world through gentle means but springs from a solid sense of self—the power of joy should not be underestimated. The enjoyment of learning and discovery, for example, has served as the inspiration for much progress. As such, that which brings joy into the world is also a source of much potential.

If happiness is supported by stability, it will wear down the stiffest barrier and win over the hardest heart. True joy is a beacon in the world. Being so rare, its presence is an indication of good fortune, now and in the future. How could it be otherwise?

Changing Line Interpretations

Line 1 (bottom line)

Living a life of quiet, self-contained joy is the height of good fortune. Eat when you are hungry, “work” doing what you love, sleep when you are tired, take your pleasures when you will—what could be better?

Line 2

True joy is incompatible with any pleasure that cannot be fully appreciated and relished the morning after. Take this lesson to heart.

Line 3

The source of true joy is within oneself. If one is out of touch with it, the tendency to search for joy externally can easily take the form of indulgence in pleasant but superficial distractions. Those who do not control their idle desires do so because they are not grounded. Knowing your deepest wishes and acting on them is the best path to joyful exuberance and energy. Looking for something external to fill you up never satisfies for long.

Line 4

When a variety of pleasures abound, it furthers you to be decisive. The failure to choose joy over pleasure is as self-defeating as the failure to act in the face of danger. Choosing the higher desire brings fulfillment, while passionate self-indulgence increases suffering.

Line 5

When a period of joyousness begins to degenerate, slowly but surely, problems will arise. However sincere you may be, it may be easy to become involved with unworthy circumstances or people—sincerity itself can make one vulnerable to such forces. By recognizing this tendency and guarding against it, you can avoid these pitfalls and remain safe from harm.

Line 6 (top line)

Pleasant circumstances do not always indicate success. Having lost touch with one’s deeper self and true purpose, it is possible to be swept along by vanity and superficial pleasures—to be carried away from the sources of true joy. When this happens, it is no longer a question of good or bad fortune; when you lose control of your choices, everything is left to chance.