You know, joys can be sought, and since it’s such a universal desire, it’s hard to understand why so many people don’t actually seek them. They can be discovered easily because they are all around us. However, true joy is not valued by the physical senses alone, which is why, perhaps, more folks don’t get the joy.
I have referenced Walt Whitman’s poem, “A Song of Joy,” for three days now, maybe because it’s like seven pages long, or maybe, and more likely, because it is filled with amazing ideas, words, concepts, realities — both physical and spiritual. Walt shows us how to discover, live, voice and share in those joys. Sharing is an important part of that, because once we discover joy, we are just bursting until we can tell others about it. We all seek, no matter what some may say, connections, unity, fellowship. And we are the happy people who get that exuberant energy bursting forth from Walt.
Looking at his poem in the context and with the framework of my metaphysical analysis yields even deeper understanding than just saying, “Wow! Look how excited he is about the relationships of mothers and infants, sailors, soldiers, whalers, fishermen, and others. I’m going to try and be more like that!” Good, but there is so much more there than just Walt thinking that other people are cool.
These deeper messages align with my Grand Unified Theory of Humanity: the life we are meant to have comes from heart. When that happens, there is no slowing the flowing of joy, and we can identify with the essential nature and essence of everyone and everything and, therein, discover joy.
That’s what Walt does in the poem: he actually empathizes to the point of complete identity with the various characters that he has observed: “O the joy of my soul leaning pois’d on itself, receiving identity through materials and loving them, observing characters and absorbing them… .” Absorbing them — complete identification with them — and this produces joy. Physical senses are the gateway to opening the heart senses, which allows this complete identification.
What results from that? Joy! How? I cannot quote the whole poem or passage, but let’s see if this works for you: “The real life of my senses and flesh transcending my senses and flesh, / My body done with materials, my sight done with my material eyes, / Proved to me this day beyond cavil that it is not my material eyes which finally see, / Nor my material body which finally loves, walks, laughs, shows, embraces, procreates.” Power. Spirit. Heart. The implications, clearly and irrefutably, are these: our physical senses are not those with which we truly react. The true senses are those which process the input from the physical senses.
Guess what?! We have a choice for our central processing unit: ego or heart. If we choose heart, we will know and experience a practical, daily joy — whatever the circumstances. Does that mean an unrealistic view of life, of those in suffering, agony, or oppression? No! But it means that in the midst of life and those who have not chosen to follow their hearts, those who are among the “mass of men who lead lives of quiet desperation,” that we can still find connection and joy with all those people and more at a heart-spiritual level.
Our practical, helpful, daily, life response will be with our physical bodies, but the motivation for that response, the direction for that response, will be from the heart. If you “confront with your personality all the other personalities of the earth,” it WILL result in joy. But we must make the decision to seek joy, to see it in the lives of others, and to process our observations through the heart: “Yet O my soul supreme! / Know’st thou the joys of pensive thought?” Joy takes thought, and if we cultivate thought through the heart, our lives can be dramatically positive. Their are just no odds in playing at life through ego.
If we walk in the fellowship of the heart, we will know joy, “Joys all thine own undying one, joys worthy thee O soul.” What happens when we live in a daily, experiential joy, which means that we are in the fellowship of our heart? We live a free life. Do we understand that — joy is an essential element of freedom? If we have no joy, we have no freedom. If we have joy, we are living according to heart. Walt says, “O while I live to be the ruler of life, not a slave, / To meet life as a powerful conqueror… / To theses proud laws of the air, the water and the ground, proving my interior soul impregnable, / And nothing exterior shall ever take command of me.” Joy, freedom, power, control of self , a heart life — not a slave to anyone or anything else.
Do we want to live free lives, to create and follow life purpose, to know significance and fulfillment? Then, we should seek joy, cultivate it, and know it in practical expression day by day. How did Walt feel, respond to it? “O to have life henceforth a poem of new joys! / To dance, clap hands, exult, shout, skip, leap, roll on, float on!”
Have we made the conscious decision to walk in the fellowship of the heart? If we have, every day can yield new joys, can cause us to run around in our souls, at least, like little kids, exulting in life. I choose my heart; I choose joy. Yippee!
Questions to consider:
How many times have you asked yourself or simply thought about the following questions?
Who am I, really?
What is my truth?
How do my actions reveal what I really feel and believe?
What would I do with my life if I could do anything?
What is my passion?
Why am I here?
How can I discover answers to any of these questions?
If you have considered any of these questions, I hope that my experiences and writing will give you some guidance. Please read my blog and comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!