The search for happiness is basic to human life, and to the religious quest as well. Union with ultimate reality can bring transcendental joy. It is a state variously characterized as bliss (ananda) nirvana, or even the mystic marriage with the divine Lover. In the monotheistic faiths, God created human beings for joy. The unity of God and his creatures makes that joy complete.
The section opens with passages that describe heavenly joy, when the human heart and God’s heart beat in unison. Second are passages that contrast the greatness of heavenly joy with the paltry pleasures of the senses. This insight should not be overlooked in discussions of ethics; George Washington once asserted that there is “an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness.” We conclude with passages describing the synergy between a joyous life and heavenly joy. A cheerful and optimistic attitude, accompanied by efforts to spread happiness to others, can attract the joy of the holy spirit. This can be experienced in the mystic connection between conjugal love and divine love. (see chapter 19: Conjugal Love).
- Heavenly Joy
Thou dost show me the path of life;
in Thy presence there is fullness of joy,
in Thy right hand are pleasures for evermore.
“David is talking to God, talking about His presence which brings joy. Without God there’s no pleasures.”
“There’s the need to do the path to find the joy coming from God or the universe. We need to work on ourselves and on the relationships. Then the joy can be found.”
“If we’re on the same vibration as God we can vibrate with Him.”
“The people who are living a spiritual life can experience the happiness. The happiness can last forever. We cannot judge the people who couldn’t experience happiness.”
I created you human beings because I desired to see you lead a joyous life.
Ofudesaki 14.25 (Tenrikyo)
“To be able to develop ourselves or achieve some goals for example train for a sport championship, pass exams or even the whole pregnancy and giving birth, we need to go through challenges, often difficult, to finally get some joy”.
“In some cultures, laughing is not well seen!”.
Happiness is spiritual, born of Truth and Love. It is unselfish; therefore it cannot exist alone,
but requires all mankind to share it.
Science and Health, 57 (Christian Science)
No eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man conceived,
what God has prepared for those who love Him.
1 Corinthians 2.9
“Human beings being ignorant, they don’t know what God prepared for the ones who love Him. There are still so many things that are unknown for human beings.”
No person knows what delights of the eye are kept hidden for them—as a reward for their good deeds.
“The amazing things that the eye could still see are still kept hidden. If we can do good actions, we’ll discover the secret of joy.”
“If we achieve something, we are grateful for the challenges we overcame and realize we didn’t have to complain while going through these. But if we would know in advance that it would be easy to go overcome these it wouldn’t be so challenging.”
I am the Tathagata,
The Most Honored among men;
I appear in the world
Like unto a great cloud,
To pour enrichment on all
Parched living beings,
To free them from their misery
To attain the joy of peace,
Joy of the present world,
And joy of Nirvana.
Lotus Sutra 5 (Buddhism)
“Like in the Christian science, the joy is to pour the happiness and love around us, to all people.”
The soul which is free from the defect of karma gets to the highest point of the universe, knows
all and perceives all, and obtains the transcendental bliss everlasting.
Kundakunda, Pancastikaya 170 (Jainism)
“The one that is freed from the karma which is continuously bringing us to mistakes can achieve the nirvana or highest joy.”
“If my goal in life is to be higher independently of others, it will not work. We can recognize somebody of higher level by the ability of loving anybody.”
Without doubt, in the remembrance of God do hearts find satisfaction.
Mother mine! Bliss have I attained in union with the Divine Master:
Spontaneously has union with the Divine Master come about—
In my mind resounds joyous music. Fairies of the family of jewel harmony have
descended to sing holy songs;
Sing all ye the Lord’s song, who have lodged it in heart!
Says Nanak, Bliss have I attained on union with the Divine Master.
Adi Granth, Ramkali, Anandu, M.3, p. 917 (Sikhism)
And may the sovereign Good be ours!
According as one desires bliss may one receive bliss
Through Thy most far-seeing Spirit, O Lord,
The wonders of the Good Mind which Thou wilt give as righteousness,
With the joy of long life all the days!
Avesta, Yasna 43.2 (Zoroastrianism)
“The one who longs for happiness will get it, the one who is happy with what he has will not obtain happiness.”
“The person who is seeing the actions in a positive way will be happy. The one who is always in a bad mood will not be able to be happy.”
Teachings of Sun Myung Moon
Joy begins in the heart of God, and it is fulfilled in human beings. The heart of the invisible God is manifested in the hearts of visible human beings. (27:29, November 15, 1969)
“God has to pass through us to experience joy. The joy and love are manifested by human beings.”
“The apostle Paul said, ‘we are the temples of God’.”
“We often forget to see God in others.”
Why are human beings born? It is to experience love with God and with all creation. Conversely, because human beings exist, God can love and be loved, and love can fill the universe. (81:334, December 29, 1975)
“We are born to experience love! Without human beings, God wouldn’t be able to love.”
What is God’s purpose of creation? Is it analogous to what we human beings aspire? God created out of the desire to rejoice and be happy. What brings God joy? Money? His creatures? Certainly it is not the material things that people like to own. God created heaven and earth so that He could experience joy through love.
Then, what do all creatures desire more than anything else? Because God’s purpose of creation is to experience joy through love, all creatures likewise seek a relationship of love with God, to experience joy. Accordingly, all creatures interact with one another in order to be linked with God’s love. (114:63, May 16, 1981)
“God’s desire and human beings’ are the same.”
The meeting point of the human heart and God’s heart is the starting point of happiness. (Way of God’s Will 1.8)
“The first time I experienced the heart of God was the day I read the Proverbs from the Bible.”
When people feel good, they want to be with their parents, siblings, and relatives so they can share their joy. Happiness is eternal, and what is eternal is of the heart.
The center of the universe is the parent-child relationship, that is, between God the Father and each one of us as His sons and daughters. The ultimate purpose of human life is to find our Father, form an unbreakable bond with Him, and experience joy. (12:104, December 16, 1962)
“If we don’t know God our creator and parent, it must probably difficult to know the purpose of our lives.”
“As a child we can understand thought our parents’ heart the heart of our parent God. Once we become adult we can develop our own relationship with God.”
“In Islam, God is not perceived as a parent. Some Muslims still believe that human beings are His children.”
When God sees you loving His creatures, He says, “Wonderful! You are doing something that I cannot do”; and He loves you. God will want to show His love to you. Maybe He will stretch out His arms and hug you from behind, whispering, “Yes, you are great!” This happens. God will hug you out of joy.
Suppose that while God is embracing you from behind, you turn around and hug Him. Would God say, “You shouldn’t do that”? What do you think? What if you give God a long, long bear hug?
God would say, “It’s good! I like it! I like it!” God cannot but like it. He and everyone, everything, will like it. You would be in ecstasy.
After that experience, what if you just lie around aimlessly, smitten with love-sickness? Would
God be displeased? No, He would burst into laughter, saying, “Ah, My love must be really good! Ha, Ha, Ha!” Then He would say, “Amen.”…
What might happen the next time you meet God? God is as smitten with you as you are with Him, so you can do anything together; it doesn’t matter. You and God might hug each other, or ride around on each other’s back, or wrestle on the floor one on top of the other. If you took God out somewhere, He might attach Himself to your hip like a tail. Wouldn’t that be the ultimate state of bliss? God, humanity and all things of creation want to experience it. (111:170, February 15, 1981)
“Seeing the different human beings and their characteristics is an enrichment.”
Written by Noëmie Komagata-Nguyen