The deeper dimensions of joy

I'm sure you know what it is like to drive along on a hot day and see what appears to be a pool of water shimmering on the road ahead. You keep driving, but you never catch up to it; it remains always just a little bit ahead of you.

Have you ever found yourself chasing after joy in the same way—reaching sometimes desperately for it but finding it always somewhere out there, just beyond reach? Obviously, what seems to be a pool of water on the road ahead is an illusion, and when happiness seems to elude us we may begin to wonder if this thing called "joy" is also an illusion.

If we see our joy hinging upon getting married or getting divorced, having a child or finally getting the last one out of the nest, finding a job or retiring from a job, longing for the stimulation of a challenge or the relief of resolving one—upon any of a number of human circumstances—it will remain illusive, always just out of reach. Hasn't the time come for us to stop chasing joy, hoping for it to appear around the bend?

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Endless beginnings
November 4, 1985

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