What is joy about? Joy is definitively not about anything, because joy is not something that you do, joy is something that you become; it is a certain way to be.
If your physical body attains to a certain pleasantness, we call this pleasure. If your mind attains to a certain pleasantness, we call this peace, or happiness. If your very life energies attain to a certain pleasantness, we call this joy. If you do not disturb the basic process of life within you, joy is a natural outcome. Joy is not an achievement; joy is your original state.
Only you can be joyful, but right now, no such thing as ‘you’ actually exists. Everything that you are is an accumulation from the atmospheres that you are exposed to. There are two huge heaps: one is the body, the other is the mind. Actually, your physical body is just a heap of food that you have eaten. Your mind is just a heap of impressions that you have taken in.
It is not that somebody messed you up, you were so eager to gather these heaps that you just got buried in them and you do not know where you are right now. It is very easy to blame it on society; however, it is an integral choice within every human being as to what he wants to do out of the influences that he is exposed to.
You may say, ‘There is so much misery in this society, how can I be joyful?’ If all your surroundings have become miserable, the best thing you could do is to be joyful; otherwise, the world will forget there is something called joyfulness.
Misery and suffering are not caused by something going wrong with one’s life or because an external circumstance created them—outside situations can cause physical pain not suffering—but rather by your mind not doing what you want it to do. If you do not create misery, joy will be a natural state.
If you do not understand and come to terms with such a basic fact in your life, the chance of you being joyful is very remote. The whole science and wisdom of what we refer to as inner sciences is about seeing joy as the very basis of our lives, not as something that you could achieve in your life. Only if this happens, can other things happen. Otherwise, all the time, you will live with the fear of misery striking at you.
Externally, physically, just about anything can happen but more than what can happen externally, your fear is about becoming miserable, anxious and stressed; so your concern is about what can happen within you.
If you depend on the outside to bring joy to you, you need to understand, the outside never happens 100 per cent the way you want it. When this is the reality, at least this one person—you—must happen the way you want it to be. If you did happen the way you want yourself to be, the very natural choice is joy. That is not something that you have to pursue. If you fall back into your original nature, joyfulness is the only way you will be.