The anemic 21st Century dictionary definition of joy is so bland as to be plain tap water: "A feeling of great pleasure and happiness; success or satisfaction." The definition offered in 1971 is more robust — Joy is "a vivid emotion of pleasure arising from a sense of well-being or satisfaction, the feeling or state of being highly pleased or delighted, exultation of spirit, gladness, delight, a state of happiness or felicity, especially the perfect bliss of heaven."

As Noah Webster defined it, joy is "the passion or emotion excited by the acquisition or expectation of good; that excitement of pleasurable feelings which is caused by success, good fortune, the gratification of desire or some good possessed, or by a rational prospect of possessing what we love or desire; gladness; exultation; exhilaration of spirits. Joy is a delight of the mind, from the consideration of the present or assured approaching possession of a good."

Joy is an aspect of the Logos emanation in expression, speaking the Word. As such, joy is rejoicing, which we verbalize as prayer, rejoicing in praise of God, and in song. Joy is an absolute and abstract principle, a law of being, a soul virtue and a spiritual faculty.

Edna Lister on Joy

Keep your mouth closed unless you can express love and joy. Use the dynamite of love on darkness, saying, "Let the Power of God’s Love clear away this condition of darkness," but say it in joy and love.—Edna Lister, January 16, 1933.

Remain joyously silent under fire. If you will wait upon the Lord in joyous expectancy, your own will surely come to you.—Edna Lister, The Sermon on the Mount, January 31, 1933.

Form the habit of smiling joyously.—Edna Lister, The Sermon on the Mount, February 1, 1933.

The essence of Light relieves pain, and rebuilds us into steadfastness as we joyously endure.—Edna Lister, The Single Vision, January 30, 1935.

Give yourself and the world joy with every word, every thought and every breath.—Edna Lister, Regeneration, February 9, 1935.

The full use of joy will be your complete illumination forever.—Edna Lister, September 6, 1938.

Use your imagination to build joy pictures, castles in the air.—Edna Lister, October 31, 1938.

Joy brings forth all good in your life.—Edna Lister, November 14, 1938.

Life is music, and to be perfectly happy, you must remain in your own rhythm.—Edna Lister, December 10, 1938.

Joy will bring forth all good in your life. Joy and praise create your heart’s desires.—Edna Lister, January 2, 1939.

A joyous attitude is the amplification dial you turn up within yourself for miracles. You ascend to where wonders never cease, the joy vibration, the miracle vibration.—Edna Lister, A Design for Ascension, 1941.

A lugubrious saint receives credit for saintliness but debits for disobeying Jesus’ great command: "Rejoice and be exceedingly glad."—Matthew 5:12. King David, one of the greatest of joyful sinners, said: "Sing to the Lord. Make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms."—Psalm 95:2. It doesn’t say, "Be sorrowful and weep psalms unto the Lord," or to the law. Some can be "good" a whole lifetime, even tolerant, yet they cannot smile or laugh when they sing. You cannot attain mastery without the foundation of joy in the heart, which is why the Master said that he would leave his joy with us that our "joy might be full" (John 15:11). He might have said that our "contact with all Power might be assured."

Joy is the only key to open the floodgate of Light at the crown of the head. "I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and sup with him and he with me."—Revelation 3:20.—Edna Lister, A Design for Ascension, 1941.

Joy, the expression of faith and love, lifts the soul.—Edna Lister, February 12, 1941.

You are happy in direct proportion to the effort you expend to make others happy and yourself good.—Edna Lister, March 5, 1941.

Watch and pray always in invincible joy, lest you be found too weak to follow great Light.—Edna Lister, September 2, 1941.

When you make joy the pacesetter of your life, it opens all doors and draws everything good to you. Joy is the accelerator that increases your capacity and opens all centers of the desire, mental and spiritual bodies.—Edna Lister, Turn on the Heat! November 30, 1942.

Work twenty-four hours daily in joy, praise and service to straighten what was bent.—Edna Lister, April 18, 1943.

Joy is a defense and weapon against all darkness in the world.—Edna Lister, March 18, 1945.

Joy shall conquer all hate.—Edna Lister, May 5, 1945.

Law may be fulfilled only on the principle of Joy. Love is the substance, but the adherence to joy opens the door to love and starts it moving forth.—Edna Lister, September 10, 1945.

You reach the joy principle by the use of praise.—Edna Lister, September 10, 1945.

Apply the law of praise to the principle of joy.—Edna Lister, September 10, 1945.

God performs miracles on a joy vibration. The only way you can reach the highest joy vibration is by praising God.—Edna Lister, September 10, 1945.

Joy is that quality that sings in your heart and throbs in your heartbeat.—Edna Lister, December 30, 1946.

An earned joy is the greater when it comes.—Edna Lister, February 18, 1946.

You need a joy vibration to receive, and only by mastery of self can you attain joy.—Edna Lister, July 5, 1947.

You can overcome only on a joy vibration, and by practice, you can attain this. Throw your arms up and say, "I AM joy!"—Edna Lister, January 8, 1948.

The joy vibration will open the way for the memory cells to register what you learn in heaven at night. Joy pays the greatest honor to God.—Edna Lister, March 21, 1948.

Your joy over one miracle is the blessing that brings the next.—Edna Lister, Promises Made, September 17, 1950.

A true saint lives on a joy vibration.—Edna Lister, June 22, 1951.

Seek to be in an active joy always.—Edna Lister, September 4, 1952.

The quality of your praise depends on your joy and defines your results.—Edna Lister, The Flame on the Altar, December 14, 1952.

You must add the principle of action to the full Love of God to put love into outer expression. Joy is the great activating factor. When you add joy to love and law, you have a trinity from which all else manifests. Joy is energy; joy is love in action that makes you conquer worldly challenges. Love is joy in action. Joy in action amalgamates your love and devotion to the All. Your aspiration and your goal are one, to become an instrument to release this joy. When you balance aspiration with joyous prayer and love, you resurrect all that is good of the old, forgetting the rest. Joyous activity will create the fulfillment of your success and take you to your goal.—Edna Lister, Prayer: The Soul’s Aspiration, June 7, 1953.

If you don’t rejoice, you don’t love God enough.—Edna Lister, October 1, 1953.

Joy grows from inside, like peaches on a tree.—Edna Lister, Your Life’s Plan, May 16, 1954.

The joy vibration is the miracle vibration. A joyous attitude is the dial you turn for miracle after miracle and miracle upon miracle as your portion.—Edna Lister, The Golden Silence, June 18, 1954.

Joy is the essence of responsibility, responsibility the essence of joy, and they are one.—Edna Lister, July 19, 1954.

Joy is exaltation of Spirit, going to the Father through the Son. Joy is the Son, and you must go to the Father through joy to reach the place of the greater works.—Edna Lister, Jesus, the Son of God, November 21, 1954.

The soul cannot slip when fervent and constant to beauty and joy.—Edna Lister, May 19, 1955.

Faith is the outer expression of the candle of joy burning within your heart. You have no permanent expression of joy unless Love and Wisdom are balanced. Balance is honoring what you have been given so that your body expresses joy.—Edna Lister, Heavenly Manna, August 14, 1955.

Rejoicing is to be as God.—Edna Lister, June 25, 1956.

Joy comes from above, but the world can give you only happiness.—Edna Lister, November 18, 1956.

You will not be fully happy until you can bite your tongue and hold it.—Edna Lister, November 21, 1956.

Your response to beauty is an expression of joy, and your effort to increase joy expands beauty.—Edna Lister, Your Devotion to God, December 16, 1956.

You are as wondrous as your love of God and your joy in God.—Edna Lister, May 29, 1957.

You leave a line of Light when you are happy, but forceful demands of God or others will tighten the lines of Light to choke those near you.—Edna Lister, June 6, 1957.

You can overlook and come up over anything if you have joy in your heart.—Edna Lister, November 3, 1957.

When you concentrate, do so in joy, which will then spread to fill your life.—Edna Lister, September 17, 1958.

Light moves only on a joy vibration.—Edna Lister, Ten Commandments and Beatitudes, November 4, 1958.

Don’t steal another’s joy by hurting him.—Edna Lister, Ten Commandments and Beatitudes, November 4, 1958.

Only joyousness will keep you alert enough to see clearly all obstacles on the Path before you.—Edna Lister, Oracles of God, November 16, 1958.

Joy is the one all-glorious, all-absorbing quality of God as man. Joy is energy itself in action.—Edna Lister, Joy, Invincible Power, November 17, 1958.

Experiment with joy, for it will stand the test of time, and take you through any trial by fire, over any obstacle. Every hour’s joy is your investment in eternal youth and eternal beauty, for God is the youth and beauty you may express. Declare, "Joy goes before me, clearing my way. Joy goes wherever I send it." Joy propels you into your untouchable, unconquerable, invincible orbit of conquering.—Edna Lister, Joy, Invincible Power, November 17, 1958.

You never lack plenty of energy when you are joyful.—Edna Lister, Desire Is Your Glory, June 14, 1959.

To know joy, you must make yourself good and others happy.—Edna Lister, Desire Is Your Glory, June 14, 1959.

The one who loves most freely and beautifully goes home first with joy.—Edna Lister, June 29, 1959.

The joy principle flows from God. Happiness depends on the outer world, but joy emanates from within the soul. Happiness is self-satisfaction, and satiety in what self has gained; joy is the soul’s rapture and ecstasy derived from giving. Happiness depends on the world for fulfillment, but joy’s name is Independence. A joyous soul has no room for fear, doubt, conflict or frustration.—Edna Lister, I Am the Truth, October 11, 1959.

Put more life into your duty to make it a joy. Ponder "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."—John 3:16. When you understand this, you’ve put joy back into your duty.—Edna Lister, The 33 Degrees of Soul Conquering, October 27, 1959.

"I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places."—Isaiah 45:3. You get all this for using joy as a tuning fork to find time’s harmony. When you flow with the current within the River of Life, you lose all rigidity of action and can easily tune in the "music of the spheres," which is a joy vibration. The secret is to evict worry.—Edna Lister, The 33 Degrees of Soul Conquering, November 3, 1959.

Your responsibility as a servant of God is to be joyful.—Edna Lister, May 14, 1960.

The secret of the open door to miracles is joy and rejoicing.—Edna Lister, May 26, 1960.

God loves a joyous sinner and joy enfolds the sin. A long face and self-blame increases the sin and lengthens the penance you’ll pay. Joy shortens it.—Edna Lister, Consider the Lilies, May 29, 1960.

The Emanations are three great waves of Wisdom, Love and Joy, unceasingly sent from the Source to the ends of the universe and returning to the Source. Wisdom is the thinking, planning Mind of God that establishes molds for creation. Love is God as Substance, nourishing and sustaining all the molds that Mind creates. Joy is the motive power that activates the plans of Mind and fills the molds with substance.—Edna Lister, How Can I Help Myself? May 31, 1960.

You are just as responsible for killing love, joy or hope as you are for killing another person.—Edna Lister, Steadfastness Through Vigilance, June 19, 1960.

Take responsibility joyously.—Edna Lister, Steadfastness Through Vigilance, June 19, 1960.

Rejoicing raises your rate of vibration and ascends you to a high point of appreciation to receive an answer to prayer. Joy ascends you to a high point of appreciation, the realization that God is all joy. You may reach illumination, an explosion that you call forth in prayer and the ecstasy of knowing God, only under rejoicing.—Edna Lister, Realization Through Praise, June 26, 1960.

Project yourself into an orbit of joy by riding a three-stage rocket: The first stage is love, the second is praise, the third is to be joyous about everything.—Edna Lister, Here and Hereafter, October 9, 1960.

You may work so hard on a miracle that you squeeze it to death. When you lift your last conscious limitation up and out by the love of God, you will draw all good things into your orbit of joy.—Edna Lister, October 10, 1960.

Ask for more love and joy to express and to give.—Edna Lister, January 6, 1961.

To pray right is to pray effectively, and you must be in joy.—Edna Lister, January 6, 1961.

Joy is an anticipating soul quality, as well as an outer state of consciousness.—Edna Lister, August 3, 1961.

You can give $10 million worth of joy in a day or $1 million in a glance.—Edna Lister, The Seven-Branched Candle Stand, October 10, 1961.

He who has seen me has seen the Father.—John 14:9. When another sees joy in your face, he is seeing the Father.—Edna Lister, The Seven-Branched Candle Stand, October 31, 1961.

Conquering self is a joy to the soul.—Edna Lister, Heaven, a Place to Fill, April 10, 1962.

Through Christ’s sacrifice we became the servants of joy.—Edna Lister, Fourteen Stations of the Cross, April 17, 1962.

The joy principle allows no grief. When you invite someone into your life to cause grief, you dishonor the principle of joy.—Edna Lister, Power to Transform, December 4, 1962.

Joy and gratitude keep you from slipping into the mud of self. You reach the high principle of joy from the praise vibration.—Edna Lister, December 13, 1962.

The closer you get to Light, the happier you become because Light is joy.—Edna Lister, What Caused the Chaos? June 25, 1963.

When someone does you a miserable turn, deck yourself in joy and declare him perfect.—Edna Lister, Your Sacred Light, November 10, 1963.

Rejoice and be exceedingly glad.—Matthew 5:12. There are nine Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount; the tenth is joy. They are part of the 33 Degrees in the Order of Melchizedek, the Order of the Christed Ones.—Edna Lister, The Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes, April 21, 1964.

Do not steal joy from another by hurting him. Do not steal another’s vibration by lessening it.—Edna Lister, The Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes, April 21, 1964.

You must express your joy with words and actions.—Edna Lister, Life, Your Glory and Splendor, April 26, 1964.

Fatigue is a thief of joy.—Edna Lister, August 24, 1964.

Rejoicing recreates body, mind, heart and soul into the image and likeness of the One God. Declare, "I rejoice, and am glad."—Edna Lister, August 24, 1964.

When you assume responsibility in joy, you invoke the strength of the Almighty.—Edna Lister, Responsibility and Respect, October 18, 1964.

Joy is one of the three Emanations, with Wisdom and Love. Faith sends joy into action, according to its degree. Joy has nothing to do with receiving gifts or having someone on the outside to please you so you can be happy. You can touch the joy vibration under the worst conditions earth can produce. Life is difficult unless you have awakened the faculty of joy. Under joy you find generosity, consideration, and courtesy.—Edna Lister, Faculties: Unfolding Full Seership and Prophecy, December 14, 1965.

Count it all joy when you fall into diverse temptations.—James 1:2. The Light shows up the darkness, and people may turn ugly when you illumine their subconscious. If the Light of God is using you, it will support you despite name calling, so you will have joy. If you surrender, the Light of God uses you, and goes before you. St. James did not say you had to succumb to temptation, but you can be so joyous that you recognize the temptation.—Edna Lister, Am I Strong to Endure? December 18, 1966.

If you ascend on joy, you lift people above the world mind.—Edna Lister, June 22, 1967.

A person who is always joyous enfolds you in their joy wings, which are a permeable form of Light.—Edna Lister, Wings of Glory, June 22, 1969. Top ↑

Joy Declarations

You can overcome only on a joy vibration. By practice, you can attain this. Throw your arms up and say, "I AM joy."—Edna Lister, January 8, 1948.

Declare, "Joy is the living fountain of eternal youth. Joy is the permeating, sustaining life and power running through all my creations, and the foundation upon which I build all my affairs. Joy flows through my day in a never-ceasing, vitalizing and quickening thread of divine rapture. Joy is the spirit of youth upholding the laws of life, which express my attitudes of love toward God and my compassion toward others. Joy leads me upward from earth consciousness to Christed consciousness, step by step."—Edna Lister, Eternal Youth, July 4, 1957.

Experiment with joy, for it will stand the test of time, and take you through any trial by fire, over any obstacle. Declare, "Joy goes before me, clearing my way. Joy goes wherever I send it." Joy propels you into your untouchable, unconquerable, invincible orbit of conquering.—Edna Lister, Joy, Invincible Power, November 17, 1958.

"I AM now radiant joy, attracting my own unto me. My affairs are now radiant recreating joy."—Edna Lister, Undated Papers, 1933 to 1971.

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Treatment to Raise Your Vibratory Rate

The following rhythmic declaration is set in the universal rhythm of the mystical number nine for creation. Repeat this declaration with the conviction that it is building a perfect Power vibration for your miracles in living. The miraculous results shall amaze you. Pause slightly between each line and longer between the sets of three.

I rejoice and am glad!
I rejoice and am glad!
I rejoice and am glad!
I rejoice and am glad!
I rejoice and am glad!
I rejoice and am glad!
I rejoice and am glad!
I rejoice and am glad!
I rejoice and am glad!

Use this declaration as often as needed, whenever a problem arises that needs Power to dissolve it. It cannot create force or harm, for it is based on the fundamental principle of joy.—Edna Lister, The Practice of Breathing, July 31, 1951.

How to build a joy vibration: You add a pinch of joy when something stirs you. Add another pinch of joy, and when you begin to bubble, put in more joy. Keep adding joy until it bubbles actively.—Edna Lister, Life, the Laboratory of Soul, December 5, 1965.

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Ode to Joy

Joy, beautiful spark of the gods,
Daughter from Elysium,
We enter, drunk with fire,
Heavenly One, thy sanctuary!
Your magic binds again
What convention strictly divides;
All people become brothers,
Where your gentle wing abides.

Who has succeeded in the great attempt,
To be a friend’s friend,
Whoever has won a lovely woman,
Add his to the jubilation!
Indeed, who calls even one soul
Theirs upon this world!
And whoever never managed, shall steal himself
Weeping away from this union!

All creatures drink of joy
At nature’s breast.
Just and unjust
Alike taste of her gift;
She gave us kisses and the fruit of the vine,
A tried friend to the end.
[Even] the worm has been granted sensuality,
And the cherub stands before God!

Gladly, as His heavenly bodies fly
On their courses through the heavens,
Thus, brothers, you should run your race,
Joyful, like a hero going to conquest.

You millions, be embraced.
This kiss is for all the world!
Brothers, above the starry canopy
There must dwell a loving Father.
Do you fall in worship, you millions?
World, do you know your creator?
Seek him in the heavens
Above the stars must He dwell.
– Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805)
(Lyrics to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9)

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New Testament on Joy

He that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.—Matthew 13:20-21.

They [the seeds] on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.—Luke 8:13.

The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.—Matthew 13:44.

Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.—Luke 6:22-23.

I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. ... Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.—Luke 15:7,10.

If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.—John 15:10-11.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you. And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.—John 16:20-24.

Let not then your good be evil spoken of: For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.—Romans 14:16-17.

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. —Galatians 5:22-23.

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.—Hebrews 12:1-2.

Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.—Hebrews 12:11.

Count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.—James 1:2-3.

Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.—James 4:9-10.

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.—1 Peter 4:12-13.

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Old Testament on Joy

The joy of the Lord is your strength.—Nehemiah 8:10.

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.—Psalm 30:5.

They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.—Psalm 126:5-6.

Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walks uprightly.—Proverbs 15:21.

A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!—Proverbs 15:23.

The light of the eyes rejoices the heart: and a good report makes the bones fat.—Proverbs 15:30.

It is joy to the just to do judgment: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.—Proverbs 21:15.

In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.—Ecclesiastes 7:14.

With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.—Isaiah 12:3.

The ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.—Isaiah 35:10.

The redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.—Isaiah 51:11.

So shall My Word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace.—Isaiah 55:11-12.

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Joy in Other Sacred Writings

The gospel of truth is joy for those who have received from the Father of truth the grace of knowing Him, through the power of the Word.—The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2.

The Unknowable is ever full of imperishableness and ineffable joy.—Eugnostos the Blessed, Codices III, 3 and V, 1.

As the impulse of anger against evil, so is the impulse of joy over what is lovely, and brings in of its fruits without restraint.—Odes of Solomon 7:1.

To the blessed there is joy from their hearts, and light from Him that dwells in them: And words from the Truth, who was self-originate: for He is strengthened by the holy power of the Most High: and He is unperturbed for ever and ever.—Odes of Solomon 32:1-2.

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Edna Miriam Lister
The original Pioneering Mystic,
Christian Platonist philosopher, American Idealist, Founder, Society of the Universal Living Christ, minister, teacher, author, wife, and mother.

Edna Lister

Etymology of joy: Middle English: from Old French joie, based on Latin gaudium, from gaudere ’rejoice’.

Joy is an Emanation, aspect of the Logos.

Joy is an absolute principle.

Joy is an abstract principle.

Joy is a law of being.

Joy is a soul virtue.

Joy is a mental and a spiritual faculty.


As my soul shall not go towards heaven, but go by heaven to heaven, to the heaven of heavens, so the true joy of a good soul in this world is the very joy of heaven—John Donne

[Love] makes men to be of one mind at a banquet such as this, fulfilling them with affection and emptying them of disaffection. In sacrifices, banquets, dances, he is our lord,—supplying kindness and banishing unkindness, giving friendship and forgiving enmity, the joy of the good, the wonder of the wise, the amazement of the gods; desired by those who have no part in him, and precious to those who have the better part in him.—Plato, The Symposium

Grief can take care if itself, but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with.—Mark Twain

...We are laid asleep
In body, and become a living soul:
While with an eye made quiet by the power
Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,
We see into the life of things.
—William Wordsworth


Donne, John. Donne’s Sermons: Selected Passages, Sermon 142. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1919, 217.

Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology Dictionary, 2024.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

The Nag Hammadi Library. James M. Robinson, ed. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1988.

The Oxford English Dictionary: Compact Ed., 2 vols. E.S.C. Weiner, ed. Oxford University Press, 1971.

Plato. Symposium Loeb Classical Library, Vol. 3, W. R. M. Lamb, trans. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; London: William Heinemann Ltd. 1925, pp. 74-245. ISBN 978-9-674-99184-2.


von Schiller, Johann Christoph Friedrich. Ode to Joy. The Schiller Institute, PO Box 20244, Washington, DC, 20041-0244.

The Compact Edition of The Oxford English Dictionary: 2 vols. E.S.C. Weiner, ed. Oxford University Press, 1971.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

Twain, Mark (Samuel L. Clemens). "Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar," Following the Equator; A Journey Around the World, Chapter XLVIII. Hartford, CN: American Publishing Co, 1897, 549.

Webster, Noah. "Joy," Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language. New York: S. Converse, 1828.

Wordsworth, William. "Lines composed July 13, 1798," The Complete Poetical Works, lines 45-49. London: Macmillan & Co., 1888.

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I AM Joy!