At the completion of the lesson, Jeshua often answers questions read to him on behalf of students.
What is the difference between joy and pleasure, and why do a lot of spiritual traditions denounce pleasure?
It is a very wise question you've been prompted to ask in your willingness to be a creator. Hmm! There is, indeed, a difference between joy and pleasure. In your human realm, in the realm of the body-mind, joy and pleasure are often deeply confused. And so the mind becomes hoodwinked into pursuing pleasure, believing it will find joy.
How, then, to distinguish between the two?
Pleasure is dependent on a specific energetic state temporarily passing through the nervous system of the body. Joy is a quality of recognition in the Spirit, or the Deep Mind, or the Heart, that transcends all conditions. A mind that is awake can know joy in the midst of what appears to be the hardships that can pass by in life.
By way of my own experience as a man upon your plane, your world would say that my crucifixion was a very painful experience. There was a lot going on in the body, but I was in a state of joy, not a state of pleasure. When I danced and sang and drank some wine and broke bread with my friends, I experienced pleasure. That is, the food substances, the vibrations of the music, created a temporary pattern of energy in the nervous system that elicited certain reactions within the brain-mind and the body itself - pleasurable sensations.
I learned, because I was taught to learn, that pleasure is exactly the same as pain in this regard. It has a beginning and an end, and it passes through the physical body and the nervous system and the brain, and that's it. I learned that joy was becoming free of all illusions of separation.
Imagine that the depth of your mind was truly like a spacious ocean that could contain all waves that arise within the field of the body-mind without any resistance at all, without being disturbed in its depth. There could be a great storm on the surface, but the depth of the ocean is undisturbed. Joy is a quality of awareness that is brought about through the release of illusions and the correction of how the mind thinks and how the heart feels. Joy is a quality of being that is not dependent on health or dis-ease, money or poverty, birth, death, loss, or gain. To gain something in the world does not increase joy. It may, temporarily, give you pleasure.
That should give you enough to think about in regard to that part of your question.
Why have certain spiritual traditions denounced or sought to have their practitioners get out of the pleasure trap? Well, frankly, just because of this. Because the human mind equates pleasure with joy. And therefore, when unpleasurable sensations, such as sadness, such as confusion or doubt, or such as a physical sensation from an illness is passing through the body, the mind wants to get out of that state and create a different state. But that is merely the realm of duality in which there is no freedom.
True joy comes when no passing state of feeling in the body is denied or judged, but rather, embraced and experienced because that mind realizes it is not the passing state - it is not limited or identified with the passing state. The joy filled mind can cry like no one has ever cried before. The joy-filled mind can embrace sadness to the depth, the greatest depth, that could be imagined. The joy-filled mind is the mind that observes all things, trusts all things, allows all things, embraces all things, transcends all things.
Joy, then, is a quality of Knowingness. Pleasure is a physiological state - very temporary - of the body-mind. Why, then, would any spiritual teacher say,
Be very careful. Don't seek pleasure?
Simply because the mind can become addicted to confusing joy and pleasure. And therefore, whenever things aren't going right, it will try to recreate a temporary pleasurable state in the body. But all that does is continue the rut of the mind s misidentifying itself as the body. It keeps it in the realm of temporality and not in the realm of the eternal.
Now does that mean that you should refuse pleasure? Absolutely not! Just don't seek it. What do I mean by that? I have said to you many times that the body cannot be used to get. It can only be used to give. The Healed Mind does not need to use the body to get anything, for It sees that the body is merely a temporary communication device. It receives communications from other forms of life, other beings - rocks, trees, and human beings, and the wind and the waves and the stars - and It communicates Itself, It communicates Mind, through the body.
Many, for instance, in the realm of sexuality, are trying to use the body to get something called the pleasurable state because they think that pleasure is the same as joy. But the Awakened Mind, no longer misidentifying joy and pleasure, allows pleasurable states to pass through the body-mind, but only as a secondary effect of Its decision to use the body to enjoin with sexuality for the sole purpose of communicating to another:
I see you in your perfect innocence and would celebrate it by joining with you whole-bodily.
So It is involved in giving, and the pleasurable states, that may or may not come and are always perhaps a little different, are only secondary. And that afterward, that Mind doesn't give it a second thought. It doesn't say,
Wow! The lights and bells and whistles didn't come on. It just wasn't what it should have been.
That kind of mind is involved in getting, because it needs pleasure, because it believes that pleasure is the same as joy.
Joy is the recognition that,
I and my Father are One. And in all contexts, I can choose Love over fear.
Therefore, indeed, there is a reason that many spiritual traditions have warned its students about the pleasure thing. Often that has gotten misinterpreted and gone beyond the point of its usefulness. If a mind denies or suppresses pleasure, it has the same effect as the mind that becomes addicted to pleasurable states. It will put out as much energy to resist a passing physiological state as the addicted mind will put into seeking pleasurable states. Either one is imprisonment.
Therefore, my suggestion for you is: Do not seek pleasure, but rather, seek the Kingdom. Be the presence of Love. And when pleasurable sensations pass through your awareness in the body-mind, notice them, accept them, and be done with them, just like when so-called unpleasurable states - sadness, anger, fear, whatever it is that is arising. Notice it, embrace it, let it pass through. Get on with being the presence of Love.
Does that help you in regard to your question?
Jeshua: Did it bring any illumination?
Response: [laughing] Yes.
Jeshua: Then indeed, beloved friend, remember: The body simply cannot accomplish getting anything. It can be used for grand things - the extension of Love. That, in itself, usually will generate acceptable, passing, pleasurable sensations.
Do you have anything else, then?
Yes. The Shanti Christo board had a phone conference today, and I asked if anybody had any questions for this tape. And they suggested that we just ask you if you could speak to us - the board and the members as well - about the direction we're going and anything that you would care to address about the frequency of Shanti Christo and what we can do to keep our frequencies in alignment with the vision.
First, the frequency of Shanti Christo is unchanged, unchanging, and unchangeable forever. Simply because it is the Peace of Christ. But remember that peace is not a passive state at all. Rather, it is the foundation, the very empowering foundation, from which one accepts the pebble in the pond of the Will of God and knows that it is unlimited forever - with all power necessary to do whatever is asked. Such a mind is very powerful. Such a mind might be extremely active in the world. Such a mind remains at peace.
What can you do, then, for the vibration of Shanti Christo? Absolutely nothing. What you can do for yourself is want more of it. In that way is the vibration or frequency of Shanti Christo extended into the world. I once said that, Love merely attracts the seeker of Reality to Itself.
God, then, pours Himself out into the world by becoming so attractive that His creations - the minds that populate the world - want more of Him. And they open to receive what is present.
Therefore, if you would serve the extension of Shanti Christo, be ever-vigilant to discipline the mind to want only more of God for yourself. As you open to more of God, and wait on no one, other minds will decide whether or not they are willing to release what is obstructing them from receiving more of God. And then you'll be guided in how to create a context that might allow that to occur. Not that the context causes it. It merely gives the other mind permission to do so.
Do not become overly attached to the form or the accomplishment, but rather to the frequency you are allowing yourself to live within. Remember that all things are perfect. You need not be concerned about - hmm, shall we say - being a model, being a way-shower. You should not be concerned, whatsoever, with satisfying everybody who's looking for God who might come your way.
Rather, see that you are releasing the impurities that block the pure presence of God's Love: specialness, egotism, denial, fear, what you would call as I've heard you term it "going up and out instead of down and in" - thinking instead of feeling. "Thinking instead of dancing," would be my way of saying it. Are you extending Love? Are you giving freedom to each and every mind, wanting only that mind to experience greater joy? Letting them have their freedom in how they discover that. Are you awaking each morning with appreciation and joy, knowing that Shanti Christo has already been fulfilled and manifested? Are you delighting in allowing it to manifest in such a way that you learn something new about the nature of mind, the power of consciousness, and the Reality of Love?
If indeed, then, you would serve the vibration of Shanti Christo, you must be a creator and not a maker. But remind all of this: making is not the same as taking action. A mind can be involved in making by refraining from taking action. Does that make sense for you? Therefore, trust all things, allow all things, celebrate all things, see the perfection of all things, and be the vibration of Shanti Christo.
That should be enough for now.
Do you have anything else?
Jeshua: Very well. Therefore, we'll bring this question and answer session to an end.
And yet, I would say unto all of you - each and every one of you who will hear these words now, and even fifty years from now - remember always that the One who speaks to you through the vibration of these vocal cords is indeed that One who walked upon your plane as a man some two thousand years ago and delights only in extending Creation. Who looks upon you as a brother and as a friend, and who sees only your perfect innocence and delights in communicating with the only begotten Child of God - you!
Be you, therefore, at peace. Andknowyou are loved.