preface

This book comes out of a long investigation into the cause of joy.

At 15, great joy spontaneously overcame me. It felt natural and normal. It eclipsed my other concerns. When it disappeared after three heavenly months, I felt gripped by the need to solve its mystery.

After 21 years, I did. Including finding nature’s way of recovering it. Four years of testing and three of writing followed.

Briefly, joy is a normal natural function of being alive, not making effort. Thus lack of joy indicates a damaged system, not moral failure. Given conditions of deep rest, this damage will heal by itself and joy will return.

Effort, our lifeway’s failed panacea, gives false fleeting results. With the will, one can do nothing directly to get joy back. One can only support the organism in restoring it autonomically.

For 10,000 years, we civilized people have been correct that something is terribly wrong and that we must do something about it. But we have been incorrect about which part of ourselves must do it. At long last, this book puts the issue to rest.

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