hygienic darkroom retreat

profound rest for the self‑healing psyche

by andrew durham


This book results from a long inquiry into the cause of joy.

At 15, from nowhere, great joy overcame me. It lasted three intoxicating months. It felt normal. When it disappeared, the need to solve this mystery gripped me.

After 21 years of investigation, I did. Others had discovered the destroyer of joy: major trauma. I discovered the essential condition nature provides us to heal from it: darkness. More than a decade of testing, refinement, and documentation followed.

Briefly, joy is a function of being alive, not effort. Lack of joy indicates a damaged system, not moral failure. Given conditions of profound rest, this damage heals by itself, and joy returns.

It’s that simple. We are but weeks away from a return to happiness, health, and peace.

Effort is the smug panacea of our way of life. It gives false and fleeting results. With the will, one can do nothing directly to restore joy. One can only provide proper conditions. The organism does the rest autonomically.

For 13,000 years, we civilized people have been right that something is terribly wrong with ourselves. We have been right that we must do something about it. But we have been wrong about which part of ourselves must do it. At long last, this book puts the issue to rest.

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