Denial of Delight: The Greatest Injustice

by bryan maynard

Whatever form injustice takes, it always has the same impact: the de-grading of a thing or a person away from purest essence. And, while mindfulness allows for these types of degradations in the holding space of universal being, there is a flow “inside” all things that longs for the freedom to be unhindered by such degradations.

If I had a gun to my head and someone asked me, “What is injustice, and what, if there is such a thing, is the greatest injustice of all?” I would have to say that it has much to do with the denial of the impulse or the flow of all things toward the freedom of delight and enjoyment. As the late poet Jack Gilbert observes, even the women at the water streams in Calcutta are talking and laughing with each other.

There is a flow that makes things right and just, it seems to me. And that flow is the impulse toward the delight of enjoyment. The impulse toward delight and pleasure is apparently built into the nature of things.

It’s like we come from joy, we are made of the stuff of joy, and we are somehow always going toward joy. Whatever might be said about injustice, it certainly tries to take that impulse and that flow away from us and away from all things.

We are never served by fear as much as we are served by our flow toward delight and en-joyment. Even though nothing can fully crush or deny the impulse toward joy, where there is prolonged exposure to fear, there will always be a suppression of the impulse to go from joy toward joy.

And, this is the greatest injustice of all. It makes things un-right.

It is justice-making in the world to develop a deep, sustained capacity to contact joy as a way of being in this world. It is right-making whenever we do this.

May you be filled with joy,

May you be formed by joy,

May you be made well by joy,

May you be received by joy