Student: How can joy be…
AG: Without cause?
Student: Without cause, yeah?
AG: Well, it's a mystery. Joy without cause, meaning.. Joy, the unborn joy, I should say. "Unborn", in the sense that you can't trace it back to its womb and find the cause . And you don't have to.. It's there. It allows the universe to exist on its own without an explanation.
Student: Someone said joy…there is no such thing as joy... that has a cause. Joy with a cause isn't joy.
AG: Yeah. Joy with a cause is conditioned on its cause and therefore isn't eternal, so to speak. You've experienced joy without a cause - just pure joy for no reason
Student: Well, I think the reason is the love of life.
AG: Well, that's a reason, but that's like saying joy.. Where does love of life come from? It allows us to experience the love of life without an excuse - without an excuse, without having to have an alibi.
AG: Without having to explain to the cops why we love life.
Student: Yeah, that's the mystery.
AG: Okay, if you put it as it allows us to experience truly revolutionary joy that doesn't have an alibi itself to the judge, okay? A joy without judge (joy without court, judge, cops, state, or an elite - the elitist of joy - the joy that exists on its own, which is the nature of the universe, which is also unborn joy, which is to say, you don't know where it came from, you don't know where it's going, but it certainly is here, as far as here means here, and appearance means appearance and is means is.
Student: Well, it'd be touching the eternal
AG: Yeah. Absolutely. And that's one of the few ways you can do it. The only condition of this joy is that you have to let it go, you can't cling to it, because if you try and bind it down with a reason and find the cause, then immediately you're involved back in joyless analysis (unless you do some joyous analysis).
Student: But the thing is, joy is not an insane…
AG: Nobody said joy was insane.
Student: …product of the mind.
AG: Nobody ever said joy was insane, except madmen.
Student (CC): But wouldn't the…
AG: The joyless madmen
Student (CC): Wouldn't the ideal joy be joy with cause?
AG: Well the ideal joy would be joy with cause, yes. Sure, why not. A joy.. This ideal joy would be joy with.. not so much cause as joy with…
AG: ..explanation, if you want, but to cover every end of the universe, yes, joy with literal cause, and literal explanation, and literal root, and grounded joy, certainly. The Buddhists propose grounded joy as the reliable joy rather than an LSD trip, or a mystical experience, or a freak-out joy. The Buddhists do propose… actually, the whole method here is called The Path of Accumulation, among Buddhists. Not that you're going to experience satori, or ecstasy, or God, but you accumulate your joy by constant practice of cutting through your own aggression, and, slowly, what happens is, that the ordinary world becomes less bound-down and constricted by your bring-down, by the bring-down that you bring to it. It's self-sufficient, like eternity, or what's supposed to be eternal - that is, sufficient unto itself, however. Of course, this big explanation, this big rational, grounded, explanation of self-sufficiency and unborn nature, unborn truth.
So in that sense, the poem can be an independent object made out of language, imagined. It also, on a psychological level, allows you to experience your own boldness, your own self-confidence, your own wildness, your own intuitions, your own - what they call these days in America - humanistic self-expression. Also, non-self-expression, or ego-less expression (because you don't have to attach any of these imaginations to your own body or your mind - they're free, they come and go like thought). It's kind of cosmic adventurousness in language (and in thoughts too).
And also the ultimate aesthetic virtue I would say is inscrutability - Like a wise Chinaman. You don't know what's behind it, necessarily, but it's there. Just like the universe is inscrutable. So the poem can be inscrutable, can be an appearance that is radical, in the sense that it goes to the root of the imagination, and to the root of our nature, and the root of appearance and phenomena, the root of the universe itself.
[Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately seventy-four-and-a-quarter minutes in and continuing to approximately seventy-nine-and-a-half minutes in]