The Search for True Joy
"Heiliger Dankgesang"
("Holy Song of Thanks")

    "Joy"- what has mankind made of this sublime concept?! What is now left of its sublimity? Nothing at all. Its place has been taken up by self-enjoyment, by self-satisfaction, by "having a good time", by crude humor (exemplified in many comedies) and by malicious jokes made at other people's expense. This is how "joy" has been redefined. The quest for true joy is inseparable from the quest for purity (which is NOT puritanism) and for child-likeness (which is NOT necessarily an attribute of children, especially not the children of today).

True joy is NOT an emotional state. It is a spiritual state - a state of profound thanksgiving for the help received from the Creator in one's own life. Most of Ludwig Van Beethoven's life was lived on a battlefield of desperate searching for answers concerning the Creator's Justice - the crisis brought on by his deafness obviously played a major role in this. Towards the end of his life, however, his spiritual struggle intensified. After recovering from a grave illness that almost took his life, Beethoven wrote his String Quartet in a minor Op. 132. In its slow movement (named "Heiliger Dankgesang eines Genesenen an die Gotheit, in der lydischen Tonart"), Beethoven begins with a gloomy, brooding subject - the effect of which is like a huge weight, burden or spiritual oppression. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a joyous light breaks through the darkness. This is Beethoven's "Song of Thanks" to his Creator for his recovery, for being permitted to continue on with his spiritual struggle on earth. One can see evidence of this struggle (the search to know God) in most of Beethoven's work - from the early to late works. Even the very beginning of his First Symphony, with its unsettled searching for the tonic key, indicates that this was a more advanced human spirit, who knew that the purpose of great art lay solely in its spiritual questing. He had not forgotten the great spiritual virtues of heroism, courage, nobility, beauty and purity and strove relentlessly to express these - even in the face of death. Nor had he forgotten the example of his teacher Franz Joseph Haydn, who, in the exuberant, pure, child-like joy of his finales, always gave thanks to his Creator for the help received in his work and in his life. All the greatest composers in history had this need and expressed it in their own personal way. It is in this example that cinema has failed to follow. Only in selected works of a few film poets, namely Charles Chaplin, Andrei Tarkovsky, Albert Lamorisse ("The Red Balloon"), Ingmar Bergman ("The Magic Flute"), Sergei Paradjanov ("Ashik Kerib") and Jacques Tati, does one see any evidence at all of the pure child-like qualities necessary for the expression of true joy (which always goes hand in hand with gratitude to the Creator.)

Yet to regain the purity of the untainted child-like state is one of the most urgent tasks for every human being. Without regaining some degree of inner purity there can be no possibility of ever understanding the true nature of Justice and of Love. This is so because Justice, Love and Purity are One. In losing the knowledge of the interconnectedness between Justice, Love and Purity, we have lost the very foundation upon which the true understanding of life can arise. "IN THE LIGHT OF TRUTH: THE GRAIL MESSAGE" by Abdruschin restores this lost knowledge to us.

The final chorus of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 based on Schiller's "Ode to Joy" correctly indicates that true joy is inseparable from the search for the Creator.

Ihr stürzt nieder, Millionen?
Ahnest du den Schöpfer, Welt?
Such'ihn über'm Sternenzelt!
Über Sternen muss er wohnen.
Do you fall down before him, Millions?
World, do you sense your Creator?
Seek him then beyond the stars!
He must dwell beyond the stars.

Perhaps the moment in cinema that comes closest to Beethoven's spirit of joy is towards the end of Andrei Tarkovsky's "Mirror", where the actor playing Tarkovsky decides to live and releases a bird - a cut then follows to scenes of nature (including a field in glowing morning light) accompanied by the opening strains of J.S. Bach's "St. John's Passion".