Beyond the scope of leftism's definition and use of the word, problematic refers to things that are difficult, taxing, troublesome, complex, complicated, knotty, thorny, paradoxical, baffling, and puzzling. The word can also describe things that are difficult to discern and solve. Uncertain, questionable, debatable, and indefinite things can also be considered problematic.
With this in mind, we could readily employ problematic to describe the experience of mortal life. Despite leftism's hijacking of the word, mortal life in this world can indeed be very difficult, taxing, complicated, knotty, paradoxical, and baffling.
Equally problematic are the thinking and lines of communication we utilize to manage and make sense of the many problematic things we encounter and face during our mortal lives. The words we use to communicate core realities like God, Creation, love, and freedom become just as problematic as the realities they are trying to define and describe. The same applies to most words and concepts -- in fact, every word and concept, including "joy".
Surprisingly enough, joy is not a supremely problematic concept for leftists and those opposed to God and Creation.
At the minion level, leftists positively conceptualize joy as anything that provides hedonistic pleasure, happiness, comfort, and satisfaction. Leftists anchor joy in ego and materialism. Superior experiences of joy include all sorts of material gratifications fueled by egoistic self-interest that can range from the seediest of sexual gratifications to the grandest altruistic, utopian visions of improving the world and creating heaven on earth.
From a purely negative perspective, joy for a leftist is the delay and avoidance of physical pain and suffering, both for themselves and -- once again, altruistically -- for all of humanity.
Joy is only problematic for leftists when the joy of others infringes upon their joy or when they sense the inherent transience or non-permanence of the joy they experience and pursue in mortal life.
At the demonic level -- from which minion leftists draw their energy -- the matter of joy is not problematic at all. Joy is simple and straightforward for demons. Everything and anything that assists in the destruction of Creation and the damnation of souls is joyful because, at the demonic level, joy is a terminal concept. The greatest joy a demon hopes to experience is its own self-destruction after it has succeeded in destroying everything else in Creation.
Peak joy at the demonic level is non-being -- the absolute dissolution and destruction of God and Creation.
If we rank joy on a problematic scale, we find that joy is not problematic for demons, only somewhat problematic for leftists and, oddly enough, extremely problematic for Christians.
What makes joy so problematic for Christians in mortal life? I imagine a great deal of it has to do with the temptations towards the hedonistic, egoistic, and materialistic amusements, comforts, and distractions in mortal life through which leftists find pleasure.
The sexual revolution provides a solid negative example in this regard. Though Christians recognize and comprehend the innate immorality and sins of the sexual revolution, they are nonetheless lured by the apparently “joyful” temptations it offers. The same applies to all leftist ideologies and litmus test issues. Leftists enslave themselves to joy as a means through which to escape the awareness of sin. Christians, on other hand, know that deriving joy from sin opposes God and Creation. Though such knowledge should free and liberate, Christians often regard it as difficult and burdensome.
The problem of impermanence affects Christians just as much as it affects leftists. Like leftists, Christians aspire to maximize and maintain joy in mortal life, but the kinds of joy Christians attempt to maximize and maintain are just as impermanent and transitory as the kinds of joy leftists attempt to maximize and maintain.
The reality of suffering, pain, entropy, and death in mortal life also make joy problematic for Christians. After all, how can anyone in the grips of extreme pain or severe suffering experience genuine joy? How can anyone who experiences the tragic loss of a young child or the eventual loss of their own mental and physical faculties feel authentic joy? Moreover, why should they? To claim to be joyful in such conditions would be a sign of gross dishonesty. To deny the reality of suffering, pain, and entropy is to deny the significance of suffering, pain, and entropy.
Suffice to say that the human condition sets definite limits on genuine joy – at least in the conventional sense of the concept.
Joy is easy for demons because they aim at destruction, death, and non-being. Joy is more problematic for Christians because they are – ideally – aiming at creation, life, and being, which are far more problematic to pursue in this world.
Though the world contains beauty, truth, and goodness, it is also filled with ugliness, lies, and evil. Beauty, truth, and goodness can sustain joy; ugliness, lies, and evil seek to destroy it. If we are aligned with God and Creation, we can pursue beauty, truth, and goodness in mortal life, but this pursuit does not negate the existence of ugliness, lies, and evil, which is why joy in mortal life is often problematic for Christians.
Nevertheless, Christians can tap a level of joy that is unproblematic and not restricted by the limits of their mortal lives, but this requires a level of thinking and understanding that includes the experience of their mortal lives and eternity.
It begins with the understanding that we existed as disembodied spiritual beings before our mortal lives. As disembodied spiritual beings, we asked God to incarnate us into this world to experience the kind of spiritual learning that could help us to attain a permanently embodied form of spiritual life.
We asked God to put us in His Creation, in a time and place conducive to the kinds of learning we needed most. We knew what we were “signing up” for beforehand. We knew a large part of the learning we had to undergo involved suffering, pain, and death as well as happiness, pleasure, and life. We also knew that if we learned the lessons we needed to learn, we could move onto a form of everlasting life that will be vastly superior.
Our deepest, truest self – the spiritual being having the human experience in mortal life – knows this still and experiences joy for the opportunity.
The joy within our true selves – our divine selves – is the only unproblematic joy we can hope to know during our mortal lives, but we can only come to know this unproblematic joy if we begin to know -- or at least become aware of -- the reality of our true and divine self and what it is aiming for.
Note added: Chapter 16 of the Fourth Gospel has much to say about the unproblematic joy I have attempted to describe in the post, particularly 16:20-33, which I have included below (bold added):
20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.
21 A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.
22 And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.
23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.
24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
25 These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father.
26 At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you:
27 For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.
28 I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.
29 His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb.
30 Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God.
31 Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?
32 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.