Maciocia on Joy as a Cause of Disease

Giovanni Maciocia has an interesting article on Joy as a cause of disease.   One issue that I think he makes well into the article, is that we often define joy as a state of contentment or peace.  I suspect as I was reading his article, that the way joy was defined was more of that hyper happiness that one sees in small children when they are over stimulated or over excited about company coming.    It keeps one from sleeping and keeps one from thinking clearly about the present.   Joy, in the way that I have come to define it is more a peaceful contentment.

I find the article fascinating and any commentary I have really underscores the need for cultural understanding when translating from one language to the next.   Language may be the words we use, but the meaning is influenced by the culture.    In order to communicate effectively, it is important to be certain to use words that as they are used within the culture.


  1. So interesting. Thanks for posting. I think language translation and cultural differences are a huge factor when practicing Chinese Medicine. I also think that any emotion out of balance indicates a problem may be brewing. Everything in moderation, right?

  2. Thinking of it in terms of how I define joy (separate from say happiness) I think that joy is really a state of contentment. This may be all those books by the Dalai Lama that I read that means I define it that way. Because it seems to be a pretty balanced position, I think the issue is that it has to be fleeting (in the same way you can only hold a balance posture so long in yoga) so that it can’t cause disease–on the other hand happiness or that giddiness that comes from over excitement and over stimulation–that I can see causing a problem! Because of the way I define joy, as opposed to happiness or as he talks about over stimulation, I think that it is pretty self regulating–the nature of the contentment is that you can’t hold on to it and trying means you have already moved out into that space into another…

Speak Your Mind