Tuesday, January 8, 2013
The aim of a joke is not to degrade the human being but to remind him that he is already degraded- George Orwell
Every tragic situation can in a moment become comic depending if we are open to the possibility of change. Whether in any given situation you either laugh or cry depending on your attitude. It is like falling off a cliff into an ocean below filled with fins circling with either sharks or dolphins. Humor walks the razor edge of our fears. Through our need to go beyond contradictions we wish to venture into our very anxiety. Laughter and joking gives us this opportunity.
As we become more sincere and genuine we shift our paradoxical world. Humor can make things less threatening and may release our everyday anxious tension. Years ago when I was hit by a van in a head-on 50 mph accident my first response to this accident with 16 others on top of my car was to make jokes. My other alternative was to freak out. Changing my view of a dangerous situation to one of a comic one significantly lessened my suffering. Simply humor lessens my resistance thus minimizes my suffering and other nervous and anxious behaviors.
Also comedy creates imaginary situations that entertain us and stimulate new mirth. Such action fosters more relaxed and comfortable circumstances. Gloom and despair is transformed into lightness and possibility. Joking provides relief from being identified what is stressful, and uncomfortable.
What was once serious now is differently viewed. The mind shifts to what is funny. No longer is the situation so dire and skewed by fear. By awakening to the life’s contradictions humor can change how attached we become to our tragic way of being. Our very craving for being can stress our very well being. Angst arises out of our challenge to simply “be” instead of “becoming.” Emotional insecurity is so prevalent in today’s inauthentic society.
Humor supports a more authentic total awareness. Today’s proliferation of anxiety is rampant given increased material demands we place on ourselves and the contradictory nature of making it through the day. We operate on many fear based ways of coping. Humor can awaken us from this reactive anxious ways of being. It allows us a possibility of fearlessness or courage to fully open our hearts what really “is” happening.
Exploring our higher consciousness presumes that we fully conscious or mindless unconscious impulses and preoccupations. Also such elevated awareness means we see reality from a greater perspective. As if a part of our potential is asleep humor can awaken these parts to us. Increased understanding of how we are apart not separate from all things creates this mind-body transformation. .
Here in the Western World we filtered our unconscious conditioning and thus alter the perception of our reality–or what psychologist term projection. Once we can remove this filter of our misconceptions then we also change our entire view. Such dissolution of these delusions or illusions provides us greater clarity. Lessening the projection of our unconscious thoughts we raise the level of consciousness. In certain religious traditions there is a "union" or a state of oneness between the practitioner and the divine. Feelings of oneness with the world that give rise to greater understanding of the true nature of all mental phenomena
Levity provides a form of conscious brevity from anxiety. Yes it is tragic when we see we attempt to find meaning in a meaningless world. But a comic-tragic shift happens when we can laugh at the absurdity of this existential paradox.
The comic exhibits a greater sense of responsibility. Humor allows a greater ability to respond from the more tragic serious worldview. The comic is able to better show up to things since he is more conscious of what is going on by his/her ability to be more open. Since there is no beginning or end, or further concepts are just an illusion, the comic knows not find a solution since their truly is none.
Such levity increases an individual vision to see and better accept those things that are almost unacceptable.
The comic plays with the idea of “ego” and self- identification allowing greater freedom to explore what is true. Less pride or other “ego-selfing” mechanisms are less serious. Greater understanding of what we fear comes through laughter. So humor allows a less reactive more responsive perspective. Jokes can make us less attached and/or adverse to reality while a serious mind-set can result in the opposite.
Seriousness is the only refuge of the shallow- Oscar Wilde