Do "Awakened" People Have a Sense of Humor?: If They Don't Then They're Probably Fast Asleep

I’ve wondered from time to time if the Buddha was funny … I mean laugh out loud funny. I don’t think we’ll ever know. I hope he was.

I’ve watched video clips of Krishnamurti and Nisargadatta (notice how different the voice of the narrator is from the voice of Nisagardatta in the back ground) and I can say, with some confidence, that I’ve rarely seen two individuals as grumpy and humorless as those two guys. Did Ramana have a sense of humor? Does anyone know? He did have a delightful gleam in his eyes and that inspires confidence.

We do know that Osho had a funny streak, but I’ve never observed him laugh with anyone else. He certainly enjoyed his own voice. But he really makes me laugh and although I wrote most of my book with very little knowledge of Osho, I find that my own “findings” align all but perfectly with the many insights and inspiration of Osho.

There are many jewish comedians, which begs the question, did jewish Jesus ever have his disciples in stitches? Was he the Larry David or Mel Brooks of his era? Or, was he more like Woody Allen – he has a bit of a serious streak.

All of this talk of humor reminds me of a brief conversation I had with a Navajo healer. It’s worth repeating.

This man said to me, “Grief may be the gateway to transformation, but the highest emotion of all is laughter.”

In my book, Liberation from the Lie, I wrote rather extensively about the “red flag” of seriousness. The ego and the fear-selves are almost always serious. Even if they appear to be clowning around, there is, often, a serious purpose of what passes for humor – there can be quite a mean streak to it. Life has many serious moments to it, but that is really quite different from the purposeful seriousness of the ego that compulsively needs to “get” something, “make” an impression, or “attract” attention to the all-important ME.

Until we see the absurdity of the human drama, we will never access the effortless joy of living in a world where that drama has disappeared entirely. That is, truly, one of the most powerful pathways to Self-Realization. Of course, there are solemn moments to life and, for me, solemnity often possesses its own beautiful joy … but when the light shines on hopelessly needy ME, the the joy, the energy, the love is so greatly diminished. Maybe we could find it in ourselves to laugh at that.

Can you really laugh at yourself? Can you laugh with others?

Frankly, when I have watched the video clips of Krishnamurti and Nisargadatta I really have trouble “not” thinking what jerks they appear to be. They seem to be such in your face bullies and know it alls. But maybe that’s me.

You’ll know that you have truly realized when you see the cosmic joke that lies behind every monument of the ego, whether it comes wrapped in the flag, in the sanctimonious garments of organized religion, or the phony values of the perfect family.

Liberation is seeing through the crap of seriousness, which is, in itself, a rather serious statement. Perhaps we may have to pass through the veil of seriousness to get to cosmic humor.

Get over yourself and hear the sound of laughter the moment you start pontificating to yourself and others.

It’s like the old chestnut … a horse walks into a bar and the bartender asks him, “So why the long face?”

So why the long face?


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  1. #1 by Kris on October 19, 2010 - 9:50 pm

    “A skeleton walks into a bar and orders a beer and a mop…”

    That horse joke always reminds me of this one too, and as Halloween is approaching fast I thought I’d share. Don’t know many jokes, but also don’t know much that isn’t funny in some way.

    Cosmic joke makes it hard not to smile regularly, and hard not to share that Navajo wisdom on grief and laughter. I’ve also heard it said that laughter is the only action that generates no karma.

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