Laughter is a natural and universal phenomenon witnessed in every society through all times. In some cultures it comes easy and increasingly in some societies it has been greatly repressed particularly in public.
A society that cannot laugh is unnatural and one can judge how liberated a civilisation is, by how easily and openly the people laugh.
Government officials, bosses of all kinds, rich and powerful people, priests and clergy, Masters and teachers, and in short, people who wield any position of authority, generally consider their presence in society as very important, even vital. With seemingly heavy weight on their shoulders they generally find it difficult to smile, leave alone laugh.
The great philosopher Osho made a vital observation. When we laugh, our mind stops analysing, thoughtless and free from anxiety, greed, regret, etc. This is exactly the same state we attain in meditation, to be free of the mind.
When we genuinely laugh, for those precious few moments we get disconnected from our material, mental, and emotional worlds. abandoning by reflex our artificial selves and revert to our most natural childlike, innocent state of being. The very same goal sought by all great masters.
It is at that moment we encounter the sacred.
We will laugh, and laugh frequently when we look at the absurdity of reality and of human existence and our ways. If we can only get over the ridiculous notion that laughter is a sign of the socially, financially, politically, intellectually and religiously lowly, we could easily progress in nourishing and setting free our spirit.
I crack jokes all the time, and don't mind it when my family and friends point out my idiosyncrasies and strangeness, after all I am human and unique just like everyone else. Laughing at oneself is spiritually therapeutic, for it tends to demolish our arrogance and release us from our ego (ego being an artificial construct we use to identify and define ourselves). This is a precondition for spiritual liberation.
This is why every royal court had a jester, a person who reveals the heavy truth in a light manner to let the monarch and the court know that they are but mortal and thus keep the monarch and his subjects sane and balanced.
The possibility of laughter is universally available to everyone, and probably the easiest way to meditate. Laughing frequently will lightly and in small steps could lead us to spiritual liberation.
Have you laughed recently?
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