“People suffer only because they take seriously what the gods made for fun.” –Alan Watts
Recently a Wiser-than-Thou on social media told me that I am too far light-hearted about enlightenment.
I lack depth, effort, commitment, gravitas. I’m not goal-oriented enough, not suffering enough, not serious enough, and not working hard enough to fix all that.
"With you, it is only 'laugh until you die,'” they said.
Well gosh, yes, that does sound terrible.
More effort, less laughter. Got it.
For many fundamentalists, there’s no wisdom or value in humor.
There’s no room for lightness in enlightenment.
But, see… the word itself contains… Ok never mind.
“The enlightened fool sees the ego trips of society and still finds joy and laughter in its midst. The fool is often the one with crazy wisdom. With laughter and jokes as their weapon, the fool possesses a wisdom that is out of reach of the conformist." --George Carlin
In this same online conversation (aka lecture), I was given the (unrequested) advice to start looking for, “I am.”
While being informed that, “I am” is always here.
Soooooo, why would I look for it? It’s here already.
Maybe I have to look for it in order for I am to be here?
Ok, I'll start looking for both seriousness and I am, soon as I'm done looking for the sense in these comments.
I mean, have these important people never heard of the cosmic joke?
Y’know, joke. As in, funny.
“Life as it is should be enough of a reason to laugh. It is so absurd, it is so ridiculous. It is so beautiful. It is a cosmic joke.” --Osho
The cosmic joke is: we are what we are seeking.
Already. Seek it or not.
So I mean sure, I can keep looking for what I’ve already got.
But… Well OK yeah, that is pretty funny.
“I laugh when I think how I once sought paradise as a realm outside of the world of birth. It is the laughter of one who, after having painfully searched for something for a long time, finds it one morning in the pocket of his coat." --Thich Nhat Hanh
All these wise-guys taking their selves and their approaches and methods ever so earnestly, determinedly, unsmilingly.
And apparently they’re taking mine and everyone else's the same way too. Because their own heaviness is not enough- they want us to catch it also.
And yet, what exactly is it that needs to be “taken” seriously?
It’s not the self- we don’t even know what that is. Fiction doesn’t care how it’s “taken.”
Is it I am? Does I am insist on weighty solemnity?
But if so it needs to lighten up. Because let’s face it, these selves are ridiculous.
“Enlightenment is so light– just like laughter. The theologians have made it so heavy, so burdensome, that people ignore it.” --Osho
Besides, what isn’t funny about this spiritual stuff?
Nothing, that’s what.
“Lila, (Sanskrit: “play" ) in Hinduism: the effortless or playful relation between the Absolute, or brahman, and the contingent world.” --wikipedia
Meanwhile, all those online lecturing non-dual finger-waggers- I really do feel for them.
Really, I do.
Not enough to engage them in conversation, of course.
But still, it seems like a hard way to spend this one precious life (apologies, Mary Oliver)- to be constantly seeking what’s already here, trying to become what one already is.
All that striving. For something they’ve already got.
And meanwhile, so many so-called awake people just spontaneously combust anyway, unasked-for, without a lick of effort. How does that fit into the fundamentalist model?
Now to be clear, I am not saying only laugh it up and ignore any pain or seriousness.
But to avoid lightness because it messes up some made-up rule of attainment is absurd, and not in a funny way.
Because humor disarms the mind and eases its resistance in ways the direct assault of effort and method often cannot do.
So for many folks, the serious, goal-oriented substance of what this self achieves and personally makes happen, is actually in the way.
Maybe we need more not-important, more trivial, more merry whimsical shallowness. More laughing not less.
“I Am a Professional Laugher.” --Dalai Lama
Because existence is happening, and it appears to adore our silly funny selves.
And what part of I am doesn’t want to celebrate that, often, and with gusto?
And also because really,
if enlightenment is not lighter,
why would anyone even want it
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"When you realize how perfect everything is, you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky”
-- Siddharta Guatama