Alternatively written as "Laughter is always an optionâ€�. Itâ€™s possible to get to a state of consciousness where you're laughing and every time they you think about it, you laugh harder.
The secret has a plain, literal meaning: when navigating the overlapping and underlapping corridors of consciousness, people sometimes get confused or anxious or paranoid. It's difficult to act resolutely in such a state, but at least you know that laughing is always an option.
Laughing is a mysterious and meaningful aspect of consciousness, a mysterious force that seems to rise up from your body to take over your mind. Sometimes you can have complete control over it, sometimes you have no control whatever, most of the time you have some control. It may be possible to cultivate control over this energy to reach normally unattainable states of bliss. (Note that this paragraph applies just as well sexual experience.)
One metacommentologist pointed out that when you exaggerate something to an absurd level, that's funny. So maybe laughter is like an alarm that sounds to let you know you've gone way off the truth, and it points you back in the right direction. It's dharmatropic: it points you towards truth.
Laughter is a way orf disrespecting something, not taking it seriously. By laughing, we learn to take fewer and fewer things seriously. When you take nothing at all seriously, you will be completely enlightened.
Laughter as dissolving illusion
Another explanation is that laughter happens when we see through the illusion that words and symbols are reality. Jokes tend to use language to describe something that would be absurd if it existed in reality. So you see that words/symbols are not reality and enter the reality of A Magical Trumpet Called Bill, which is insane, hilarious and Absolute.
Schopenhauer, in The World as Will and Representation, writes, "the phenomenon of laughter always signifies the sudden apprehension of an incongruity between such a concept and the real object thought through it, and hence between what is abstract and perceptive." Exactly.
Take this joke from Alice In Wonderland for instance:
"The patriotic archbishop of Canterbury, found it advisableâ€”"\ "Found what?" said the Duck.\ "Found it," the Mouse replied rather crossly: "of course you know what 'it' means."\ "I know what 'it' means well enough, when I find a thing" said the Duck: "it's generally a frog or a worm. The question is, what did the archbishop find?"
What makes this funny is that the same words ('found it') are used to describe two experiences that are not at all the same - the archbishop finding something to be adviable, and the duck finding a worm. We laugh because the difference between experiences and how we talk about them is exposed.(Once, a metacommentologist took acid and realized that the key to illumination lies in appreciating how hilariously erotic and erotically hilarious everything is)
Lie on your back with your knees drawn up, like you were going to do sit-ups. Now start laughing. (Alternatively, just stand around and move with the laughter, doubling over, reeling around the room as comes naturally.) Think of the laughter not as something you do with your mouth or throat, but as spontaneous spasms of the abdomen. When a thought pops into your head, laugh at it. When you feel a sensation in your body - like an itch - laugh at it. When you hear a noise, laugh at it. If a picture comes to your mind's eye, laugh at it. When you laugh, laugh about that too. Everything in your mind, every attachment, every egotistical identification, every identity, every meaning must be laughed at, for truly, such things are hilarious. Practise with your eyes open or closed, whichever works for you. The laughter will die out occasionally; that is fine - just start it again as soon as possible. With practise, you'll be able to sustain high laughter for several minutes unbroken.
The student would be well advised to practise this exercise at least once daily, for about four minutes at a time. One could speculate about positive effects on mental and physical health, but that's not my style. The purpose of this exercise is, obviously, to learn to see the absurd and hilarious in all things. If we accept the paragraph above about laughter dissolving the illusion that the map is the territory, then this exercise is good for transcending the illusion.
The amazing thing about this meditation is that it automatically stops all verbal thought, something that is otherwise nearly impossible.
- Henri Bergson's essay on laughter
- Every South Park episode online
- Every Futurama episode online
- Every Family Guy episode online
- Chappelle's Show