In Profile: Laughter and Truth

Osho indicates laughter and non-seriousness as a key to creating paradise on earth. Read more on his vision here and a wealth of quotes from mystics, thinkers and authors throughout the ages who have known the power of laughter.

My commune is more like a tavern than a temple

Osho

“The enlightened person is always joyous, but the tradition, the convention cannot be joyous. The whole structure of a tradition is basically political; it is there to dominate, it is there to oppress, it is there to exploit. And you cannot exploit people playfully; you have to be very serious. You have to make them so sad, so afraid of life itself, you have to create so much trembling in their being, that out of that fear they fall into your hands; they become objects of your manipulation.

A man like me cannot exploit you, because this whole place is more like a tavern than a temple. It is more playful than serious. We are engaged in a beautiful game! The moment you think of it as a game, all seriousness disappears, things become lighter. You can walk in a dancing way; there is no weight on you.

Life has to be taken hilariously! Life is so full of laughter, it is so ridiculous, it is so funny that unless your juices have gone completely dry you cannot be serious. I have looked around at life in every possible way and it is always funny, whatever way you look at it! It gets funnier and funnier! It is such a beautiful gift of the beyond…

I am against all seriousness. My whole approach is that of humour, and the greatest religious quality is a sense of humour — not truth, not God, not virtue, but a sense of humour. If we can fill the whole earth with laughter, with dancing and singing — people singing and swinging! — if we can make the earth a carnival of joy, a festival of lights, we will have brought for the first time a true sense of religiousness to the earth.” Osho – “The Goose is Out”

“What is this precious love and laughter budding in our hearts? It is the glorious sound of a soul waking up!” Hafiz

“Be inwardly ever newly joyous, like the ever-fresh laughing waters of a gurgling brook.” Paramahansa Yogananda

Joy

“What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.” Yiddish Proverb

“When you laugh, aside from the endorphin rush, there’s also a spiritual opening. You’re not so tight inside yourself. That opening I’ve found to be a real gift, in people being able to absorb spirituality.” Rabbi Sydney Mintz

“But it certainly is a wonderful thing to wake up suddenly in the solitude of the woods and look up at the sky and see the utter nonsense of everything including all the solemn stuff given out by professional asses about the spiritual life; and simply to burst out laughing, and laugh and laugh, with the sky and the trees because God is not in words, and not in systems, and not in liturgical movements, and not in “contemplation” with a big “C,” or in asceticism or in anything like that.” Thomas Merton, Trappist monk

“Time spent laughing is time spent with the gods.” Japanese proverb

copyright maurizio jaya costantino

Laughing Buddha

“When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.” Buddha

“The point is seeing that THIS — the immediate, everyday and present experience — is IT, the entire and ultimate point for the existence of a universe. I believe that if this state of consciousness could become more universal, the pretentious nonsense which passes for the serious business of the world would dissolve in laughter…” Alan Watts

“I would not exchange the laughter of my heart for the fortunes of the multitudes; nor would I be content with converting my tears, invited by my agonised self, into calm. It is my fervent hope that my whole life on this earth will ever be tears and laughter. Tears that purify my heart and reveal to me the secret of life and its mystery, laughter that brings me closer to my fellow men; tears with which I join the broken-hearted, laughter that symbolizes joy over my very existence.” Kahlil Gibran

Baby laughing

“The first half of life is learning to be an adult—the second half is learning to be a child.” Pablo Picasso

“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” Victor Borge

“I have been confronted with many difficulties throughout the course of my life, and my country is going through a critical period. But I laugh often, and my laughter is contagious. When people ask me how I find the strength to laugh now, I reply that I am a professional laugher.” The Dalai Lama

John Cleese

“Laughter connects you with people. It’s almost impossible to maintain any kind of distance or any sense of social hierarchy when you’re just howling with laughter.” John Cleese

“Perhaps the mission of those who love mankind (humankind) is to make people laugh at the truth, to make truth laugh.” Aristotle

“At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities.” Jean Houston

Quotes courtesy of the Centre of Joy.

Laughing Buddha picture copyright Maurizio Jaya Costantino.

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