Sacred Humor: Cultivating a Good Sense of Humor


waldo-finds-himself“Humor must not professedly teach and it must not professedly preach, but it must do both if it would live forever.” – Mark Twain

A good sense of humor transubstantiates the world. It dethrones the emperor in the mind while revealing he’s not even wearing any clothes. By maintaining a healthy sense of humor we avoid the stultifying situation of being in total control of ourselves, and the equally fruitless situation of losing control altogether.

Let us not be serious. Let us simply be sincere. Like Swami Beyondananda said, “It’s time to take humor seriously and seriousness humorously.” A certain infusion of laughter, even in its least popular form, is a prodigious help towards bearing the hardships of life. Self-seriousness gets us nowhere but closer to a denial of reality. Humor, on the other hand, gets us everywhere closer to a self-actualization of reality.

This is because having a good sense of humor unites wisdom and acumen with foolishness and enchantment. The cosmos opens up, as it opens us up, to its infinite mysteries. No box, no comfort zone, no mental paradigm ever stood a chance against the self-empowering adaptability of a healthy sense of humor.

Sacred humor is a divine self-awareness of the absurdity of the human condition. It is the delighted recognition of our own fallibility and a loving cynicism of our own pretense. It is the full recognition that we are each god-in-hiding. We see how our Soul is playing hide-and-go-seek with our Ego. Humor debunks the ego’s pride in itself, not masochistically, but in the spirit of cosmic joy. Let us embrace this particular flavor of absurdity, let us hug the hurricane, let us bosom the apocalypse. If we should transcend the paradigm, so be it. If not, at least we’re laughing.

importance-of-laughter-humourSacred humor reminds us to work hard, but to play harder. Having a sense of play transforms life into a sacred game, a game that alters the way in which the human soul interacts with the cosmos. Is it not in the throes and ecstasy of play that we are the most happy? Is it not through the free-flow of artistic non-attachment that true happiness is realized?

Playfulness opens us up to our own unique creativity and capacity for personal fulfillment. One of the keys to happiness is keeping the passion, love, and joyful exuberance of life in the moment: carpe punctum (seize the moment) leads to carpe diem (seize the day) leads to carpe vita (seize the life).

Amidst the absurdity of it all, humor is the glue that binds. It all at once humbles us by knocking us off hand-me-down high-horses, and props us up by providing a platform upon which we can laugh at the “powers-that-be.” All while wearing a goofy hat. It refuses to allow us to get ahead of ourselves, while at the same time it propels us ahead of the “horse and cart” of our expectations.

Having a good sense of humor is having flexibility in the face of life’s demands. It is the realization that our expectations mean nothing, and that sacred laughter can usually break the spell our expectations cast over our lives.

At the end of the day, the cosmos is an infinite musical vibration, a sacred resonance. We are the divine instrument upon which that music gets played. But it is our responsibility to keep our instrument tuned. If our instrument is not tuned then the music that gets played will be inaudible and dissonant.

The video below shows Liza Donnelly talks about how humor can empower women to change the rules.

If our instruments are tuned then the music that gets played will be audible and assonant. It really is that simple. The universe is already tuned. It is waiting for us to tune ourselves so that it can play its sacred music upon us.

The best way to tune the body is through exercise and meditation. The best way to tune the mind is to read and reflect. The best way to tune the soul is to have, and to practice, a good sense of humor.

Image Source:

Robin Williams
Waldo finds himself

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  • Gary 'Z' McGee, a former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide awake view of the modern world.

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