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Re: Theos-World Jokes and Jokes

Mar 01, 2006 03:48 PM
by Bill Meredith

Why Not Laugh at Yourself?
By G. de Purucker

Many people talk about the heroism of self-conquest – something with which we all agree; but I sometimes wonder if our ideas of heroic battling with ourselves are not just a wee bit hysteriac, even foolish! I do not mean the heroism part of it, but this lower self of us, poor little thing! It plays havoc with us all the time, simply because we identify ourselves with it and always try to fight it and make it as big as we are. Is it heroic to fight a ghost of our own making?

How about wise old Lao-tse? If you want to conquer your lower self, make it ashamed of itself, make it look ridiculous. Laugh at it; laugh at yourself. So long as you pay attention to something, you dignify it and put it on your own level; and then when you attempt to fight it you are actually fighting another part of yourself which really could be enormously useful.

I have heard it said: kill out the lower self. Well, suppose we could do that? We should then be most unfortunate beings; in fact, we should not be here. This lower self when kept in order is a good little beastie. It helps us. Our duty is simply to keep it in order. Now when a man has a fractious dog or a horse or a cat, or some other pet, whatever it may be, he does not kick it and beat it and hit it on the head in order to make it good. He would be apt to make it rebellious, cowardly, and vicious; he would be degrading it. Thus the lower self should be neither degraded nor clothed with the false dignity of an adversary erroneously raised to the position of the spiritual self. It should be kept in its place and treated with kindness, consideration, and courtesy, but always with a firm and governing hand. When the lower self begins to presume, then put it in its proper place, but neither by brutality nor by dignifying it nor by fighting it. Ridicule your lower self, and you will soon see the lower self reassuming its proper position because full of temporary shame and loss of dignity – loss of face, as the Chinese say.

I do believe Lao-tse of China was wise in his statement which runs to the effect that one of the best ways of conquering a foe is to make him look ridiculous.

Now that does not work as between man and man, because it is often very harsh and cruel, the two being on the same level. You can hurt a human being horribly and unjustly by placing him in a false position through ridicule. No; but try it on yourself. The next time the lower self wants to tell you what to do, laugh at it; don't dignify it; don't give it position and power and strength by fighting it; on the other hand, do not abuse it or make it weak and vicious and cowardly. Put it in its proper place by ridicule and, indeed at times, a gentle contempt. Learn the greater heroism. Laugh at the thing which bothers you!

The role a sense of humor plays in life, which means in human thought and feeling and consequent conduct, and the role that humor plays in spiritual things is all too often overlooked. We may define a sense of humor as seeing the harmonious relations between apparently incongruous things, the congruities as among incongruities, arousing a sense of the funny in us.

The ability to see humor in what happens to ourselves is a spiritual attribute. After all, humor is at the very root of the universe; and I think that one of the greatest tragedies of individual existence has been the lack of the ability to see the funny side of things when troubles come. When disasters befall you, just try to see the funny side, and you not only save yourself in all likelihood a lot of trouble, but likewise you get a great kick out of it.

There is a great deal of sound science and philosophy in the old Hindu idea that Brahman brought forth the universe in play, in fun. In other words, the bringing forth of all things was not a tragedy; there was beauty in it, there was harmony in it; there was humor in it; and those who are in this universe can see the humor in it if they will.

Look at the religious wars and squabbles that never would have occurred if people had had a sense of humor. If people nowadays would see the funny side of things, then they would begin to live together, to love together, to laugh together, and to take counsel together instead of distrusting each other.

------reprinted from Theosophy Northwest View, Jan 00, V2, Issue 11

Bart Lidofsky wrote:
Cass Silva wrote:

The masters have always promoted a good sense of humour, I am sure
they would have no trouble laughing at themselves or laughing with
Morten. To sanctify them is outside the parameters of theosophy.
Perhaps you, Chuck, Bill, myself, and a few others should start an on-line Theosophical humor magazine...


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