Spiritual practice Eleven
Cultivating a sense of humor
The eleventh component of spiritual health is laughter and the cardinal sin # 11 taking the idols of the ego world seriously. The spiritual practice to mitigate taking the ego seriously is telling a joke, making light, and laughing as well as crying.
The world of the ego is insane. Taking it seriously leads to anxiety, depression, and in the extreme homicide and suicide. Taking the world of the ego seriously leads to war, and laughing at the incongruities and absurdities of the world of the ego leads to peace, joy, and bliss.
How can you make a joke, lighten up, and alter your mood and awareness in a spiritually healthy way? Puns and ironic bumper stickers are great. Jokes and humorous stories are fun as well.
Some of the stories about Jesus are pretty funny such as His turning water into wine at the wedding feast at Cana, and walking on water, and feeding five thousand people with a few fish and a couple of loaves of bread. Even Jesus’ dying on the cross and forgiving his executioners takes panache.
Tell a joke or funny story at least once per day. Laugh with people pointing out the absurdity or incongruity in situations. Practice your comedy routine and see to what extent you can bring light to a dark and ugly ego world. Experiment with ways to further develop your sense of humor. The smiling Buddha is one of the world’s favorite representations.
Laughter is a form of play and studies have shown that adults can become more playful if they practice play with intention. Tom foolery is good for you and your relationships. As St. Paul wrote, “We are all holy fools for Christ.”