Osho Speaks about Laughter (part 4)

"The second type of laughter is when you laugh at yourself. This is worth achieving. This is cultured. And this man is valuable who can laugh at himself. He has risen above vulgarity. He has risen above lowly instincts – hatred, aggression, violence.

And the third is the last – the highest. This is not about anybody – neither the other nor oneself. The third is just Cosmic. You laugh at the whole situation as it is. The whole situation, as it is, is absurd – no purpose in the future, no beginning in the beginning. The whole situation of Existence is such that if you can see the Whole – such a great infinite vastness moving toward no fixed purpose, no goal – laughter will arise. So much is going on without leading anywhere; nobody is there in the past to create it; nobody is there in the end to finish it. 

Such is whole Cosmos – moving so beautifully, so systematically, so rationally. If you can see this whole Cosmos, then a laughter is inevitable. 

[A story] "I have heard about three monks. No names are mentioned, because they never disclosed their names to anybody. They never answered anything. In China, they are simply known as the three laughing monks.

And they did only one thing: they would enter a village, stand in the market place and start laughing. They would laugh with their whole being and suddenly people would become aware. Then others would also get the infection and a crowd would gather. The whole crowd would start laughing just because of them. What was happening? The whole town would get involved. Then they would move to another town. "They were loved very much. That was their only sermon, their only message; that laugh. And they would not teach; they would simply create a situation.

Then it happened that they became famous all over the country. Three laughing monks. All of China loved them, respected them. Nobody had ever preached in such a way that life must be just a laughter and nothing else. They were not laughing at anyone in particular. They were simply laughing as if they had understood the Cosmic joke. And they spread so much joy all over China without using a single word. People would ask for their names, but they would simply laugh. So that became their name – the three laughing monks.

Then they grew old. And while staying in one village. one of the three monks died. The whole village became very much expectant because they thought that when one of them had died, the other two would surely weep. This must be worth seeing because no one had ever seen these people weeping. The whole village gathered. But the two monks were standing beside the corpse of the third and laughing – such a belly laugh. So the villagers asked them to explain this."

Come back tomorrow for the end of Osho's story!

Osho Speaks about Laughter (part 3)

"A joke moves in two dimensions. First it moves in a logical dimension. You can conceive it. If the joke goes on logically to the very end, it will cease to be a joke; there will be no laughter. So suddenly the joke takes a turn and becomes so illogical that you cannot conceive it. And when the joke takes a turn and the result becomes illogical; then the expectation, the tension that was created in you, suddenly explodes. You relax. Laughter comes out.

Laughter is the relaxation. But tension is first needed. A story creates expectation, suspense and tension. You start feeling the crescendo. Now the crescendo will come. Something is going to happen. Your backbone is straight like that of a yogi. You have no more thoughts in the mind. The whole being is just waiting. All the energy is moving toward the conclusion. Suddenly something happens which the mind could not think of. Something absurd happens – something illogical, irrational.

The end is such that it was impossible for logic to think about it. And you explode. The whole energy that had become tense inside you suddenly gets relaxed. Laughter comes out through this relaxation. ”Man is bored. Hence he needs laughter. The more bored, the more laughter he will need. Otherwise, he cannot exist.

Thirdly, it has to be understood that there are three types of laughter. The first is when you laugh at someone else. This is the meanest, the lowest, the most ordinary and vulgar when you laugh at the expense of somebody else. This is the violent, the aggressive, the insulting type.  Deep down this laughter there is always a feeling of revenge."

Up next, Osho describes the other two types of laughter…

Osho Speaks about Laughter (part 2)

If you ask the question, "What is the meaning of it?", you will feel meaningless. And when meaninglessness is felt, one will be bored. Animals are not bored. Trees are not bored. Rocks are not bored. They never ask what the meaning and purpose of life is. They never ask; so they never feel it is meaningless. As they are, they accept it. As life is, it is accepted. There is no boredom. Man feels bored. And laughter is the antidote. You cannot live without laughter; because you can negate your boredom only through laughter. 

You cannot find a single joke in primitive societies. They don’t have any jokes. Jews have the largest number of jokes. And they are the most bored people on the earth. They must be bored; because they win more Nobel Prizes than any other community. During the whole of the last century, all the great names are almost all Jews – Freud Einstein, Marx. And look at the list of Nobel Prize winners. Almost half the Nobel Prize winners are Jews. They have the largest number of jokes.

And this may be the reason why all over the world Jews are hated. Everybody feels jealous of them because they win every competition. When you cannot compete with someone, hatred is the result. Jews must be feeling very bored. So they have to create jokes. Jokes are the antidote for boredom.

Laughter is needed for you to exist. Otherwise, you will commit suicide. Now try to understand the mechanism of laughter and how it happens. If I tell a joke, why do you laugh? What makes you laugh. What happens? What is the inner mechanism? If I tell a joke expectation is created. You start expecting. Your mind starts searching for what the end will be. And you cannot conceive the end.

More from Osho coming up…

Osho Speaks about Laughter (part 1)

"This is worth considering. It is significant. The first thing to understand is that except for man, no animal is capable of laughter. So laughter shows a very high peak in the evolution of life. If you go out on the street and see a buffalo laughing, you will be scared to death. And if you report it, then nobody will believe that it can happen. It is impossible. Why don’t animals laugh? Why can’t trees laugh?

There is a very deep cause for laughter. Only that animal can laugh which can get bored. Animals and trees are not bored. Boredom and laughter are the polar dualities, these are the polar opposites. They go together. And man is the only animal that is bored. Boredom is the symbol of humanity. Look at dogs and cats; they are never bored. Man seems to be deep in boredom. Why aren’t other animals bored? Why does man alone suffer boredom?

The higher the intelligence, the greater is boredom. The lower intelligence is not bored so much. That’s why primitives are happier. You will find people in the primitive societies are happier than those in civilized ones. Bertrand Russel became jealous when for the first time, he came into contact with some primitive tribes. He started feeling jealous. The aboriginals were so happy, they were not bored at all. Life was a blessing to them. They were poor starved, almost naked. In every way, they had noth-ing.

But they were not bored with life. In Bombay, in New York, in London, everybody is bored. The higher the level of intelligence and civilization, the greater the boredom.  ”So the secret can be understood. The more you can think, the more you will be bored; because through thinking you can compare time as past, future and present. Through thinking you can hope. Through thinking you can ask for the meaning of it all. And the moment a person asks: ”What is the meaning of it?” boredom enters, because there is no meaning in anything, really."

Osho's satsang on laughter continues…  Stay tuned for part two.

Comedy at Morgan Hill

I did a set tonight in Morgan Hill, California.  Far far away from, well, anything it seems.  I'm very uninterested in political material, partly because I never feel as informed as I'd like to be to back up my arguments, partly because it's annoying to talk about something that I care about and find out who the Republicans are in the audience.  Then I wonder what they're thinking of me, and if they're thinking as poorly of my opinions as I am of theirs, and in general it's just unpleasant.  So I did some of my new material about my trip to India and meditating, and it went incredibly well in a room mostly full of Christian Republicans.  They had fun, I had fun.  They heckled, I heckled back.  People always apologize to me after shows where they heckle me.  Like somehow we're old buddies.  Ok.  Be my buddy.  Fine.  But so I was surprised that my material, which is designed for a room full of new agey spiritual types actually went over with the straight crowd.  Good to be doing standup again.

Monsoon Ashram

Something stranged is happening in India. It's raining. In March. You've heard of monsoon season? Well, it usually doesn't start for at least another month. Chalk it up to GW or pretend it's just a little spotting. Either way, it's raining, and it's wet.
It had already started to rain during my 30 km rickshaw ride to Sivananda Ashram in Kerala two weeks ago. I arrived with the brilliant and shining hope of beginning my lifelong yoga practice here. A Kenyan guy with dreadlocks said, "I tink you brought de rain," as he showed me to my dorm in the first of many downpours.
The Ashram runs two-week "Yoga Vacations" (as well as month-long yoga teacher trainings.) There's an exacting schedule of 5:20 wakeup with three daily gatherings for chanting, meditation, and, puja and four hours of yoga per day. It was exhausting until I fell in with a Bad Crowd and learned I could skip the boring stuff and sleep in! Waves of contentment and displeasure would pass over the entire ashram from day to day. One day, people would be complaining and talking about leaving, the next day, the louder voices were from excited Yoga Vacationers who finally achieved a headstand.
Much of the time, I was severely shaking from a deadly combination internet and telephone withdrawal and too much chai. My relaxing Yoga Moments were occasional. It would rain during yoga classes, overnight, while we were lining up for a meal outside, and miraculously clear up for a moonlight walk to the lake. The rain, thunder, and lightning, which are a delight to the senses, are also quite hellish on one's clothing. The sweaty yoga shirt, once washed in a bucket with some Tide, would hang on the lines next to our beds, fan fan running day and night, damp for three days, turning into a lush resort for some special Indian mold reunion. The clothes do not dry. I began wearing damp clothes hoping my body heat would cure them before the mold took root. And forget about dry feet or sandals, ever. (It's amazing I've come out of the place with all my toenails intact.)
Something about being in an ashram, lax as it was, made me agitated and anxious, and I think it has nothing to do with sitting with myself and having to listen to all those inner voices screaming things like, "Why are you doing yoga?" and "Your foot doesn't belong behind your shoulder." and "Who is this elephant god we're praying to?"

Standup India

Saturday night Sivananda Ashram has a talent show. I haven't done standup since I've been in India, and I was itching to get on stage. Oh, the "stage" is also the altar to Sivananda, Vishnudevananda and several gods. It's not your typical smoky comedy club; it's a sort of temple with 200 yoga-teachers in training, a few swamis and sadhus, and yogis, and yours truly. And I have to say that I totally rocked the temple with a set about Indian toilets and lusty yogis that ended with a hilarious and totally inappropriate bit about "being in the present." People were coming up to me for days afterward saying they were literally in tears from laughing so hard. It doesn't get better than that. (I actually captured the set on my camera and will send a link when it's up.)

Kanyakumari, the Egde of the World

One Friday (the day of the week dedicated to the Divine Mother) we took a bus trip to Kanyakumari, the southern tip of India. Spent a wonderful day with friends from Quebec, Brazil, and Colombia. We saw temples, the Vivekananda museum and ashram, a place where Gandhi's ashes were held, and best of all, the convergence of three oceans. In Kanyakumari, you can look out over the ocean, and see the sun rise and set over the horizon without moving from your vantage point. Oh, we also went to a waterfall and ate this delicious flaky desert made with ghee called Soan Papdi, which you have to try. Just do it. Seriously.

Driving in India is One Big Game of Chicken.

So… I was hanging out in Aurangabad for a number of days. It's a slightly larger city, less than a million people. You have to book trains quite far in advance, and I was a bit sick to take a bus, so I booked a ride in a car a day and a half from Aurangabad to Hampi, stopping at a mosque called Golgumbaz and a bunch of temples in between. Golgumbaz has the second largest dome in the world after St. Petersburg. I met a couple there who were married four days back, and they invited me to their wedding reception (my second so far)! But I was on my way to Hampi with Nandu and Shotrugun, two driver's of Ashok's, the rickshaw guy listed in the Loneley Planet for Aurangabad. It was in fact a terrifying day and a half of driving with two very pleasant men. Driving in India is one big game of chicken. It's mostly one lane each way, and the road is shared with cows, goats, chickens, kids, rickshaws, busses, and giant trucks that says "goods carrier" on the front and "please horn ok please" painted in English (and Hindi?) on the back. Technically, one drives on the left side in India, but you wouldn't always know it from where you are in the road. Honking horns while passing is polite, and pretty much everyone passes everyone all the time, regardless of how much space is between vehicles. And then a motorcycle passes in between whoever is passing who. There's nothing like the rush of your tenth near-miss, passing a bus at full speed, while also watching a bus pass a line of trucks in "your" lane, and not seeing one driver break a sweat or slow down. They make James Dean look like Howard Dean.
In the past three days, I've seen my first monkeys, camels, and elephant in the temples. You can't swing a set of prayer beads without hitting an ancient temple here. There's one in my backyard. I passed through Bijaur, Badami, and Pattadakal, all with incredible carved caves, temples, pools. One of my favorite things is that there are constantly groups of school children visiting the monuments, and they all want to say hello and take pictures. They're totally friendly and full of life and playful. They're like sqirrels in Yosemite, who haven't had the fear of humans instilled in them. I got to hold a baby for a photo when a family introduced themselves to me at Golgombaz.
I booked a train ticket out of Hampi right when I arrived, in order to avoid riding the overnight bus. Met a guy named Mitch from Italy slash Germany, and we've been touring the temples and restaurants together.
Sai Baba was supposed to be in Hospet, so we caught a half hour bus across the river, and walked for a number of kilometers to try to see him, but didn't find him. We had an incredible street dish called Gobi Manchurian (chinese fusion dish with deep fried cauliflower and red spices). There is a constant stream of male attention here. As I'm typing, the guy who runs the cafe has just asked where I'm from, what is my name, and if he can take a picture of me. It's flattering, annoying, and overwhelming. It's said that Mother India is a very male country, and I've discovered that female infantacide is somewhat common, which one reason there's so much dude vibe here. Did I mention this before?
Last night, the women at my guest house helped me put on my new silk sari (which is incredibly difficult and I don't remember how) put flowers in my hair, put a necklace on me, and we walked out to this restaurant called The Mango Tree, which overlooks a river and the cottages across the river. All of the shopkeepers shouted out, "Indian girl!" and "Nice sari!" This place is a wonderful tourist trap, but also a very sweet little community of people (about 2,000) who all know each other, and the kids run around all day on their own it seems (with no diapers! but I've seen much more cow poop than baby poop). We walked around and looked at drums in the bazarre (I'm going to try learning to play one today) and I got my hands and arms painted with henna last night while having lemon chai fed to me and chatting with the mendhi people who were from Delhi. Incredible mendhi work. (Still haven't uploaded my photos, but I'll send a flickr link to my album as soon as I do.) The mendhi woman was three years older than me and had an 18 year old son.
The computer I'm typing on is missing the enter key. It's very funny.
I just bought a book by Ravi Shankar called "God Loves Fun." Ravi says "Stop thinking. Thinking is the source of all your worries. If you didn't use words, you won't have any words to worry with." I have very few worries today.
My speech has morphed into the kind of English one speaks with babies. "You want eat?" "I from USA." "What you name?" It's like one big Robert Hawkins joke. "No step here!" "You five dollah!"
I made the right choice to take that off-the-beaten-path route down here. I'm off to Bangalore, Pondicherry, and maybe Auroville (or an ashram) in a couple of days. Looking forward to Ayruvedic massages, chanting, and meeting more new and interesting people every day. What a great perk of traveling!
Be happy!