Osho on Laughter
IT IS FOR THE FIRST TIME I HAVE BEEN SO CLOSE TO YOU. WHEN I AM SITTING HERE WITH YOU I FEEL MY HEART IN TUNE WITH YOUR HEART, I FEEL A DEEP LOVE FOR YOU. BUT I ALSO FEEL MY OUTER SERIOUSNESS. WHY IS LAUGHTER SO DIFFICULT FOR ME?
Laughter is one of the things most repressed by society all over the world, in all the ages. Society wants you to be serious. Parents want their children to be serious, teachers want their students to be serious, the bosses want their servants to be serious, the commanders want their armies to be serious. Seriousness is required of everybody. Laughter is dangerous and rebellious. When the teacher is teaching you and you start laughing, it will be taken as an insult. Your parents are saying something to you and you start laughing — it will be taken as an insult.
Seriousness is thought to be honor, respect.
Naturally laughter has been repressed so much that even though life all around is hilarious, nobody is laughing. If your laughter is freed from its chains, from its bondage, you will be surprised — on each step there is something hilarious happening. Life is not serious. Only graveyards are serious, death is serious. Life is love, life is laughter, life is dance, song.
But we will have to give life a new orientation. The past has crippled life very badly, it has made you almost laughter blind, just like there are people who are colorblind. There are ten percent of people who are colorblind — it is a big percentage, but they are not aware that they are colorblind…
The constant repression of laughter has made you laughter blind. Situations are happening everywhere, but you cannot see that there is any reason to laugh. If your laughter is freed from its bondage, the whole world will be full of laughter. It needs to be full of laughter; it will change almost everything in human life. You will not be as miserable as you are. In fact, you are not as miserable as you look — it is misery plus seriousness that makes you look so miserable. Just misery plus laughter, and you will not look so miserable!..
Just look around at life and try to see the humorous side of things. Every event that is happening has its own humorous side, you just need a sense of humor. No religion has accepted the sense of humor as a quality. I want a sense of humor to be a fundamental quality of a good man, of a moral man, of a religious man.
And it does not need much looking; you just try to see it, and everywhere….
Seriousness has become almost part of our bones and blood. You will have to make some effort to get rid of seriousness, and you will have to be on the lookout — wherever you can find something humorous happening, don’t miss the opportunity. Everywhere there are people who are slipping on banana peels — just nobody is looking at them. In fact, it is thought to be ungentlemanly. It is not, because only bananas slip on banana peels. Laughter needs a great learning, and laughter is a great medicine. It can cure many of your tensions, anxieties, worries; the whole energy can flow into laughter. And there is no need that there should be some occasion, some cause.
In my meditation camps I used to have a laughing meditation: for no reason, people would sit and just start laughing. At first they would feel a little awkward that there was no reason — but when everybody is doing it… they would also start. Soon, everybody was in such a great laughter, people were rolling on the ground. They were laughing at the very fact that so many people were laughing for no reason at all; there was nothing, not even a joke had been told. And it went on like waves.
So there is no harm… even just sitting in your room, close the doors and have one hour of simple laughter. Laugh at yourself. But learn to laugh. Seriousness is a sin, and it is a disease. Laughter has tremendous beauty, a lightness. It will bring lightness to you, and it will give you wings to fly. And life is so full of opportunities. You just need the sensitivity. And create chances for other people to laugh. Laughter should be one of the most valued, cherished qualities of human beings — because only man can laugh, no animals are capable of it. Because it is human, it must be of the highest order. To repress it is to destroy a human quality.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: Beyond Enlightenment
Chapter title: Whatsoever happens in silence is your friend
30 October 1986 pm in Buddha Hall
Osho has spoken on ‘Laughter, Celebration, Joy, Dance’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses: