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Fool Realization

--by Steve Bhaerman (Oct 04, 2011)


In the Greek tradition, tragedies were four act plays that ended sadly and badly -- kind of like situation comedies without the laugh track. Comedies, on the other hand, had a fifth act where the sad or bad circumstance that ended Act IV is resolved.  So ... comedy encompasses tragedy, thanks to an Act V.

Thinking of life as a comedy in this sense would seem counterintuitive. Far, far more humans exit this world suffering than do laughing. However, the presumption there is that the end of earthly life is the end of existence.  As physicists have discovered, it seems that all of existence is “here now” -- and through our perceptions, we the observers choose reality on a “need to exist basis.”  In this sense, there is no such thing as past or future.  Everything that has ever existed or ever will exist is in existence now.
 
Meanwhile, we have the numerous and often similar reports of “near death experiences,” where those who return report seeing blinding light, feeling overwhelming love, meeting divine entities and loved ones.  Are these experiences “real?”  Are they just a function of brain chemistry offering one last chemical impulse?
 
Of course, our current dominant paradigm of scientific materialism would have us believe that these experiences are purely chemical.  On the other hand, we have thousands of years of human spiritual tradition that tells us otherwise.  Among those stories is the story of a Tragedy, and a Comedy.  The story of the crucifixion would have been a tragedy ... had it ended there.  However, a fifth act has been added on to the story.  The Resurrection transforms the tragedy into a Comedy. Whether or not you buy the body of beliefs that comprise Christianity, don’t you think it’s significant that the leading western religious authority all but proclaims that life is a comedy?  And if that’s the case, why aren’t they laughing?  Why aren’t we laughing?
 
We aren’t laughing because we have been conditioned to believe that life is serious.  
 
Perhaps this conditioning to seriousness is why the world is in such serious condition.  Perhaps to get to both the “ha ha” that is the punch line to life, and the “aha” we get when we awaken in the wake of cosmic laughter, we need to look at life itself as a journey to “fool realization.” 
 
--Steve Bhaerman a.k.a. Swami Beyondananda, from "Wake up Laughing"


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22 Previous Reflections:

 
On Oct 11, 2011 Thierry wrote:

So I-You have different opinions, interpretations about reality. We may argue, express conviction, but, in the end, we have no certainty. Conviction is not certainty. So, I then come to a stand-still. I see that the only unshakable cerainty is that I am witnessing a me having an opinion, or rather, being an opinion. Now, I feel how it feels like to be that opinion: how limited, restrictive, divisive it feels. That perception dissolves the perceiver as well as the perceived. Opinions, judgements dissolve along with the thinker. In their place, a gap, a space a not-knowing. I have come to that only fact: I don't know! Can I stay with that awareness that thought is limited, that it cannot grasp, least of all figure out, what reality, God, whatever we call it, is?



On Oct 10, 2011 Dinesh wrote:

Below are audio excerpts from this week's talk by BJ Miller who has walked a remarkable journey with elegant grace ...



On Oct 9, 2011 Yoghio wrote:

Yes, sanity of mind is related to this question and he must be a very happy person the one  who thinks he is free from all trace of insanity. Those people whose words bring sanity, not just normality,  are a blessing to this world . I have come to the point where I understand that thought cannot grasp, cannot figure out the mystery of it all and I have stopped fooling around with interpretations about reality. This does'nt mean I have shut myself to those insights which come when the mind is somewhat more silent than pro-active. 'Magical' wishful thinking will more surely bring hell than it will paradise if there is the least trace of insanity in you. If you do not believe me, ask Mordred !



On Oct 7, 2011 Melissa wrote:

AND this reading ends wtih something comedic --The author apparently took the name "Beyondananda! " Hee hee!

 

 

 



On Oct 6, 2011 innerchange wrote:

Coincidentally, came across this adage from the village elders of Burundi, via Tracy Kidder's "Strength in What Remains": "When too much is too much or too bad is too bad, we laugh as if it was too good" 



On Oct 6, 2011 Yoghio wrote:

Hi Somik. I am enjoying this forum. 

Humour : the teachers I feel endebted to , J.Krishnamurti, E.T., the Crazy Teacher (Andrew Cohen), all  have ( or had) a great sense of humour, each in his own, unique style. But this humour sprouts naturally from teachings which focus on the real, actual tragi-comic foolishness of the egoic self . Their acute presence, the intelligence they so naturally convey does the job. 

Some ideas or concepts or 'corecepts' may demand that we contemplate them, such as: belief comes before experience. We are, what we believe; we  experience accordingly. That's difficult to believe if you believe it's difficult to believe! It was good fun walking the path of the avatar for a while. Until the moment I realised thought had created monstruous every day realities and much more rarely, miracles. 



On Oct 6, 2011 Susan Lovejoy wrote:

" Ideas turn into reality, or facts, all the time. Look around we would see a good percentage of our reality were merely ideas before"

 

RE: FACTS ..

There is no-thing but ever-changing energy ...   I claim that whether defined as an idea or 'reality', this energy  is only different in its form, and I would argue that it is the dynamic idea-form could never be described as "only" when without the idea, no-thing could ever transform into the aggregation of atoms and molecules which we consider 'reality'. .... and this constantly changes form to become some other no-thing ...

Since we keep eternally learning and to claim anything as cold hard fact/reality is the joke we play on ourselves.  So too, must our spiritual beliefs be open to questioning and revision as we grow in spirit.



On Oct 6, 2011 Bela Shah wrote:

 The best part of yesterday's Wednesday is tied: Was it the stories exchanged and the laughter shared after the reading )? Or was it the newcomer who told me, "You know, I really needed a meditation today but I wasn't sure where to find a group to meditate with. And then I scrolled the Bloombars website and saw they had a Wednesday meditation group...I thought, man, how perfect!"



On Oct 6, 2011 Somik Raha wrote:

Yoghio --> I would be inclined to agree with your comment if Swami B was saying, "The joke is on Jesus." However, it seems to me that he is saying the exact opposite, "The joke is on the persecutors of Jesus, who inspite of their huge efforts, could not suppress him."

I once asked a monk, "Sir, we all like to think we are following Karma Yoga (Finding unity through action), but how do I know that I am not fooling myself, and just performing egoistic action?" 

The monk replied, "When all your projects fail, and you still have the ability to laugh with authenticity, then you will know that you are following karma yoga."

The humour that allows us to develop a deeper awareness of who we are is no less a path than others in the journey of self-development



On Oct 6, 2011 Xiaoshan wrote:

"If I engage into actively propagate a set of lovely ideas, which, by definition, are non-facts."


Ideas turn into reality, or facts, all the time. Look around we would see a good percentage of our reality were merely ideas before. Some of these ideas turned into tangible facts such as the Golden Gate Bridge (it was an engineer's dream for years), and some turned into less tangible (or intangible) facts such as many of the social changes occurring around us but they are equally real.

"Will that transform my experience of life?" Yes. 

Neverthless there are ideas that perhaps would never turn into 'facts' of any sort. But, as long as they are part of your experience, they are transforming you, with, or without your realization.



On Oct 6, 2011 Yoghio wrote:

If I engage into actively propagate a set of lovely ideas, which, by definition, are non-facts, will that transform my experience of life? I may feel better for a while, meet with likely minded people and feel less isolated. Will not those ideas, the peculiar atmosphere created by the guru, somewhat subtly distort my perception of people, situations? Will I become a light to myself when faced with the multiple challenges of daily existence?



On Oct 5, 2011 Sant Das wrote:

A great thinker, philosopher said that "What is life? , Life is little comedies and little tragedies of everyday life!"  But if/when this balance is unusually unbalance then there is a question arises. If it is manageble or one could know how to cop with that situation, then the comedy and the tragedy of life would be balanced. So to learn coppping with or dealing with or managing the hard situation is the key of life that one should learn.



On Oct 5, 2011 Yoghio wrote:

Yes , it is the Fool's role to mirror the monarch's hubris, megalomania, pretenses, distortions etc. Perfectly so.



On Oct 4, 2011 Somik Raha wrote:

 Great reflection, Susan!



On Oct 4, 2011 Kinjal wrote:

Great passage. thanks for sharing.



On Oct 4, 2011 Susan wrote:

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Steve/Swami/

Being "foolish" is one of the bravest and most powerful act we can commit in our lives:  to accept the fact that we are powerful beings, in charge of our own reality and  keeps us from being reactionary instead of PROactive.  It's not for nothing that the "Fool" in the king's court was one of the most powerful beings of his entourage.  He was the only one who could tell truth to power and keep on living.  We are always choosing to frame (create) our own reality and "understanding the cosmic joke" and laughing along with it is one of the most important keys to good health.  Might I recommend Rob Breszny's site: freewillastrology.com/   and his book "Pronoia is the antidote for paranoia"  

Susan



On Oct 4, 2011 Yoghio wrote:

Listening to Swami SoandSo, it all ends up in comedy! According to his very disciples, Jesus smiled but hardly ever laughed.  When he spoke of resurrection, it was not in  humorous terms: don't worry, blokes, it's all very funny in the end, ah, ah, ah! And the word "resurrection", for all we know, coming from a spiritual master who used to express himself through symbols,  may well point towards a state of being where man has shed the old, foolish, mischievious self and is in a state of innocence and joy. You don't cease to make life into a tragedy by 'thinking' it is part of an all - incompassing comedy. This is just another bit of laughable, foolish thinking. Thank you, swamiji. 



On Oct 4, 2011 David wrote:

Thanks for your inspiring message.

As Christians, we have been taught to cry with the ones who are crying and laugh with the ones who are laughing.Sadly the state of the world is such that there are more reasons to cry than to laugh-more misery about than comedies to laugh at !

David  



On Oct 2, 2011 Xiaoshan wrote:

Not too long ago read about a seemingly very serious social scientist claims that "the real reason that a man and a woman would get married is because that is the most economic way to satisfy one's sexual desire". It made me want to laugh and weep at the same time... Thank you Bhaerman.  See full.

Not too long ago read about a seemingly very serious social scientist claims that "the real reason that a man and a woman would get married is because that is the most economic way to satisfy one's sexual desire". It made me want to laugh and weep at the same time... Thank you Bhaerman.

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On Oct 2, 2011 Catherine Todd wrote:

You wrote: " don’t you think it’s significant that the leading western religious authority all but proclaims that life is a comedy"

Who is "the leading western religious authority" you are refering to?



On Oct 2, 2011 Yoghio wrote:

When we listen intently to the background noise of the universe, we hear the grand old laughter of the Jolly Green Giant. This because, when he first spilled his can of chickpeas, 14 billions years ago, to his own surprise, some fell into our plates to be eaten and others became stars.



On Oct 1, 2011 Conrad wrote:

You have my gratitude for the opportunity to respond.. What first came to mind was Dale Carnegie's suggestion that each of us give ourselves permission to be foolish for 2 minutes a day. When we are foolish, we are usually foolish for 5 seconds here, or 15 seconds there. That gives us much time to be foolish. When one gives oneself permission to be foolish, one need not wonder whether others think one is foolish. One knows they think one is foolish because one is foolish and that is okay. Beyond 2 min. a day  can be a problem. By foolish I don't mean hurting oneself or others. By foolish, I mean doing something that we other wise might feel embarrassed to do when some often  abused norm like school  "obedience to authority" is often excessively demanded by  authorities.It is not foolish to avoid complying when complying would not provide the greatest good for the greatest number. as many school rules do not promote powerful student learnings and  self  See full.

You have my gratitude for the opportunity to respond.. What first came to mind was Dale Carnegie's suggestion that each of us give ourselves permission to be foolish for 2 minutes a day. When we are foolish, we are usually foolish for 5 seconds here, or 15 seconds there. That gives us much time to be foolish. When one gives oneself permission to be foolish, one need not wonder whether others think one is foolish. One knows they think one is foolish because one is foolish and that is okay. Beyond 2 min. a day  can be a problem. By foolish I don't mean hurting oneself or others. By foolish, I mean doing something that we other wise might feel embarrassed to do when some often  abused norm like school  "obedience to authority" is often excessively demanded by  authorities.It is not foolish to avoid complying when complying would not provide the greatest good for the greatest number. as many school rules do not promote powerful student learnings and  self-direction.

It is posited here that the "educated" question authority more often and more intensely than the "trained." Carlo Ricci writing about unschooling and the willed curriculum, reports: “Norm Diamond, an Oregon educator and labor activist, was trying to capture when he invented a syndrome called Compliance Acquiescent Disorder (CAD). He intended it as a spoof of Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), for which countless children are referred for treatment. A local newspaper ran an advertisement that itemized symptoms of ODD (‘argues with adults,’ ‘actively defies rules’) and invited parents who thought they had such a children to allow them to be given an experimental medication. In response, Diamond placed a counter-ad about CAD in the paper. An individual with this disorder, it explained, ‘defers to authority,’ ‘actively obeys rules,’ ‘fails to argue back,’ ‘knuckles under instead of mobilizing others in support,’ ‘stays restrained when outrage is warranted,’ and so on.”  When students are our most oppressed group, we need to encourage them to amicably argue with adults and actively defy authorities promoting  unfair rules. Being open and avoiding Compliance Acquieiscent Disorder is being resilient as when that when one gives oneself permission to be foolish for 2 min. a day, and when one notices what will secure or endanger his or her freedom. Sorry for the length.

Warm and kind regards to everyone.


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