I heard Terry Gilliam (Python) talking about his life. He quit religion
in his teens when the elders didn't like him making jokes about God. It
set me thinking whether there are any religions that have humour as part
of their writ. Jews tell the best jokes but I don't think it is part of
the Talmud. This is a very catholic ng (small c) so I wondered if anyone
has come across a witty religion in their travels or studies. My bet is
on Hindu, but I profess ignorance.
On 15/04/2011 12:31, The Natural Philosopher wrote:
Hmmm. I can see that is a sound philosophy but you don't often see
Buddhists laughing in a religious way. Ones I know seem to smile in a
knowing way. I want to see if there are any LOL religions.
On 15/04/2011 13:11, The Natural Philosopher wrote:
I'll have to think about that. Is all laughter subversive? I guess that
*most* is, if it's at someone else's expense, especially the
stuffed-shirts who 'run' things. But those times when everyone dissolves
into uncontrolled mirth (not a dry seat in the house) is often just a
group ecstasy, exactly what some religions say they do, not that they
ever worked for me.
Must look into shamanism.
Well don't buy any books on MODERN shamanism.
Its all hippy beads and contacting your spiritual BS.
buy anthropological texts instead.
I you study religion extensively, what you may find, as I did, that
there are two sides to it.
At its core, is the religious experience. Or the shamanic experience.
Indeed I find little difference between an old testament 'prophet' a
Dervish, or a buddhist meditating monk. or a Brazilin tribal shaman. The
goals are apparently similar, only the techniques of achieving it differ.
But that then gets translated into the local and temporal cultures of
the times, in order to construct what appear to me to be socially
cohesive mores, and that is what most people understand by 'religion'
I.e. its one think for Martin Luther King to say 'I have a dream..' as
any good shaman/prophet does.. and then to end up with political
affirmative discrimination policies etc. etc.
In other words, the essence of all these things is that this mundane
world is not the be-all and end all of existence itself. And that this
is a fact that may, by undergoing various rituals and disciplines, be
experienced by anyone with the ability to follow the methodology. Such a
person is a mystic, a druid, a shaman, a guru, a medicine man, a
diablero, a witch, a prophet or an enlightened one.
What he/she chooses to do with this experience, the terms in which they
describe it, and what profane followings they attract, are purely cultural.
Christianity is pure Romano European, tacked on to an older shamanistic
culture of the middle east. With some incorporation of druidic and
Nordic shamanism as well.
Islam is pure middle eastern.
As is Judaism.
You find traces of pre-christian European shamanism in the folk
record..fairies, gnomes. witches and wizards, elves, ghosts and so on.
Tolkien's landscape is close.
Also in the Greek mythology.
Taoism and Buddhism represent the development of Asian shamanism, into
something akin to a structured science, only the Jewish Kabballah is
comparable in the West.
Hinduism appears to be a degenerate form of Taoism, in some senses as
The whole study is deeply interesting and fascinating, once you can see
it all objectively, and step back from 'what the church teaches' to
'what the mystics (including Jesus) actually said'
My overwhelming conclusion is that all these things point towards
something that is definitely there, in some sense. But for reasons I
wont go into here, how it appears, is really a function of the cultural
basis from which it is viewed. Hence the remarkably different pictures
that are painted to simplify it.
R.H.Blythe, i think it was in the book series 'Zen and Zen Classics' wrote a
book titled something like zen and humour. not sure of the exact title, but
its only about Zen Buddhism and Humour.
with daft questions to think about, like: Does a dog have buddha nature?
Smackeroo! There is one. Zen. I loved the list of different forms of
laughter. Bit sad that only the proles are allowed the loudest laughter
highest and noblest form, a faint smile
next highest form, a smile which barely reveals the tips of the teeth
an even larger smile accompanied by some laughter
a more pronounced laughter, marked by shaking of the head, shoulders,
loud laughter that makes one teary-eyed
uproarious laughter that makes one double over, slap the thighs, or roll
So ROFL is in fact atihasita
The bit about "the humor in Zen: ... is iconoclastic in its 'smashing'
of that which is typically though of 'traditional'" confirms what Nat
Phil said about it being subversive.
I've done the archery bit, but not many laughs allowed whilst shooting,
even when I pinned my mates hat to the ground as it blew away across the
field. Best shot of the day.
The Parody Religions were interesting especially the Flying Spgahetti
Monster. More pasta than pastor!
Thanks to all.
Which leads to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discordianism
"The ideas-about-reality are mistakenly labeled "reality" and
unenlightened people are forever perplexed by the fact that other
people, especially other cultures, see "reality" differently."
Sounds like Dennis.
It (discordianism) is probably very close to my modus operandi.
Its pretty zen as well.
Aleister Crowley wrote "The Book of Lies"
THE BOOK OF LIES
WHICH IS ALSO FALSELY
THE WANDERINGS OR FALSIFICATIONS
OF THE ONE THOUGHT OF
WHICH THOUGHT IS ITSELF
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