What Does Your Laughter Say About You?
“But your mirth is diseased and unnatural. You cannot even laugh unless someone cracks a dirty joke; it requires filth and dirt. Most jokes are about sex, which everyone can enjoy because they are dirty and debasing.”
“A man has to slip on a banana peel in order for you to laugh. Where kindness is needed, you laugh and joke. Your humor is sick, diseased. A man who has fallen needs help. Give him help! How him help! How is it an occasion for laughter? Deep within you, you desire to lower and abuse everyone else. The more you want to see a person fall, the greater your mirth. For example, if a beggar falls you won’t laugh so much; but if Indira Gandhi falls you’ll be unable to control your laughter. What is there to laugh about a beggar falling? He was already fallen. But there is an unconscious desire in you to knock Indira down. That would be hilarious to you. If a servant falls no one laughs so much if the master falls it is an occasion for mirth.”
“Your unconscious hostility is contained within your laughter. Your laughter is a poison, your mirth but sarcasm – a sneer. The difference between mirth and sarcasm is the bitterness, the sting to it. It has thorns without flowers.”
“The saint also laughs. His laughter carries no sting, no thorns, he laughs mainly at himself for he is aware of his own state. When he laughs at you, then he is also laughing at himself, for he sees a glimpse of himself in you. When he sees a man fall, he sees humanity falling – not just a man. He knows that man is helpless and that his arrogance is thus ridiculous.”
“How well this man was dressed: tie, coat and whatnot, but a little peel of banana and he is flat on the ground – tie and all! A banana peel pulled a joke on him.”
“The saint sees man’s helplessness behind this fall: how weak he is and yet so proud! He had a Himalayan ego, but he is brought down by a lowly banana peel. He struts about with the idea of defeating God, but he is shamefully defeated by a banana peel. So, is a saint laughs when a man falls, he is laughing at his state of helplessness. He laughs at the thought of his own helplessness., and is filled with shame. He never laughs to revile or beat someone else. Within him is the bliss which overflows into mirth and merriment.” – Osho “The True Name” pg. 453
Such wisdom from Osho, even when we laugh, it is not necessarily a good laugh, we could be laughing with a bad heart and when we laugh with a bad heart, it says a lot about us and who we are. When we notice this, we must make a change, it is not always good to laugh at others. For example, with this whole thing happening with the racist fraternity chant on the bus, if you thought that video was funny, there is something wrong within you, that is a sign of racism in your heart.
Even in the movie “Rush Hour” with Chris Rock and Jackie Chan, when Chris Rock was poking fun at Jackie Chan and trashing on his race and culture, many found that to be very funny, but that laughter is a sign of a racist heart. A lot of what we find to be “funny” many times tells us about the flaws that we have within, a lot of times we are laughing because we see others in misery. Laughter is healthy and good for our spirits, but it has to be the right type of laughter, positive laughter.