I laughed out loud when I saw this video, mainly because it held up a mirror to reflect many of the traits I recognised in myself and others in the past. This video echoes many of my feelings about the spiritual circuit, much of which is overflowing with ego, seriousness, competition, clichés, unnecessary rules and as much dogma as it claims to reject!
Very often those of us on a spiritual path can be known to take ourselves, our lifestyles and our beliefs far too seriously. I have certainly been guilty of this to some extent over the years. At one time I genuinely believed I needed that £250 crystal pendent attuned to the 99th dimension in order to be spiritual!! Or that I needed to meditate for 3 hours a day on top of a mountain wearing only a robe, or that my ability to psychically communicate with great uncle Ronald attributed to my spiritual worth!
I’ve since learned that being ‘spiritual’ doesn’t depend on how many chakras you have ‘activated’, how psychic you are or how many spiritual ‘toys’ you own, but more about having an open heart and living a lifestyle that is in harmony with the planet and all beings. Yes sure, it truly is blissful to dwell in higher dimensional realms, to raise our consciousness and develop spiritually, but once we begin to define our selves by these abilities, to attach our outer worth to them and judge others as ‘lesser evolved’ than ourselves, then we lose the true meaning of what it means to be spiritual.
Yes I see myself as a spiritual being…but SO ARE YOU…and you and you and you! We are ALL spiritual souls temporarily inhabiting a human body, all equally as important as each other. We are all simply at different levels on our souls journey back into greater awareness of our true nature.
Each ideology, be that Religion or Spiritual discipline, is simply one path leading you back ‘home’ to the source of your true nature. Some call it God, Source energy, the Creator or the Divine. However you personally define it, it’s the same thing. I see each faith as one branch on the same tree, all sharing the same roots. Those roots being about love, compassion and unity.
I’ve explored many different strands of spiritual ideology, faith, and disciplines over the years and have taken from each the methodology and wisdom that resonates and discarded the rest without judgement. There is no right or wrong, and any ideology that proclaims to be the ‘only’ way should be avoided at all costs. We are all different, so what works for one person won’t necessarily work for another.
I came to the conclusion that as much as I am a unique individual, so is my own path to the Divine. I therefore don’t subscribe to one particular spiritual ideology other than that which flows from my heart and calls me to experience directly in that moment. It is when we become rigidly attached to one form of belief to the exclusion of all others that bigotry, fundamentalism and judgement can occur.
Taking your self too seriously, being competitive and judging others is the voice of the Ego, not an enlightened master. In fact it was said that once one achieves Satori there is nothing left to do but laugh!
It’s not that these people experience an absence of adversity, but when they are met with challenges, they have the coping mechanisms to deal with them constructively. The Dalai Lama has lived through the painful experience of Exile from his home country of Tibet and yet is one of the happiest men alive.
The life of exile is an unfortunate life, but I have always tried to cultivate a happy state of mind, appreciating the opportunities in this existence without a settled home…This way I have been able to preserve my inner peace.
For me laughter is one of the best tools for evolving spiritually and elevating our consciousness. The word it’s self En-lighten-ment plays testament to the fact that as we progress on the path to enlightenment and shed our density – our bodies literally harbour more and more light. Light is what we are at the deepest core of our being, and when you merge fully with that core you become Light – immortal, eternal, infinite. This is why the enlightened beings and sages throughout history are depicted in art as radiating divine light, or a shining halo.
Through humour we literally ‘Lighten’ up, as we raise our vibration and transcend our focal point into the present moment. In this NOW moment, we are devoid of concerns of the past or the future, which are the breeding ground for our fears. With our minds fully focussed on the experience of laughter, we experience a certain stillness where fears simply cease to exist.
Blessed are we who can laugh at ourselves, for we shall never cease to be amused.
When we can laugh at ourselves, at our shortcomings, mistakes, attachments, dramas, illusions, and are able to poke fun at the human condition, we liberate ourselves from self importance and self-criticism that trip us up. When we can view life from the perspective of the bigger picture, we realise how insignificant and transitory things are relatively speaking. Realising that we are more than the physical shell and the human experience we find ourselves in, can help to see how our predicament is not the truth of who we are.
The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all ~ Mulan
Should you find yourself in a depressing life situation, try looking for the humour in it. I sometimes imagine selling my story to the Eastenders script writers, or envisage a phone call from Jeremy Kyle inviting me on his show!!! This always makes me smile. Alternatively see your life being made into a comedy sketch and see the audience laughing with you. When you’re able to laugh during adversity, it can lighten your spirit and helps you to transcend your predicament.
When we are deeply immersed in our pain, it’s difficult to find the humour in the situation. It’s times like this when we can benefit from outside sources of humour as dwelling in negativity for too long breeds more negativity, or as Shirley MacLaine said:
Dwelling on the negative simply contributes to its power.
Looking at funny animal pics and cat videos on youtube tend to work for me. Show me a sausage dog or llama pic and ‘POW’ instant upliftment!! Funny movies or comedy shows work too. In this sense comedy is often used as a distraction from what is. As useful as that is in shifting your mood temporarily, denial and deflection of reality serves no one long term. We must learn to process our pain, not run from it as only in confronting our emotions can we ultimately liberate ourselves from their weary grip. When we come to a place of acceptance of what is, that’s when we can truly laugh at the lunacy of life.
Laughter is the best medicine
There’s a very good reason behind the saying Laughter is the best medicine. Research suggests that people feel less pain after a good laugh, because it causes the body to release chemicals that act as a natural painkiller. ‘Professor Robin Dunbar of Oxford University, who led the research, believes that uncontrollable laughter releases chemicals called endorphins into the body which, as well as generating mild euphoria, also dull pain.’ (BBC)
On an energy level laughter helps increase your vibration, so that you are more able to meet challenges in a constructive way. I’m not talking about dark humour based on the misfortunes of others – that will have the opposite effect and draw drama to you. Since we are vibrational beings living in a Vibrational Universe, we magnetise towards us that which is vibrationally aligned to our own frequency. Dwell in negativity for too long and you attract more of the same. You notice if you get off to a bad start to the day, your day can spiral into one disaster after another. Yet the days you awake feel positive, you tend to experience more good things during your day – and are more able to deal with any challenges.