“Life as it is should be enough of a reason to laugh. It is so absurd, it is so ridiculous. It is so beautiful, it is so wonderful. It is all sorts of things together. It is a great cosmic joke.”
This week’s quote is a gentle reminder that you don’t need to take spirituality so seriously. We often confuse being spiritual with being solemn and withdrawn, like a monk or a nun on their way to morning prayer. We think that having a serious facial expression somehow means you are more holy, more in touch with the Truth. However, according to Alan Watts, the moment that you really understand the truth about life, you will burst into laughter. What exactly is this hilarious insight? How can we get in on the punchline to the great cosmic joke?
It has to do with understanding that you are it. That this universe, this body, this mind, this moment, this breath- this is it. The relationship between God and the universe is commonly explained using a metaphor in which God exists as a brilliant light, one that is somehow veiled, hidden beneath the various forms of the world. But, as Alan Watts tells us, “The truth is even funnier than that. It is that you are looking right at the brilliant light now. That the experience you are having that you call ordinary everyday consciousness- pretending you're not it- that experience is exactly the same thing as 'it.' There's no difference at all. And when you find that out, you laugh yourself silly! That's the great discovery.”
If this is true, then what you have been searching for has been hiding in plain sight this whole time. So, relax. Lighten up, as the expression goes. There is really no need to force it. Meditating with a furrowed brow won’t bring on enlightenment any quicker. The only way to grasp the truth is by letting go. If this experience really is ‘it,’ then the best thing you can do is enjoy it.
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About The Author
Nick Hughes is a massage therapist, yoga instructor and co-owner of Well Being. Influenced by the ideas of Alan Watts, Eckhart Tolle, Ram Dass, and Deepak Chopra, Nick presents his unique take on human existence with the goal of helping others live a happier life.