“The fastest way to enlightenment is to lighten up.”
“What is important is to spread confusion, not eliminate it.”
I’m sitting in front of my computer, trying to start this article. I generally know what I want to convey, I just do not know where to begin. It’s not that I lack the vision or ideas; I’ve found a topic near and dear to me; the writing should flow easily.
It’s also not procrastination out of fear or pain. I’m just…tired. Not feeling much of anything. The bed looks too tempting. What is this exactly? What’s missing?
It hits me:
I’m not in the right state.
And that’s exactly what I’m trying to write about. State. A particular state.
Addressing the topic of state in general terms (it’s a big cornerstone of human potential wayshowers like Anthony Robbins), can be saved for other articles.
I want to talk about logic-bending, random, ridiculous humor, the states it provides, and what that can do for us.
It’s well-known that laughter in general is great for our health, as hi-lighted by this Chakra Center article. And it’s quite apparent that sense of humor is personal and runs a wide gamut. But there’s something distinct about the absurd ridiculousness to which I refer.
The classic setup-punchline takes our expectations in a specific setting and injects a surprise. Ridiculousness, on the other hand, transcends the order of the traditional setup-punchline, however sublime that structure may be when executed well. Ridiculousness is all surprise. “Regular life” itself, with all its attendant assumptions, is the setup. In ridiculousness, everything is punchline.
Humor based on social commentary picks apart artificial facades that people put up. It can provide a much-needed jester role in society, as long as it’s not done solely out of mean-spiritedness.
Lewd, base, vulgar humor plays on many people’s guilts, fears, discomforts, secrets, and/or, let’s face it, just plain immaturity. In its nobler forms (I realize the word choice) it can counterbalance limiting and questionable societal conditioning. However, it often just perpetuates a dense vibration.
Ridiculousness distinguishes itself by shocking our sense of order. It induces a trance, a state, a laughing place where our minds are blown and freedom from all sorts of calcified and rigid ideas is offered. It can be a sword slicing through the Gordian Knot of limiting assumptions that exist around us in our culture, and in our own beliefs.
Personally, I feel it’s no exaggeration to say that my adolescent experience with this, spent in a consistent state of hysterics (no drugs involved, just as a matter of fact) directly laid the groundwork for the intuitive leaps I’ve had to make as an energetic healer, and as an artist. I literally feel that my friends and I (unintentionally at the time) used this humor to create a buffer that repelled all sorts of social programming while growing up.
One style of ridiculousness relies on stream of consciousness, free associations. I used to love playing a certain game as a kid on sleepovers, pre-teen years. A friend would call out a word and you’d have to say something else in response, whatever came to your mind, immediately, no hesitation. It would go back and forth, a mental tennis match.
“Pigeons. Apple sauce. Nudist colonies. Zimbabwe. West. Graveyard. Parmesan Cheese. Regret…”
Of course, it was hard to get far without cracking up. Funny enough, years later, I’d have to do the same thing during rehearsals as a member of an improv troupe. Such exercises help to create a group mind amongst the performers, a necessary element when you have to get on stage with your fellow cast mates and create unscripted scenes on the fly.
Here’s The Kids In The Hall demonstrating that stream of conscious thing, albeit structured and paced as a sketch:
Another facet of ridiculousness is where seemingly unrelated things are juxtaposed. This video takes a Public Service Announcements that used to end the old GI Joe cartoons and dubs in new dialogue:
And, whether intentionally or not, sometimes so much is thrown at the audience that our logical compass spins out of control entirely. We have no reference points. Asking why a particular thing happens at a particular time becomes futile:
The basic thrust of absurdity can veer off in different directions according to the energy and worldview of an individual. So in a different context, this type of thing can express as a nihilistic outlook where life is seen as utterly random and meaningless, leading to a sense of despair.
The humor and approach I’m speaking of offers a playful celebration, a way to re-arrange what’s been handed to us as the givens in life.
The state that this type of humor gets you into is very right-brained, flowing, web-like, non-linear. It can create a crack in the door of your mind, the door that attempts to draw up a boundary as to what “makes sense” or “works.” It can cultivate inspiration, and take us more deeply into the subconscious.
Artists and scientists alike will tell you that many of their greatest ideas and insights come at odd times, with intuitive leaps, often when they’re not even thinking directly about their work.
Furthermore, the hysterical state is commonly found in the rituals of cultures that live in communion with the Earth, helping access the subtle realms.
That eureka moment of the creative artist/scientist, or the wild ecstasy of the medicine man dancing into a trance around the fire, are both states that ridiculousness can help us activate in the moments we succumb to it, or cultivate in its aftermath.
Again, to relate to my own life, the constant exercises in ridiculousness I willingly and joyously subjected myself to while growing up (not just consuming, but creating ridiculousness through mock radio shows, joke songs, writings, and videos with friends) sometimes provided a prophetic element.
While we didn’t analyze it too much, my friends and I certainly took notice that what came through in our creations sometimes had an eerie side effect of psychic activity–intuiting things about other people and situations before they happened, and of course the telepathic group mind we experienced amongst ourselves.
General absurdity in art grew as an early 20th century phenomenon (hola, señor Dalí) and its offshoot of ridiculous humor came to the fore in popular culture in more recent decades. This is no coincidence, as more people find dissatisfaction with the elements of modern life that are too rigid and ordered. We sense that sometimes it’s what we’re told to take seriously that is truly meaningless.
The tone expressed through absurdist art and now, random humor, reveals one of the instinctive ways people are trying to squirm out of the shackles, questioning what we’re supposed to accept.
This shared aesthetic of ridiculousness, especially understood and propagated by the younger generations, is what enabled a video like Gangam Style to become a worldwide phenomenon:
Elsewhere in pop culture, we now see ridiculousness even in commercials. The parties who green light the ad campaigns for large corporations have caught on that more and more people are speaking this language:
The fact that it’s in commercials doesn’t upset me. Anything will be used and exploited at some point; the bottom line is that the energy is still out there.
It could be one of the many things that will transform the beast of Taker culture, with its story of separateness and scarcity that’s hypnotized many, from within.
I just have to laugh.
2nd image from top credit: The Surrender by Joseph Griffith
Jared Domenico is, among other things, a musician, energy healer, and communicator. His Chakra Center column, Ever Onward, often utilizes topics that are atypical to spiritual seekers as springboards to discuss transmutation and growth, and to create re-framed perspectives, more understanding, and broadened points of reference. JaredDomenico.com, which started in Feb. 2013, is where you can find him online.