Chapter 8: Laughter: Love, Joy, Gratitude
We have to destroy all kinds of seriousness in the world. Temples should be full of laughter and song and dance and celebration. That’s how trees are, stars are, rivers are, oceans are. The whole existence, except man, is in a nonserious state; only man seems to be very serious. No child is born serious, remember, but we destroy the innocence of the child. We destroy his qualities of wonder and awe, we destroy his laughter, we destroy everything that is beautiful and valuable, and instead we give him a load to carry on his head - of knowledge, of theology, of philosophy. The more and more he becomes educated by us, the more and more he loses all sense of humor. He can’t see any humor in existence because he starts living through his knowledge; he knows everything. Because of his knowledgeability all wonder is destroyed. Because of his knowledgeability, the greatest religious quality - awe - is killed.
A young man at college, named Breeze,
weighed down by BAs and MDs,
collapsed from the strain;
said his doctor, “It’s plain
you are killing yourself by degrees!”
By the time you come back from the university you are almost dead. Your state is pathological. You are ill - ill with knowledge, suffocated by knowledge. And you cannot laugh; that is only for children and madmen.
And my whole effort here, Vimalkirti, is to make you both simultaneously: to make you childlike and to make you utterly mad. If these two things happen, then only are you a sannyasin. My only commandment is laughter!.and everything else will follow. If you can love and if you can laugh, totally, wholeheartedly, your life will become such a bliss and a benediction, not only to yourself but to everyone else. You will be a blessing to the world.
You have to drop all seriousness. You have to drop this seriousness because it has been forced upon you; this is not your nature. You did not come serious into the world, you came laughing. Each child is bubbling with joy and by the time he is four he starts dying. The age of four for the boys and the age of three for the girls is the time when death starts occurring. Girls are always ahead of boys in every way; even in this matter they are one year ahead.
And once death settles in you, it kills you slowly, slowly. It is not that you die suddenly when you are seventy or eighty; that is only the completion of a process that started at the age of three or four. Have you ever noticed the fact that if you try to remember backwards you cannot pass the barrier of the age of three? At the most you can remember when you were three years old; beyond that all is blank. Why? You were here, certainly, and those three years were not blank at all; in fact they were more full of experience than any other year of your life is ever going to be. Each moment was full of experiences. You were constantly exploring life, people, everything; you were constantly in inquiry.
In one university they were doing an experiment. The experiment was.that children seem to be so active - from where do they get so much energy? Their bodies are so small and their bodies are so delicate - they are just like flowers, fragile - but they seem to be so energetic, so vital, so overflowing with energy. From where do they get so much energy?