Alternatively, what about something which is deeply and uproariously funny? Our uncontrollable laughter exceeds any rational reaction the occasion of the joke  I have produced.

 We feel liberated by what is funny. Why?  Because the funny event and our laughter at it means that we have caught a whiff of something that isn’t part of the grey, cold world of measurement and logical sequence. As we laugh we are indeed still in bondage to that world of hard necessity, the world of the multiplication table, yet as we laugh we also rise above that world because we twig that we belong to another world as well, a world which cuts this world down to size and in which we are free to be ourselves unhindered by what cabins and confines us in the visible, tangible order.

 All genuine laughter, when it is free from malice or bitterness, bears its unconscious witness to the ‘invisible world, the spiritual dimension. (That, I suspect, is why there is so much laughter in monasteries.)

 What makes us laugh is the sheer contrast, the sheer incongruity, between the spiritual dimension where we most deeply belong, and the slings and arrows which impale us and the limitations which confine us in the empirical, observable world.

True to Experience, an Anthology of the words and teaching of H.A. Williams C.R.


One thought on “Laughter

  1. One of the loveliest, most affirming moments I recall is getting a roomful of folk, at Temple House, roaring with laughter at some comment I made in response to a question you set us on how to deal with an older couple whose marriage was in difficulties. Not a funny situation on the face of it, but perhaps it touched both our fears and hopes. The answer? Give them a good smack

    And thank you for remembering me with your card. A “Venerable” source indeed, when last Tuesday we commemorated the Venerable Bede,(no relation) & inventor of the Rosary as “all skool boy kno”
    All is still alive & well at TB

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