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  Every Branch in Me — Who are we as "human" beings? Back to the List of Slideshows
Patrick Laude
slide 9 of 19

What is more human than to laugh? Even this solely human capability has its roots in a divine ground; at the same time its "branches" project out into the world but are made resistant through humor to the many ill winds that might arise from any side.

In a very unique essay, Patrick Laude looks to the metaphysical origins of humor. Despite the imposing concepts, the essay, "Holy Fools" (1), points out the absurdity and unreality—and thus the "funniness"—of many things around and within us. The following gives some of the metaphysical background:

The “funny side of things” is what reveals both their lack of absoluteness and their pretension to be treated as the Absolute. Humor stems from a subtle sense of the distance separating what appears to be from what actually is. It therefore implies duality: God’s humor arises, as it were, from the level of His Relativity—that of the relatively Absolute, to use one of Schuon’s key concepts—as it would have no meaning independently from a consideration of it. It could also be said that there is no room for “humor” or “laughter” in the Supreme Non-Duality unless one wishes to consider the All-Possibility as an Infinite Matrix or “Pandora’s Box” prefiguring the unfolding of Mâyâ.

Be that as it may, God’s “humor” may be considered as lying in His apparent negation of Himself in Mâyâ. Esoterism is accordingly akin to humor because, by contrast to exoterism, it is supremely aware of the relativity of manifestation as a veil upon Reality or as “unreal reality”.

(1)  Taken from page 143 of Every Branch in Me,  this chapter is also found in the journal Sophia: The Journal of Traditional Studies, Winter 1998.

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