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Awakening the Clown Within

Updated on March 17, 2018
ValKaras profile image

Val is a life-long practically oriented student of effective emotional and attitudinal responses to the many challenges of life.

Is It the Jester or those Serious Discussing Dudes Behind  -  that Inspire a Laughter?
Is It the Jester or those Serious Discussing Dudes Behind - that Inspire a Laughter?

Humor - Much Missing Trait in Spiritual Equation

Well, enough has been written, said, done, even sung about on this beautiful planet of ours that's making so many folks cry in confusion, disappointment, and uncertainty in every aspect of living with self and others. Let's face it, most of us are really taking ourselves and life way too seriously than it deserves.

Thinking now about how much we are missing the sense of humor, I am tempted to call it one of the most precious aspects of our spirituality. It's something that makes us humans unique and privileged among all other advantages we enjoy over the animal kingdom.

Or it only seems to be the case, thinking now of wars and other idiocies of arrogance that we share with even those tiniest insects. I am not saying this to spoil your mood, but merely to point out that with our ability to laugh we should really do more of this and less of that.

Those Are the Precious Moments of just Being Carefree
Those Are the Precious Moments of just Being Carefree

With Laughter and Song

A few times during a typical day our family may say things to each other using a cartoonish voice, to maintain a carefree atmosphere, and also for a stress management. It's actually nothing unusual for us to watch Bugs Bunny and Friends once in a while or to compare the silliness of a life situation with a scene from Inspector Clousseau movies.

Then, as we get together with our long time friends, now all retired like ourselves, we tell and hear jokes, even those old ones, everybody is laughing probably remembering how funny they were when told for the first time. Anyway, it's better to tell old jokes than tell old health complaints and hear full reports about everybody's doctor's appointments.

We sing a lot, with one of the friends playing guitar, and his son playing piano. Among those songs we never forget to sing together our childhood songs. It's honestly like an instant tune-up to our souls. O.K., some of my friends may have achieved it already with those few beers, but humor and singing along certainly adds to the spirit of togetherness.

Laughter  -  A Prescription for Life
Laughter - A Prescription for Life

Still the Best Medicine

It may be the right moment to mention the amazing curative and rejuvenating powers of laughter. Some of you folks may have read about that classic case of Norman Cousins who cured his terminal illness by closing himself in a hotel room over the weekend and watching one after another the Marx Brothers oldies and other of his favorite slapstick comedies.

There is even a doctor who popularized so called "laughter meditation", where a large group of people form a circle and pointing at each other around laugh their guts out. What an ingenious idea! So simple and so effective, while being so close to the deepest needs of human soul to drop all ego-defenses, all concerns, and just be kids again.

Stern Looking Folks Must Exist to Make Us See How Not to Be
Stern Looking Folks Must Exist to Make Us See How Not to Be

Those Exaggerated Matters of Importance

Sense of humor must have a lot to do with spirituality. We even call funny folks "highly spirited, and we call alcohol "spirits" because it put us in that mood. Those of you who might have read some of my other articles probably noticed some of my "peculiar" personality traits, so here is some more, as it pertains to this humorous, at times satirical tone of my self expression.

Ever since I can remember myself, I have had this knee-jerk reaction of seeing as funny what I experienced as grownups' giving an exaggerated importance to things. That serious tone of voice and a solemn expression on their faces as they would talk about work, money, politics, and rumors around the neighborhood...I just couldn't get it what was so special about all that.

Of course, it wouldn't have been prudent to openly laugh, maybe they would also look at me as a "strange kid" - but I managed to express my "position" about all that only in some secret giggling with friends, who maybe didn't get it my way, but they didn't mind making fun of the grownups.

Math, A Passion of  Few  -  a Nuisance of Many
Math, A Passion of Few - a Nuisance of Many

Am I in the Right School?

My teachers were adding to it with their lectures while making them sound like a matter of life and death. I remember asking myself: "Really, what's the big deal about imaginary numbers and logarithms? What's that to do with anything in real life?"

I remember my math teacher - back in the old country they were called "professors" - with those saintly pale face and light blue eyes saying it almost in a whisper: "Everything in universe can be expressed with mathematics". Much later in life I always remembered that whispering voice when I heard Clint Eastwood say : "Go ahead, make my day."

Well, folks, I just couldn't help seeing something absurd in the way grownups made things look so important. Like that art teacher, sorry - professor, who got tears in his eyes explaining the style of Renoir. Call it "immaturity" if you wish, but I am calling it just a "pronounced sense of humor". Mind you, in many other aspects of life I was quite a serious dude.

Everybody's Favorite Part of the Drill
Everybody's Favorite Part of the Drill

Rituals for Fun

I also found extremely amusing those "rituals" in my army service, and in those few rare visits to church as a gesture of friendliness. Being an army drill sergeant I caught myself so many times suppressing laughter as I was shouting those commands and that bunch of uniformed clowns obeyed like puppets.

When no officer was around on the practice field, a few times I made them march in circle for a while. They smiled but obeyed. Well, orders are orders.

And in those few instances that I found myself in the church for someone's wedding, funeral, or baptizing, I was hoping not to come closer to the preacher, for the fear that I would have to call him "father" - since in all cases he was much younger than I.

That would have really put me in a "sinful temptation" to produce a little more than a smile, and if he would also raise his eyebrows in surprise, I don't know if I would have been able to contain it anymore. Yes, with that sense of humor I must have been already "born a sinner".

Charlie Made Us Laugh at Ourselves
Charlie Made Us Laugh at Ourselves

Anyone Relating to Any of This?

As you may have noticed so far, I just can't take seriously human parading with attaching too much serious significance to anything. After all, we live and then we die, so what's the fuss over anything?

From my spiritual standpoint I think that we are enormously complicating ourselves, life, and our coexistence. Instead of being pissed off at it, my nature is processing it as something comical, and I guess that would be a simple explanation of it.

Maybe I am expecting too much from you, if I hope that at least some of you may relate to all this - but I hope I am not. But then again, maybe I am just wired that way in my mind - while life actually deserves to be seen as very serious matter. I don't know, and I shamelessly admit that I don't really care much.

I remember that kid that I used to be lying on my back and studying the cracks on my grandma's bedroom ceiling and seeing the outlines of human faces in some of them - while my brother and I were forced to take an afternoon nap along with grandma.

That's another thing I couldn't understand for quite a while - why did we have to take a nap, we were kids and we were not tired? Complaining to grandma didn't help much, so we got stuck with that routine. It dawned on me much later that grandma needed a nap and since there was no one else to watch us little rascals, we had to join her.

There was also our polio stricken aunt, but she also needed a nap. Of course, we chuckled quietly at their snoring, but at the time it was just another of many of those things were grownups didn't make any sense to me.

A few Words for an Epilog

In this article I mostly tried to reach those stern, stiff, humorless, too proud, authoritative mentalities that are having a hard time figuring how ultimately nothing matters one bit.

Indeed, we are here to explore our spiritual essence, to produce some harmony in this world, to invent and to discover, but maybe more than anything else, we are here to be playful and happy, to laugh and sing, and discover that part of our being kids that adulthood didn't succeed to screw up - the clown in us.

Three Dolls Teaching Humans to Smile
Three Dolls Teaching Humans to Smile


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    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      2 years ago from Canada


      The bouquet of my generous commenters would not be complete without you among them, so thank you for visiting, and I am truly honored by your assessment of my hub. Have a great evening, my dear friend, which means, be blessed by something that will make you laugh your heart out. - Your clown friend Val

    • Linda Robinson60 profile image

      Linda Robinson 

      2 years ago from Cicero, New York

      Hello Val what a terrific humorous and heart-felt hub. It is so true that one things adults do is not laugh enough. There should be a clown in all of us, right along side the child inside of us all. It is sad that the stress of every day life can bring you down, but as they say laughter is definitely the best medicine and it definitely gets you through some extremely difficult times. Again a truly remarkable hub. Absolutely loved it. Take care. Happy hubbing. Talk to you again. Linda

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      2 years ago from Canada

      Larry - Isn't that interesting that people are prone to being so smart over all negative aspects of life, while neglecting the one which is so life promoting like humor, with all of its psycho-physical benefits, including better forms of coexisting. Thank you for commenting, Larry, have a wonderful day. - Val

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Very interesting stance on the importance of humor. I agree.

      One thing I always try to point out is the complexity of thought and high intellectual skill humor often takes. I don't understand why it's not given its proper respect.

    • Linda Robinson60 profile image

      Linda Robinson 

      2 years ago from Cicero, New York

      Absolutely Val hey that is what it is all about, getting known among this terrific extended hub family, meeting awesome people like yourself and getting our hard work recognized around the world. Following our dreams and making money too is not a bad incentive. Take care. Thanks as always for getting in touch and responding. It is always so much appreciated. Linda

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      2 years ago from Canada

      Linda - Isn't it great that our little party of happy people is growing, according to comments?! Thank you for the nice words, and you enjoy your weekend too.

    • Linda Robinson60 profile image

      Linda Robinson 

      2 years ago from Cicero, New York

      Hey Val what a funny, entertaining terrific hub, it was so much fun to read. Take care. Enjoy your weekend. :)

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      2 years ago from Canada

      Austinstar; I saw the movie, and yes, it was funny. However, mine and my family's favorites are Peter Sellers' movies with him as the inspector Jacques Clouseau. We often tell his crazy lines and imitate his French accent. I read somewhere how the filming crew had to do dozens of "takes" because his co-players could not resist laughing.

      As for Robin Williams, he was phenomenal, but to be honest with you I could somehow sense his inner turmoil and its energy that was only channeled through that comical weirdness. Goes without saying, his end saddened me.

      Thank you for a nice comment, and let's you and I find some fresh reasons to laugh!

    • Austinstar profile image


      2 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      The funniest movie ever is Planes, Trains, and Automobiles with Steve Martin. I actually fell out of my chair watching that one and my side hurt for days.

      Robin williams was my favorite commedian, but he made me cry in the end.

      Laughter is a funny thing, right?

      Nice hub!

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      2 years ago from Canada

      Hi Paula - A great comment as usual. Even more so because it's not in a form of theorizing about the topic but a personal experience, which always makes me feel "less alone" in this overly serious world. Your heart warming style of describing the happy tradition of your life in your family is one of rare pearls among comments that I am receiving from folks. I wish there were others with similar stories that wouldn't mind sharing. If there is such thing as picking up vibes from someone's photo, your comment just proved me 100% correct about you.

      Keep that happy spirit, bella, it's certainly enriching the lives of all that your presence touches.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      I am 100% in favor of "Laughter as the Best Medicine" of all. Sense of humor in most all things is something I was literally raised with. It's second nature to me, without effort.

      We were basically surrounded by very good-natured, happy individuals who all appeared to treasure really good times together. My Dad & his brothers entertained our big family gatherings by singing acapella harmony (BEAUTIFUL) & each one of those men was a comedian funnier than the next. My maternal side of the family were all inspired by FUN times together too.

      There's no other way to say it but that, growing up, there was definitely a lot of laughter. Needless to say, we had our somber times and ocassi0ns that required seriousness. But when we were done with those quieter more introspective times....We had FUN.

      As a result, naturally my sister & I and our cousins on both sides are basically happy people who love to see others laughing and enjoying life. My sister (also my best & dearest friend) & I continually cracked one another up, even to the day before we tragically lost her due to a battle with Cancer.

      As for the 3rd. generation, we couldn't help but pass this wonderful legacy on to our own children. Hopefully they will keep this shining example of Happiness going with their own precious kids!

      I hold an incessant ache within as I miss my birth family. I'm so grateful those of us left are still able to continue the laughter......Peace, Paula


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