I believe imagination is stronger than knowledge - that myth is more potent than history. I believe that dreams are more powerful than facts - That hope always triumphs over experience - That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death.
Robert Fulghum (1937 -)
Source: It Was On Fire When I Lay Down On It, Pages: preface
To get through this life and see it realistically poses a problem. There is a dark, evil, hopeless side to life that includes suffering, death, and ultimate oblivion as our earth falls into a dying sun. Nothing really matters. On the other hand, the best side of our humanity finds us determined to make life as meaningful as possible NOW; to defy our fate. Everything matters. Everything. It is easy to become immobilized between these two points of view - to see them both so clearly that one cannot decide what to be or do. Laughter is what gives me forward motion at such intersections. We are the only creatures that both laugh and weep. I think it's because we are the only creatures that see the difference between the way things are and the way they might be. Tears bring relief. Laughter brings release. Some years ago I came across a phrase in Greek - asbestos gelos - unquenchable laughter. I traced it to Homer's Iliad, where it was used to descibe the laughter of the gods. That's my kind of laughter. And he who laughs, lasts.
Robert Fulghum (1937 -)
Source: It Was On Fire When I Lay Down On It, Pages: 210
294. THE OLYMPIAN VICE.--Despite the philosopher who, as a genuine Englishman, tried to bring laughter into bad repute in all thinking minds--"Laughing is a bad infirmity of human nature, which every thinking mind will strive to overcome" (Hobbes),--I would even allow myself to rank philosophers according to the quality of their laughing--up to those who are capable of GOLDEN laughter. And supposing that Gods also philosophize, which I am strongly inclined to believe, owing to many reasons--I have no doubt that they also know how to laugh thereby in an overman-like and new fashion--and at the expense of all serious things! Gods are fond of ridicule: it seems that they cannot refrain from laughter even in holy matters.
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 - 1900)
Source: Beyond Good & Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future (Vintage)
Transcendence restores humor. Spirit restores humor. Suddenly, smiling returns. Too many representatives from too many movements - even many good movements, such as feminism, environmentalism, meditation, spiritual studies - seem to lack humor altogether. In other words, they lack lightness, they lack a distance from themselves, a distance from the ego and its grim game of forcing others to conform to its contours. There is self-transcending humor, or there is the game of egoic power. No wonder Mencken wrote that “Every third American devotes himself to improving and lifting up his fellow citizens, usually by force; this messianic delusion is our national disease.” We have chosen egoic power and politically correct thought police; grim Victorian reformers pretending to be defending civil rights; messianic new paradigm thinkers who are going to save the planet and heal the world. They should all trade two pounds of ego for one ounce of laughter.