Life is a Joke, But a Very Serious One

Life is a joke, but a very serious one.

Life is a joke because all of our conflicts, insecurities, etc. are founded on illusions of separation that just aren’t true.  We think we are fighting separate others and harbor a great deal of fear and worry.  However,  since no beings are ontologically separate, we are really fighting against our Self, opposing our Self, insulting our Self, running from our Self, running towards our Self. When we see all of our divisive and dualistic tendencies in this light, they appear quite absurd, if not funny.

Life is, however, also serious because deep suffering exists. And this demands compassion. Life is serious because we can easily fall prey to the old illusions and forget the truth of nonduality and interdependence. Life is serious because we can live our whole lives without exploring the richness and depths of this present moment.  Life is serious because the small word or action of a moment can have a deep and lasting impact on other people and living beings, sometimes for better, but often for worse.  Life is serious because despite the insight that we have gained, which expands our viewpoint, we can still fall back into the same old trap of egotism and forget all of what we had learned.  Because life is serious, we must respond with care, vigilance, and mindfulness. 

So, we must not forget that life is humorous, but we also must not forget that it is very serious as well.

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One thought on “Life is a Joke, But a Very Serious One

  1. “A fight is going on inside me,” said an old man to his son. “It is a terrible fight between two wolves. One wolf is evil. He is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other wolf is good. he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you.”
    The son thought about it for a minute and then asked, “Which wolf will win?”
    The old man replied simply, “The one you feed.”
    – Wendy Mass, Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life

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