Osho on Sense of Humor

Question – Osho, How do I open my Sense of Humor?

Osho – Gopal Venu, Everybody is born with it. It is not a talent, it is intrinsic to human nature. But the society tries to destroy it; it is afraid even of the sense of humor. We teach children to be serious. Seriousness is praised, highly praised. In fact, seriousness is a kind of disease; it should be condemned.

Every child brings a sense of humor in the world, but we destroy it, at least we repress it. We don’t allow him to enjoy it; we don’t allow him to share it with us. We don’t encourage him to help it grow because we are afraid; if he becomes too non-serious then he will become dangerous to the serious society. Then he will start rebelling against many things, because a sense of humor is an essential part of intelligence.

You don’t see donkeys laughing, you don’t see buffaloes enjoying a joke. It is only man who can enjoy a joke, who can laugh. Your saints are like buffaloes and donkeys! They have fallen below humanity; they have lost something of immense value. Without laughter a man is like a tree without flowers.

But the society needs serious people: presidents, prime ministers, vice-chancellors, professors, popes, shankaracharyas, ayatollahs, imams, all kinds of priests, teachers, commissioners, Collectors, governors…. Everybody has to be serious. If they have a sense of humor the society is afraid efficiency will be lost. If they have a sense of humor they Will become human. They are expected to be just like machines.

The way Adolf Hitler walks is mechanical. Just see his pictures — the way he stands, the way he walks, the way he takes the salute, the way HE salutes. It seems almost mechanical, as if he is not a man but a robot. His face, his gestures, all are robotlike, and he made the whole of Germany robotlike. He destroyed Germany more than he destroyed anybody else.

But he created a very efficient army. The efficient army is possible only if people lose all intelligence and all that intelligence contains. Gopal Venu, a sense of humor is one.of the very essentials of intelligence. The moment you lose it you lose intelligence also; the more you have it, the more intelligent you are. There is no question of how to open the sense of humor; you simply remove the barriers.

It is already there, it is already the case. You simply remove a few rocks which your parents, your society have put to prevent it. The society teaches you self-control, and sense of humor means relaxation.

Just the other day somebody from London, a sannyasin, sent me a cutting of a newspaper; he had heard my jokes about Zimbabwe’s president, Reverend Canon Banana, so he sent me a small cutting: that one of Banana’s cabinet ministers was traveling with Banana in an airplane and that he pissed all over the passageway. He was asked, “What is the matter?”
He said, “I was trying to use self-control, and it became impossible! ”

Of course, in the presence of President Banana you have to be a banana! He was trying to use self-control so he tried his best. If he had undergone the EST training he would have succeeded!

You cannot laugh before your elders, you cannot laugh before your teachers, you cannot laugh before your priests, you cannot laugh in the churches. And the Christians say Jesus never laughed. I cannot believe that — he was not a buffalo! He was one of the greatest, most intelligent men who ever walked on the earth. He must have laughed, he must have enjoyed it. He was a man far more of the earth than Buddha.

He lived more passionately and more intensely than anybody else who has ever become enlightened. He loved the company of women; he had beautiful women disciples, even one of the most famous prostitutes of those days, Mary Magdalene. He loved eating, he loved drinking. He is the only enlightened person who loved wine. A real man! And he loved feasting very much. Every night there was a feast, and the feast continued for hours.

Just a few days ago some sannyasins, samurais, had a small party, and my medium, Radha, did a belly dance. Good! I enjoyed the news, and I told Radha, “Then one day you have to do it before me! Just seeing your belly dance, I will really enjoy it!”

Jesus would have enjoyed Radha’s belly dancing too. Buddha may have closed his eyes, but not Jesus! not Lao Tzu!

The rumor is that one day Lao Tzu, Buddha and Confucius, all three were sitting in a restaurant in heaven, and a beautiful woman came with a big beautiful jar and told them, “This is the juice of life! Would you like it?”

Confucius said, “I will only taste a little bit of it, because without tasting it I cannot say anything.” That was his way, always to be scientific, pragmatic. So he just tasted it and he said, “No, it is bitter!”

Buddha closed his eyes. He said, “There is no need for me to taste it. Many people have tasted it — just now Confucius has tasted it. I declare it is bitter!”

She went to Lao Tzu. Lao Tzu drank the whole jar. He said, “Unless you drink it totally you have no right to make any comment, any judgment on it.” And when he had drunk the whole jar he started dancing, he started laughing.

Buddha and Confucius left: “This man Lao Tzu is giving a bad name to all of us enlightened people!” And of course he was not dancing alone, he started dancing with the woman! When you are full of life…

Jesus was a man of the earth. He repeats many times, many more times than he said “I am the son of God,” he says many more times, “I am the son of man.” He is closer to earth than to heaven. He is a very earthly person. He must have laughed, enjoyed.

But the priests and the popes and the churches are very serious. To enter into a church is like entering into a grave-yard. You have to be serious, uptight. All that has to be dropped, Gopal Venu. And if you cannot drop it here, where else you can drop it? Either here or in Italy! Go for a little visit to Italy.

Ten years after his arrival in America Roselli had saved enough money from his fruit and vegetable business to build a huge house.

“I wanna three bedroom-a upstairs,” he explained to the builder. “l wanna large-a living room with a nice-a big-a staircase leading up to the room. And right over here next to the staircase I wanna hollow statue.”

Months later he returned and found everything built to his specifications. Then he noticed a statue next to the staircase. “Hey, what’s-a matter with you?” shouted Roselli. “You no capish what I tella you!”

“Is not that what you ordered?” asked the builder. “A hollow statue?”
“Are you-a stupid or something?” cried the Italian. “I wanna one-a those things that goes ring-a ring, you pick them up and say ‘Hallo, is that choo?'”

Go to Italy and you will come across many situations!

For a wedding present Brambilla gave his son Aldo two hundred dollars. Two weeks later he asked him, “What-a you do with-a the money?”
“I bought a wristwatch, papa,” answered the boy.
“Stupido!” cried his father. “You should-a bought a rifle!”
“A rifle?! What for?”
“Suppose-a some day you come-a home and find a man sleeping with you wife-a,” explained the father. “What-a you gonna do? Wake him up-a and tell-a him what-a time it is-a?”

Gannon, staying in a small Rome hotel, called the desk and said, “Send me up a whore!”
Mrs. Agostini, the owner’s wife, was shocked and demanded that her husband throw the man out. But he was afraid, so Mrs. Agostini decided to go up and throw him out herself.

In a few moments, the husband could hear the sound of furniture breaking and screams and curses. Finally Gannon came downstairs panting, his face scratched and his shirt torn. As he walked out he confided to Agostini, “That was a tough old bitch you sent up, but I screwed her anyway!”

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