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October 20, 2020
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A Man of Laughter Cannot Commit Suicide

I have just been talking about laughter, its meditative powers and its medicinal powers. It certainly changes your very chemistry; it changes your brain waves, it changes your intelligence — you become more intelligent. The parts of your mind that have been asleep suddenly awaken. The laughter reaches the innermost part of your brain, to your heart. A man of laughter cannot have a heart attack. A man of laughter cannot commit suicide. A man of laughter automatically comes to know the world of silence, because when laughter ceases suddenly there is silence. And each time laughter becomes deeper it is followed by deeper silence. It certainly clarifies you — from the traditions, from the garbage of the past. It gives you a new vision of life. It makes you more alive and radiant, more creative. If you are a singer, your song becomes more celestial; if you are a musician, your music starts going beyond sound, starts reaching silences. If you are a sculptor, then your sculpture will not be what Gurdjieff calls objective… Ordinarily, a painter or architect or any other dimension of creativity is only your projection, your imagination. But there is another kind of art, which is not your imagination but your insight.

For example, sitting in silence near the Taj Mahal on a full-moon night you will find yourself falling into silence without any effort. The Taj Mahal was created by Sufi mystics. History tells us only about the man who for thirty years paid thousands of artists, but history has no idea that the people who were the architects were Sufi mystics. And it was not an imaginative thing; it was something so that if somebody sits silently looking at it, it will create the same feeling, the same vibration in which the architect was living. The Taj Mahal is scripture, it is a message, it is not just a beautiful building. It is not just for the tourists to come and take photographs, it is for meditators to sit and just watch: the very form of the architecture creates something in you. The people who constructed the building were aware that they were making a device for meditation.

You know about the pyramids in Egypt — when for the first time, at the beginning of this century, the pyramids were opened…the biggest pyramid was opened first. They had remained closed for three thousand years. And the scientists were surprised to find a cat, dead, inside the pyramid — but not deteriorated, no sign of deterioration, no sign that it had been dead for three thousand years. When the pyramid was being closed somehow the cat must have remained inside and must have died. But there were no signs. It looked as if it had just died, and they could not figure out — what is the matter? Finally, they decided that it was because of the shape of the pyramid. If you sit in any structure in the shape of a pyramid, you will fall into deep silence and meditation without difficulty. And a dead body can be preserved in a pyramid-shaped grave; it will not in any way start stinking. It will remain fresh as if it has just died this very moment. Now pyramids are being used…small pyramids are being sold in the market; you sit underneath them, and they are health-giving. They don’t do anything, just their shape reflects the rays of the sun in such a way that you get only the health-giving rays, and the other rays which are not health-giving are reflected back. The very shape is the cause.

People wondered for centuries why these pyramids were made in such a shape. And the oldest pyramid is three thousand years old. It shows that the people of those times were aware that certain shapes — of clothes, of buildings — are healthful; some other shapes are not healthful. Now we don’t bother about it, we don’t think about it. When you build a house, you don’t think whether this house is going to give you health or sickness, long life, or is going to cut your life short. As the mind disappears and leaves behind a silence, a space of meditation, your vision about everything that you do is completely different. If you are a painter, you will paint something not with the mind, but with the clarity that your painting will give health, insight, peace, silence, to anyone who will just look at it. In this sense, we are more primitive than people like Mozart or Beethoven. Our music is very poor because our music is simply clumsy; it does not create any spiritual peace, it does not give any meditative silence; more often it is sexual. It functions in your sex centre. It makes you closer to the animal rather than closer to the Buddha.

Classical music takes you very high, beyond your reach; perhaps you would not have been able to reach alone. Just listening to that music and you have gone for a new journey, far away from your thoughts, far away from your emotions, into spaces of eternity. How to distinguish true, authentic laughter from hysterical, exhibitionist, or hypocritical laughter…Two things to be remembered: one, you should not bother about others. You should not judge. There is no way to judge from outside whether the person’s laughter is authentic or not, healthy or hysterical; exhibitionist, hypocritical, or real, coming from the very deepest sources of his being. So, first thing, don’t be bothered about the other person. It is uncivilized. Just think about yourself, that’s enough, and then the distinction is not difficult. The authentic laughter is not about anything. It is simply arising in you as flower blossoms in a tree. It has no reason, no rational explanation. It is mysterious; hence the mystic rose.

The hysterical laughter is sick. It is about somebody else; it is not healthy, and it is not going to give you all the benefits I have talked about. It is insane. The exhibitionist is one who laughs just to show others, but the laughter does not come from his being. It is just superficial, social. If everybody else is laughing and you are not laughing, you are being a little unsocial. They say that if you tell a joke to an Englishman, he laughs twice: once just to be social, just to say that, “Yes, I understand.” And the second time in the middle of the night when he understands it. If you tell a joke to a German he laughs only once, just to be social. The second time to laugh never comes. He never understands a joke. And never tell a joke to a Jew because he will stop you in the middle. He will say, “It is all rotten, an old joke, and anyway you are telling it all wrong.” It is useless to tell a joke to a Jew — he will not laugh. He will even make you sad — why did you talk to this man?

Different nations will behave differently. But one point you can understand yourself: whether you are laughing just to be in tune with others…then laughter is the only exhibition. You have not understood the joke and you are laughing — it is hypocritical. But always remember not to judge others. That is very primitive, uncivilized, inhuman. Only look at yourself.

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