Laughter to begin with was probably glee at the misfortunes of others. The baring of the teeth in laughter hints at its savage ancestry. Animals have no malice, hence also no laughter. They never savor the sudden glory of Schadenfreude. It was its infectious quality that made of laughter a medium of mutuality.
Sometimes there are more tears than laughter, and sometimes there is more laughter than tears, and sometimes you feel so choked you can neither weep nor laugh. For tears and laughter there will always be so long as there is human life. When our tear wells have run dry and the voice of laughter is silenced, the world will be truly dead.
These people know the reality and laugh at it. Such laughter has little concern with what is funny. It is often bitter and sometimes a little mad, for it is the laugh under the mask of tragedy, and also the laughter that masks tears. They are the same. It is the laughter of people who value love and friendship and plenty, who have lived with terror and death and hate." - , Return to Laughter (1954)
Elenore Smith Bowen
There is a kind of laughter that sickens the soul. Laughter when it is out of control: when it screams and stamps its feet, and sets the bells jangling in the next town. Laughter in all its ignorance and cruelty. Laughter with the seed of Satan in it. It tramples upon shrines; the belly-roarer. It roars, it yells, it is delirious: and yet it is as cold as ice. It has no humor. It is naked noise and naked malice.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - February 18 "laughter is a necessity in life that does not cost much, and the Old Ones say that one of the greatest healing powers in our life is the ability to laugh." -Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA Laughter is a good stress eliminator. Laughter causes healing powers to be distributed through our bodies. Laughter helps heal relationships that are having problems. Laughter can change other people. Laughter can heal the sick. Laughter is spiritual. One of the greatest gifts among Indian people has been our ability to laugh. Humor is natural to Indian people. Sometimes the only thing left to do is laugh. Great Spirit, allow me to laugh when times get tough.
Larry P. Aitken
Everybody knows from his own experience that after laughter, good laughter, a belly laugh, you almost feel that you have taken an ice-cold shower; a peace, a silence, a freshness... The same is true about crying, but very few people know the secret of crying because it is more repressed than laughter.
Life consists of sadness too. And sadness is also beautiful; it has its own depth, its own delicacy, its own deliciousness, its own taste. A man is poorer if he has not known sadness; he is impoverished, very much impoverished. His laughter will be shallow, his laughter will not have depth, because depth comes only through sadness. A man who knows sadness, if he laughs, his laughter will have depth. His laughter will have something of his sadness too, his laughter will be more colorful.
Existence loves laughter. You may have observed, or not, that man is the only animal in the whole of existence who is capable of laughing. Laughter is the only distinguishing mark that you are not a buffalo, you are not a donkey; you are a human being. Laughter defines your humanity and your evolution. And the greatest laugh is at your own ridiculous things.
There is laughter that goes so far as to lose all touch with its motive, and to exist only, grossly, in itself. This is laughter at its best. A man to whom such laughter has often been granted may happen to die in a work-house. No matter. I will not admit that he has failed in life. Another man, who has never laughed thus, may be buried in Westminster Abbey, leaving more than a million pounds overhead. What then? I regard him as a failure.
A vast silence reigned over the land. The land itself was a desolation, lifeless, without movement, so lone and cold that the spirit of it was not even that of sadness. There was a hint in it of laughter, but of laughter more terrible than any sadness-a laughter that was mirthless as the smile of the Sphinx, a laughter cold as the frost and partaking of the grimness of infallibility. It was the masterful and incommunicable wisdom of eternity laughing at the futility of life and the effort of life. It was the Wild, the savage, frozen-hearted Northland Wild.
Without laughter life on our planet would be intolerable. So important is laughter to us that humanity highly rewards members of one of the most unusual professions on earth, those who make a living by inducing laughter in others. This is very strange if you stop to think of it: that otherwise sane and responsible citizens should devote their professional energies to causing others to make sharp, explosive barking-like exhalations.
There is a form of laughter that springs from the heart, heard every day in the merry voice of childhood, the expression of a laughter - loving spirit that defies analysis by the philosopher, which has nothing rigid or mechanical in it, and totally without social significance. Bubbling spontaneously from the heart of child or man. Without egotism and full of feeling, laughter is the music of life.
Take bread away from me, if you wish, take air away, but do not take from me your laughter. Do not take away the rose, the lance flower that you pluck, the water that suddenly bursts forth in joy, the sudden wave of silver born in you. My struggle is harsh and I come back with eyes tired at times from having seen the unchanging earth, but when your laughter enters it rises to the sky seeking me and it opens for me all the doors of life. My love, in the darkest hour your laughter opens, and if suddenly you see my blood staining the stones of the street, laugh, because your laughter will be for my hands like a fresh sword. Next to the sea in the autumn, your laughter must raise its foamy cascade, and in the spring, love, I want your laughter like the flower I was waiting for, the blue flower, the rose of my echoing country. Laugh at the night, at the day, at the moon, laugh at the twisted streets of the island, laugh at this clumsy fool who loves you, but when I open my eyes and close them, when my steps go, when my steps return, deny me bread, air, light, spring, but never your laughter.
Here I would point out, as a symptom equally worthy of notice, the ABSENCE OF FEELING which usually accompanies laughter. It seems as though the comic could not produce its disturbing effect unless it fell, so to say, on the surface of a soul that is thoroughly calm and unruffled. Indifference is its natural environment, for laughter has no greater foe than emotion. I do not mean that we could not laugh at a person who inspires us with pity, for instance, or even with affection, but in such a case we must, for the moment, put our affection out of court and impose silence upon our pity. In a society composed of pure intelligences there would probably be no more tears, though perhaps there would still be laughter; whereas highly emotional souls, in tune and unison with life, in whom every event would be sentimentally prolonged and re-echoed, would neither know nor understand laughter.
I want to be taken playfully, not seriously - not with a long British face, but with beautiful laughter. Your laughter, your playfulness is the recognition that you have understood me. Your seriousness shows that you have misunderstood me, you have missed it - because seriousness is nothing but sickness. It is another name of sadness; it is a shadow of death. And I am all for life. If it is needed for your laughter, your dance, even to reject me, then reject me - but don't reject the dance and the song and the life, because that is my teaching.
Do you think it's funny to be so serious when I'm not even out of high school?' she asked. 'I don't see how it could be any other way,' said Lee. 'Laughter comes later, like wisdom teeth, and laughter at yourself comes last of all in a mad race with death, and sometimes it isn't in time.
I would not exchange the laughter of my heart for the fortunes of the multitudes; nor would I be content with converting my tears, invited by my agonized self, into calm. It is my fervent hope that my whole life on this earth will ever be tears and laughter. Tears that purify my heart and reveal to me the secret of life and its mystery, Laughter that brings me closer to my fellow men; Tears with which I join the broken-hearted, Laugher that symbolizes joy over my very existence.
Will a day come when the race will detect the funniness of these juvenilities and laugh at them""and by laughing at them destroy them? For your race, in its poverty, has unquestionably one really effective weapon""laughter. Power, Money, Persuasion, Supplication, Persecution--these can lift at a colossal humbug,""push it a little"" crowd it a little""weaken it a little, century by century: but only Laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of Laughter nothing can stand. - "The Chronicle of Young Satan," Mysterious Stranger Manuscripts
Remember laughing? Laughter enhances the blood flow to the body's extremities and improves cardiovascular function. Laughter releases endorphins and other natural mood elevating and pain-killing chemicals, improves the transfer of oxygen and nutrients to internal organs. Laughter boosts the immune system and helps the body fight off disease, cancer cells as well as viral, bacterial and other infections. Being happy is the best cure of all diseases!