Laughter, Humor, Smile
Allen Ginsberg, the celestial clown, shamelessly direct, tickles and hugs you when no one
Creativity is often associated with psychosis, alienation and delinquency, the flaky artist,
the mad scientist, even Einstein as lovable, absent-minded clown.
Humor is nothing other than perfect self-awareness. It is the delightful recognition of
If this state of consciousness could become more universal, the pretentious nonsense
which passes for the serious business of the world would dissolve in laughter.
Our moral image of God is lacking in Beauty and Beauty’s handmaidens—joy, laughter
and in its sublimest sense, playfulness, a virtue which is at the very root of creative art.
Sensory conditioning has forced us to accept a “reality” which is a comic-tragic farce
The ego’s pride in itself is entirely debunked, not masochistically, but in the spirit of
The evangelists and social historians of the psychedelic revolution have a delightful
roster of hero-comedian-clowns available for legendary canonization.
The irrepressibly boisterous spirit of Tim (Leary) bequeathed to us the exhortation to be
sacred clowns who evolve into social change artists of compassionate rascalry.
The natural world is endowed with a richness of grace, color, significance and sometimes
humor, for which our normal adjectives are insufficient.
The simple words, the most trivial ideas take on new and strange shapes, incongruous
resemblances and associations impossible to foresee, puns, comical absurdities.
The spectrum of thinking varies from dreamy bemusement to clear, integrated mental
There is about all really holy people a kind of guileless humor, a sense of one’s own
True humor is, indeed, laughter at one’s Self—at the Divine Comedy, the fabulous
deception (of the ego).
We go through torments to protect our personality; once we see through the illusion, we
Whether or not objective tests show a “real” increase in sensory acuity seems laughingly
irrelevant to the drug user.
You feel as if you are looking down at what was once your former life and you laugh
inwardly at the little things that once seemed so important.
You’ve got to laugh hard before you can get anywhere near God. (God is fun, not serious.
Lighten up and get with it.)
At times, a subject may feel like laughing or crying without being able to explain why he
is experiencing these feelings. (There is no need to explain and the person is way beyond
explaining in words anyway.)
Creative or revelatory experiences involve a temporary and voluntary breaking up of
perceptual constancies, permitting one “to shake free from dead literalism, to re-combine
the old familiar elements into, new, imaginative, amusing, or beautiful patterns.
Dominating this ecstatic state is the feeling of intense love. You are a joyful part of all
life. The memory of former delusions of self-hood and differentiation invokes exultant
He may see and understand with unimagined clarity and brilliance various social and
self-games that he and others play. His own struggles in karma (game) existence will
appear pitiful and laughable.
So astonishing will be this new insight that he may be absolutely overwhelmed and in his
excitement, laugh and cry at the same time. For many, the discoveries mean new truth
When the whole human race is rocking with laughter, laughing so hard that it hurts,
everybody then has his foot on the path. In that moment, everybody can just as well be
God as anything else.
A Church, a Christianity, in which Godmanhood is fully realized will not be a preaching,
finger-wagging, Bible-banging, breast-thumping Church. It will be the Church of all
Fools, laughing like Dante’s angels. (Is laughing foolish or is the pompous inability to
laugh that’s really foolish?)
Lama Govinda says that to Tibetans, the attempts of modern psychologists, who try to
“prove” extrasensory perception by scientific methods, would appear crude and
laughable: one might as well try to prove the existence of light which is visible to all but
Sometimes, there is very little actual perceptual distortion of the environment, but the
latter is emotionally interpreted in an unusual way. It can appear incredibly beautiful,
sensual and inviting; or comical; very frequently, it is described as having a magical or
The information about psychedelic drugs spread by the mass media and various agencies
was mostly superficial, inaccurate and one-sided. Such distorted information, since it was
unbalanced, disproportional and frequently obviously incorrect, was regarded with
suspicion by young people, many of whom found it easy to laugh it off, reject it totally.
While the religious establishment worries itself into reams of cross arguments on whether
or not God is dead, these thinkers merely smile and shake their heads. God isn’t dead; He
isn’t even lost. He is right here in the deepest recesses of the mind where he has always
been. Doubting Thomases need only allow LSD to show them the way.
Harvard—Over 400 “subjects” shared high-dosage psychedelic experiences with the
researchers in an atmosphere of aesthetic precision, philosophic inquiry, inner search,
self-confident dignity, intellectual openness, philosophic courage and high humor. The
historical impact of this “swarm” of influential scholars had not yet been recognized by
the still-timid press, popular or scientific. (That was Timothy Leary.)
If a man believes that he is happy and hilarious and grooving on everything around him,
the only sane description of his state is to say he’s euphoric, not to say that he imagines
he is euphoric. What the skeptic really seems to be claiming is that he knows what the
subject feels better than the subject knows—i.e., that the subject doesn’t feel what he
feels but feels something else.
Some individuals are genetically templated to live part of their time in the future. They’re
alienated from current realities. Sometimes they feel agonizingly out of step with the
“nomads” around them. Frequently, they are locked away for having visions. It helps
when mutants can recognize themselves. Then, they can view it all with humorous
When one sees God as light and beauty penetrating the whole of the universe, feelings are
far too intense and sacred to contain one iota of humor. (The writer doesn’t mean that
humor isn’t part of an LSD trip, but refers to someone insensitively revealing their total
ignorance of LSD by laughing at the person’s descriptions of some details of their
Alan Watts is the smiling scholar of the acid age. (Timothy Leary said that.)
Buddha smiles his knowing Buddha smile.
Dante described the song of the angels in heaven as “the laughter of the universe.”
Drugs stimulate quiet, serene, humorous, sensual, reflective responses.
God is a singing, swinging energy process who likes to laugh and make love.
Holiness is the life of spontaneity and self-abandonment with humor.
Holy humor is the discovery of the ultimate joke on oneself.
It is not uncommon for persons to giggle or laugh uproariously.
It’s all right. Remember the Buddha smile.
Sex is a matter for laughter.
The Divine Comedy. All things dissolve in laughter.
The unconscious is the source of creativeness, art, love, humor, play.
The whole fantastic comedy takes place within you.
To be a holy man, you have to be a funny man.
Where are all the laughing Christians? Mystics, prophets, holy men are all laughers.
You see through the game and laugh with God at the cosmic joke.
The laughter frees me.
We laugh in joy and amazement.
Aldous was chuckling away very pleased with himself and I was rolling on the floor with
laughter. (That was Timothy Leary looking back at a trip he had with Aldous Huxley.)
At one point, everything appeared to be uproariously funny, especially the gestures and
actions of people going about their everyday business.
His laughter grew louder and louder and when he tried to stop he could not close his
mouth. It stretched wider and wider.
I broke into a full joyous laughter at the mystery and the beauty of it all. How little we
know about the soul’s journey.
I would just laugh and laugh. I understood stuff that tickled me so much that it made me
roll around and laugh until the tears would roll down my face.
Mannikins in the windows were smiling. Liz Taylor on a poster several times gestured
for me to come to her.
The house was a stone raft floating in a sea of vegetation. It was Eden. Each plant was
dancing, laughing, a quiet network of high intensity conversation.
There was a beautiful smile on the faces. You knew that they were transported into some
This is what I realized on LSD. This is our playground and we are here to laugh and
dance and sing in the sunshine.
We gave up using words and were just using gestures and movement and laughing our
heads off. (That was a Hassidic rabbi tripping with Timothy Leary.)
We were changed forever, because we were experiencing these inspiring truths. And we
could laugh at ourselves as well, as we saw through our various ego-trips and guises.
At the gas station, the men smiled at me with twinkles in their eyes, and I felt very good,
I saw smiling men’s faces in the sky and the stars twinkling in their eyes. I felt better than
I ever had in my life.
Cosmic laughter was different from any way of laughing I had known. It came out of me
as though propelled by a force much larger than the person laughing. It came right up
from the center of my being.
He had a twinkle in his eye and a wise, cool way of looking at you that told you he was a
man who had seen a lot and suffered a lot and was still looking for the funniest and wisest
part of everyone he came in contact with.
I looked around the room. Ramakrishna’s statue breathed and his eyes twinkled the
message. Vivekananda’s brown face beamed and winked. Christ grinned to be joined
again with his celestial brothers.
I looked into her mind and I had my eyes closed. Margaret came inside my mind and we
were together there, inside my mind. Suddenly, she manifested herself inside my mind
with a cat face and smiled at me with a cat mouth. I knew I’d always be with her.
My comrades appeared to me disfigured, part men, part plants. So strange did they seem
that I writhed with laughter and overcome by the absurdity of the spectacle, flung my
cushions in the air.
She was all women, all woman, the essence of female, eyes smiling, quizzically,
resignedly, devilishly, always inviting: “See me, hear me, join me, merge with me, keep
the dance going.”
I looked in Paul’s eyes, and every edge, every line, every detail became electric and alive
with threads of color running through it, until the entire environment was neon
psychedelically pulsing crawlingly alive and lit. He looked into my eyes and smiled
inscrutably, as he lit up the environment.
I took my wife’s hand and it seemed to me a great force of love flowed through my hand
into hers and also from her hand into mine and that then this love was diffused
throughout our bodies. Her smile, he whole face was beautiful beyond description and I
wondered if I would be able to see her like this when the drug experience had ended.
I’d given up even trying to talk. I just smiled at everything that was said to me, and
nodded my head up and down as the words went by. I felt beautiful and saw nothing but
beauty. I was a little child being led and protected by two wise saints. On the perfect path
to all-the-way-up now. Awake, finally, and headed for truth.
“This is an experience of life itself, of existence,” I fairly shouted with unintelligible joy
at my state. It was one of exultation, wonder and awe, amazement over Being. I laughed
until tears came to my eyes. “This is fantastic! Beyond words!” That it was—and is—and
ever shall be.
“This is the way I was born” Jane said once, giggling. “This is the way we were all born,
the way the puppies and kittens are born, absolutely at home in this world and delighted
with it. I haven’t felt like this since I was about 3 years old. God, how our society
To my great surprise, various interesting scenes started unfolding in front of my eyes.
The persons participating in these scenes were highly stylized and slightly puppet-like.
The general atmosphere was rather amusing and comical, but with a definite undertone of
secrecy and mystery. (eyes closed)
I remember being particularly struck by the joy of hearing music as I never had heard it
before. I could laugh at my old self-image, which included “not being musical.” I was
deeply moved by each piece of music that was played. As I listened without distraction,
each one evoked a different aspect of my psyche, and at the center of each was the perfect
still point of pure being where one could experience union with God.
I was amused to see the brick walls of a house tirelessly undulating. Fascinated, I drew
near the trees whose trunks heaved and whose bark flowed and pulsated in a manner
suggesting organic growth. Close observation of the bark was astounding. I reminded
myself of the mental patient one sees in films, on the lawn of the institution, drawn next
to the inanimate in watchfulness.
I was struck by the thought that since I’d first seen Julia, I’d felt that I’d known her for a
long time. That sounds trite, but what can I say? How else do you describe that feeling? I
simply felt that I’d known her for a long time. I told her so. “You HAVE known me for a
long time,” she replied. “But it was a long time ago.” “In school?” trying to remember.
She laughed and put her cheek against my arm. “In a kind of school,” she said softly.
It hit, the waves of sensation rippling down the body. The walls and ceilings glowed
phosphorescent yellow, electric vibrating color. The floor was shimmering like lemon
jell-o. Some torn fragments of party decorations were scattered on the floor and they
sparkled, dazzling, black shiny ebony jewels. Orange gems. Walking around the kitchen
joking about the fortune in jewels on the floor.
The night was all joyous discoveries, many of which brought me almost to the point of
tears, to laughter and astonished wows regularly. Whole new horizons. I felt humbled and
honored to be in a room with and listening to such enlightened powers. I felt in flash after
flash that I’d never been so high before, never so aware and never—at least not since a
long, long half-remembered time ago—so hopeful and happy.
Aldous had given me a bowl of vegetable soup, beautiful and delicious. When I finished
it, Aldous made a move to take the bowl and wash it. I held on to it as though he were
taking my most precious possession. “Please don’t, Aldous.” The round, white bowl with
little pieces of vegetable was to me the cosmos, round and infinite, punctuated by light
exuding planets and stars of fiery orange and translucent green. Aldous smiled; he knew
what one can see in a dirty dish when the doors of perception are cleansed.
Crying and laughing are branches of the same tree—the tree of emotions. Not two of the
leaves are the same, yet all have the same roots: the capacity to feel and the need to
express those feelings. Whether I was crying or laughing was really not too important,
except on the conventional level. The important point was that the tree of my emotions
was being vigorously shaken and liberated of some withered leaves which had hung on
He exploded into cosmic laughter.
He raved about the beauty. He laughed with joy. He saw it all.
His eyes twinkled as if he has seen the Ultimate Joke.
I found myself giggling about philosophical concepts of reality.
I had a funny feeling that I wanted to run across the lawn and play.
I laughed internally.
I laughed so hard that I wound up crying.
I laughed with intense pleasure.
I never saw before how arbitrary, pompous and absurd conventions are. I laugh out loud.
I was filled with a genuine sense of profound hilarity.
Looking from behind the ego, it was a big joke seeing how seriously the ego takes it all.
Mr. C. was a Leyden-jar of laughter, charged to the limit.
She smiled a mystic smile.
They laughed in ecstatic revelation.
a laugh that is delicate, though intense, born of tenuous vibrations, a laugh that is “in the
know,” that grasps the infinite subtleties of an infinitely absurd world
a phenomenon of nature, a singing, dancing, bubbling, laughing, exuberantly, loving,
energetically thinking and talking human being
God as the cosmic stuffed shirt in whose presence no laughter is allowed (That’s what the
Western religions make out God to be. Is that God or is it a joke?)
holiness a wise innocence, a relaxed intensity, a humorous humility, a supernatural, a
perpetual uncalculated life in the present
jokingly complained about “constantly being tickled by fishes” (a person’s comment
about his experience of being an ocean)
not a confused state, but the clearest of the clearest, the surest of the surest, where death
was an almost laughable impossibility
radiant, the child-like smile of absolute knowing, knowing beyond words, peace that is
not static but flowing
see through the whole paranoid game and mutate to a wider, funnier, more hopeful
the laughter at oneself and with one’s Self, upon discovering play instead of battle behind
the contest of Heaven and Hell
activities of those circuits of the brain that lead to philosophic inquiry, scientific
curiosity, somatic awareness, hedonistic lifestyle, humorous detachment, high-altitude
tolerant perceptions, chaotic erotics, ecological sensitivity, utopian communality
an all-too-natural and satisfying, defiantly brave psychedelic religious pioneer existence,
backed by smiling Buddhas and holy Christian martyrs all giving me the nod and the go-
exhilarated elation with unmotivated laughter, exuberant joy, deep feelings of peace,
serenity and relaxation, orgiastic ecstasy, hedonistic pleasure, feelings of voluptuousness
exuding a confidence that comes from a humorous cosmic awareness
fits of uncontrollable laughter
her strange sudden laughter
laughing themselves silly
Laughter. Love. Innocence.
message of love, peace and laughter
much contagiousness of laughing and joking
passing pedestrians who seem to perform utterly comic movements
realms imbued with meaning, filled with life, laughter, love
sense of humor, the essence of which is laughter at oneself
smiling her Buddha smile of mysterious bliss
the Cosmic Theatre, the Divine Comedy (eyes closed)
the ecstatic smile that welcomes a sudden insight, a revelation of truth or of beauty
the enormous joke of existence
the laughter of the universe
the more relaxed, humorous and pleasurable spirituality of Asia
the sacred clown who defies the authorities with wit
the smile of one who knows better
the uncontrollable visionary laugh
the Wise Fool or King’s Jester
this psychedelically induced Divine Comedy
this smile of unity to laugh like a hyena
uncontrollable laughter and hilarity at minimal stimuli
wise, smiling saints