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Seriousness is sickness

Seriousness is sickness

Beloved Osho,
You say that seriousness is a disease. Whenever I remember myself, I feel serious, so what should I do?
Don’t get serious about it. Let it be so, and laugh. If you can laugh at yourself, everything is okay. People laugh at others, but never at themselves. It has to be learned. If you can laugh at yourself, seriousness is already gone. It cannot make its abode within you if you are capable of laughing at yourself.

In Zen monasteries, every monk has to laugh. The very first thing you should do in the morning is laugh. The moment the monk becomes aware that he is no longer asleep, he has to jump out of bed, stand in a posture like a buffoon, like a circus joker, and start laughing at himself. There cannot be a better beginning to the day.

Laughing at oneself kills the ego, and you are more transparent and light when you move in the world. And if you have laughed at yourself, then others’ laughter toward you won’t disturb you. In fact, they are simply cooperating; they are doing the same thing that you were doing. You will feel happy.

To laugh at others is egoistic; to laugh at oneself is very humble. Learn to laugh at yourself—about your seriousness and things like that. You can get serious about seriousness. Then, instead of one, you have created two diseases. Then you can get serious about that also, and you can go on and on. There is no end to it; it can go on and on.

So take hold of it from the very beginning. The moment you feel you are serious, laugh about it and look for where the seriousness is. Laugh, give a good laugh, close the eyes, and look for where it is. You will not find it. It exists only in a being who cannot laugh.

A more unfortunate situation cannot be conceived of, and a poorer being cannot be conceived of than the man who cannot laugh at himself. So start the morning by laughing at yourself, and whenever you can find a moment in the day when you have nothing to do, have a good laugh. For no particular reason—just because the whole world is so absurd, just because the way you are is so absurd—There is no need to find any particular reason. The whole thing is so absurd that one has to laugh.

Let the laughter be belly laughter, not a head thing. One can laugh from the head; then it is dead. From the head, everything is dead; the head is absolutely mechanical. You can laugh from the head; then your head will create the laughter, but it will not go deep in the belly to the hara. It will not go to your toes; it will not go to your whole body. A real laugh is just like a small child laughing. Watch his belly shaking, his whole body throbbing with it—he wants to roll on the floor. It is a question of totality. He laughs so much that he start crying; he laughs so deeply that the laughter becomes tears, tears come out of him. A laugh should be deep and total. This is the medicine that I prescribe with seriousness.

So don’t be serious about it. Laugh about it; be a little foolish. Don’t condemn foolishness; it has its own beauties. If you can be both, you will have a quality of transcendence within you.

The world has become more and more serious. Hence so much cancer, so much heart disease, so much high blood pressure, and so much madness. The world has been moved, forced, towards one extreme too much. Be a little foolish, too. Laugh a little; be like a child. Enjoy a little, don’t carry a serious face everywhere, and suddenly you will find a deeper health arising in you—deeper sources of your health become available.

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