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Ian, July 21, 2006 in General Discussion
I love posts like these!
I was reading somewhere that the place in the brain that fills with blood during intense fear is right next to the place that fills with blood during intense laughter!
I personally find laughter facinating. It's like an orgasm of non-duality... all laughter is a result of the unbareable buildup of emotional tension - it's very rare that people laugh when they're by themselves (although I noticed myself chuckling durng Curb Your Enthusiasm ). When I first started thinking about laughter, I'd always try to notice what made me and my friends laugh - well the main thing I found is that it doesn't have to be 'funny' for everyone to laugh - we laugh at the most silly things - but the pattern is always the same: build up emotional tension untill someone or something collapses the tension and we laugh. Laughter is like the resulting integration/collapse of the extreme tension built up between yin and yang. Ofcourse sometimes a meme takes over and anchors the laughing to a certain event or word or action or whatever - and then you repeat it and everyone laughs.... but this quickly wears out, because true laughter requires true tension.
I also think that 'enjoyment' is a result of tension! Sport is a clear example - is my team going to win or lose? ooh I dont know - it's making me tense - so I tend to highten the emotional effect of anything minor that happens on the field. etc. Music also works on tension - I'm not very technicaly knowledgeable in music - but I do love it - so I listen to a lot of it. Different music presents different levels of tension, and therefore different levels of potential enjoyment.
No one really likes lift music - because it has no tension - it was designed that way - classical music on the other hand is full of tension! and so is jazz, and beacause I like jazz I notice several interweaving polarities creating tension. The tension between the instruments, the tension between the quiet bit and the loud bit - the solos etc. All very enjoyable.
So yeah - 'enjoyment' comes from the tensions created by the interplay between yin and yang. If you want to be centered and non-dual you aint gonna have enjoyment. I dont think it's good or bad that we enjoy tension - I guess it can be explained as our biological need to have a challenge - whether emotional or physical - and once we see the challenege through - we get enjoyment and sometimes laughter...
Joy is something that is recovered.
Like our essential nature.
Nodding in agreement to your observations. Enjoyment is just experiencing joy.
I remember when I lived in the Alps. Skiing down to town, gliding along after a long day on the mountain, not trying anything, not doing anything in particular, just gliding, watching the wind blow snow over the peaks, hearing the trees howl. That was joy. There is no thrill in joy.
Bluegrass! I went to college in the Appalachian mountains near a Trappist monastery. I've always wondered what "monastic bluegrass" would sound like . . . (Cue to a brother in a habit strumming on a banjo: "Evilevilevilevil wooooooorld/I don'everwanna play with giiiiiiiiiirls!")
Glad you mentioned Larry David, Freef--it is definitely the tension built into every episode of _Curb_ that makes me laugh so hard . . . And it's also very therapeutic to know that there's always someone more misanthropic and neurotic than I am when I'm at my worst! He's like a lightning rod for everything that my own id wants to unleash.
Nice post, Hagar--so you are saying something to the effect that "enjoyment" is more an episode of being "surprised by joy," while the state of joy itself is more akin to a long, slow-burning rapture?