Enjoying the Cosmic Joke
As Charlie Chaplin once said, “In the end, everything is a gag.” Life is funny. God is funny. You’re funny. The events of this world are funny. Joy is funny, love is funny, and as some have discovered after intense troubles, even suffering can be funny when you have the benefit of hindsight. As comedienne Carol Burnett has said, “Comedy is tragedy plus time.”
If a person can laugh totally, wholeheartedly, not holding anything back at all,
in that very moment something tremendous can happen
because laughter, when it is total, is absolutely egoless,
and that is the only condition in which to know God, to be egoless.
Beneath this entire universe is the cosmic joke, and tapping into that level of the game is almost like going beyond enlightenment. You’re tapping into the very bliss of God, applauding His grand dance, appreciating Her intricate set-ups, and of course, rolling in the aisles at the magnificent punch line.
The punch line of this cosmic joke has many faces:
- You can see the punch line in how big this universe is, in those amazing photos of countless stars, nebulae, and galaxies that exist millions of light years away and are a whole lot bigger than anything you’ve ever called “big.”
- You can see the punch line in how small it all is, in a drop of swamp water seen through the lens of a high-powered microscope that is filled to the brim with invisible legions of life.
- You can see the punch line in how temporary it all is, as those who spend decades ruthlessly pursuing wealth and power end up dying just like everyone else — with their hands empty.
Why do you think they call it realization?
The state of enlightenment is also called self-realization or God-realization. It’s called “realization” because the great, enlightened beings have “realized” one fact — a fact that has implications on every element of life as they know it.
They’ve realized the omnipresence of divinity. They’ve realized that everything is one, and that knowledge and the knowing of that knowledge are inseparable. They realize that what you see is what you get, what you get is what you see, and what you see is who you are. In other words, it takes one to know one. We are the world, indeed.
Realization is not just about reading some words and being able to discuss or debate them; but rather to realize the essence behind spiritual insights such as “In the beginning was the word, and the word was God,” “Everything is one,” “The kingdom of Heaven lies within,” or “Thou art That.”
Once you realize the essence of spiritual teachings and make them an integral part of your reality, these teachings filter through and transform your entire world. Your sense of limited individuality fades like a mirage that had been blocking the bright sunlight of supreme truth. As this supreme light blasts through you unimpeded by mortal illusions of limitation and separation, you become enlightened. You emanate not only your own personal human light, but also a higher, more universal light.
Before becoming forever established in the highest realization, you may touch that enlightened space for a while and then return back to limited thinking. Even when you’re feeling limited, remembering the higher spaces you’ve touched helps to keep you moving forward toward your divine birthright of knowing who you are in the highest sense at all times.
And life goes on . . .
Enlightenment is the ego’s ultimate disappointment.
— Trungpa Rimpoche
One day the master announced that a young monk had reached an advanced state of enlightenment. The news caused some stir. Some of the monks went to see the young monk. “We heard you are enlightened. Is that true?” they asked.
“It is,” he replied.
“And how do you feel?”
“As miserable as ever,” said the monk.
Here’s the thing: Even after enlightenment, you’re still you! For example, if a mopey, sullen person were to somehow become enlightened, he wouldn’t necessarily start running around smiling and laughing all the time. In fact, he may not change so much outwardly, although those with eyes to see the light of spirit would see it shining through his eyes, words, and actions.
With enlightenment, you may continue playing your role, but with the awareness that you’re the one who’s playing your role!
More about Spirituality For Dummies
“This book bridges the gap between conventional experience and the spiritual life. Spirituality for Dummies gives practical advice for entering the path of spirituality, borrowing wisdom from a host of religious, philosophical, and comedic traditions. Insightful, wise, and humorous, this book can and should be read by all, from novice to saint!"— Dr. Christopher Key Chapple, Loyola Marymount University
From the Publisher (Wiley): Want to get in touch with your spiritual side? Spirituality For Dummies 2nd Edition shows you how to use spiritual principles to understand and improve your life, empower you mind, and nourish your soul. Complete with a CD filled with calming, spiritual music, it is your personal guide to serenity and spiritual healing.
Spiritual philosopher Sharon Janis shows you how to discover the deeper calling of your soul, survive and thrive through adversity, and look at the world with optimism. You’ll learn how to use meditation, yoga, prayer, and journaling for inward reflection and to spark new vistas as you unfold your own spiritual wisdom and move forward on your spiritual journey in your own individual way. You’ll find similarities and differences among a variety basic spiritual concepts from different religious and philosophical traditions, and you’ll discover how to:
* Find your spiritual path
* Uplift your body, mind, and spirit
* Fulfill your greatest dreams
* Spiritualize your relationships
* Cultivate your spiritual virtues
* Increase your inner peace and happiness
* Turn troubles into triumphs
* Recognize yourself as a co-creator
* Be a VIP: a very inspired person
The companion CD that accompanies this gentle guide brings you more than 60 minutes of inspirational music from around the world. It features the author and other artists performing songs and chants from Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, and Hindu traditions in their native languages.
The Spiritual Guide that Comes with It's Own Ego Test
CLICK HERE if you are offended by the title
Humorous, edgy, profound, and enlightening, Spirituality For Dummies brings modern-day spiritual seekers a view and approach to life that is universal, personal, and optimistic, with the dependable style, clarity, and friendliness of the “For Dummies” series.
User-friendly descriptions of spiritual teachings, principles and practices are brought to life with with humorous anecdotes and insightful quotes from great thinkers, scriptures, and texts from many traditions. With a friendly and conversational tone, Spirituality For Dummies gives readers tools tofind and enter the spiritual dimensions of their lives in today's unique world circumstances.
Spirituality For Dummies guides readers to the awareness of their natural and inherent identity with spirit and the all-pervasiveness of divine spirit in everything. It does this with a realistic and common sense approach that is scientific in nature, without asking readers to subscribe to fluffy or black-and-white ideas.
Reviews for Spirituality For Dummies:
“You can be sure you will no longer be a dummy if you finish reading Spirituality for Dummies. This 330-page primer provides a general overview of spiritual knowledge and awareness, and offers specific spiritual exercises and principles designed to expand one's universal consciousness. Author Sharon Janis fuses mystical traditions with "new thought" to encourage individuals to see beyond mere appearances and use intuitive perceptions to comprehend the spiritual laws at work behind the outer conditions in their lives."
— Sacramento Bee
“Spirituality For Dummies is a Mecca for those who are sincerely seeking the genuine meaning and practice of spirituality. Sharon Janis fuses mystical insights drawn from the east/west approaches, resulting in a volume that opens the heart, exhilarates the mind, and inflames the soul. No matter upon which rung of the spiritual ladder you now stand, expect to be catapulted to the next level of awareness through practice of the wisdom-offerings in this scripture of Truth.”
— Michael Beckwith, Agape and "The Secret"
“If you feel empty inside (and not because it's been six hours since your last burrito), it might be time to search for the meaning of life in Spirituality for Dummies… Even skeptics can gain self-knowledge from the thought and visualization exercises strewn throughout the book, which demonstrate how to take a positive view of negative experiences and let go of emotional baggage—like going to a therapist, but cheaper. Janis explains meditation, yoga, and other practices in a chipper, down-to-earth style, using everyday analogies and many an exclamation point, that won't scare off the novice.”
— Village Voice
READ SAMPLE PAGES:
What makes Spirituality For Dummies different from other contemporary spiritual books?
- Breadth and depth of coverage – It is rare to find a contemporary spiritual book that covers the breadth and depth of topics covered in Spirituality For Dummies.
- It's Universal and Personal– The author brings quotes and ideas from many spiritual, religious, psychological, ancient wisdom, scientific, and philosophical traditions together with personal insight and advice.
- Friendly, knowledgeable guidance with no strings attached – The author’s goal in writing this book is to share beneficial ideas and worldviews that are accessible to people from all walks of life.
About the Author:
Sharon Janis was brought up by psychology-teacher parents and studied neuroscience and film at the University of Michigan, before spending ten years living a monastic ashram life – studying, chanting, and serving in deep spiritual immersion, while producing and editing hundreds of videos for the worldwide Siddha Yoga spiritual movement.
After a decade of monastic life, Sharon moved to Hollywood for a career as film editor, director, and producer of popular television shows and films – including many evening news and news-feature shows, Hard Copy, X-Men, and The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers – winning a Los Angeles Emmy, an Associated Press National Board of Directors award, and many other accolades. With her combination of monastic life and Hollywood creativity, Sharon offers a fresh view and style that motivates, entertains, educates, and enlightens with a down-to-earth intimacy, touches of music and singing, and a generous dose of humor.
Excerpts from Spirituality For Dummies at
10 Small Things You Can Do to Uplift Your Life
10 Spiritual-Sounding Lines and What They May Really Mean
(humor with photos)
10 Opportunities to See Your Life with Spiritual Eyes
Find more info and video and audio clips of the author at: Sharon Janis Speaking.
Every copy of Spirituality For Dummies comes with
A CD of inspiring devotional music!
The Spirituality For Dummies 2nd Edition music CD comes in the back of every book and gives a delicious taste of inspiring spiritual music, including Gregorian chanting, Christian songs, Buddhist texts, Jewish prayers, Hindu chants, Latin hymns, and gospel music, sung by artists including Erik Peterson, Cantor Kathy Robbins, The Eternal OM, the Desert Fathers, Kali Mandir, Premanand Trikannad, Swami Nirvanananda, and the author.
Additional Works by Sharon Janis
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as part of the Night Lotus offering of free multimedia spiritual resources
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