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March 5, 2021 at 9:55 am #77346singalamaParticipant@singalama
Comedic Science for Liberation in 21st Century
– Dr. Singa Lama
Happiness is very much a human nature – in fact, man’s search for entire life, even in many lives if they exist, revolve around the quest for happiness. It would be better to say human beings exist to enjoy the happiness. But, if we see the human civilization of around 6,000 years, it can be concluded that men’s search for happiness might have gone a wrong way – it is very rare to find a completely happy human being. What has gone wrong? How has the human nature got detached from human beings? Let’s unfold it in the light of possibilities of Comedic Science.
The happiness – the human nature – has always been a search for every human being on earth, from past to present. There have been some notable achievers as well, be they the Hindu Mystics, Gautam Buddha, Lao Tzu, Guru Padmasambhava, Jesus Christ, Budai (Laughing Buddha) or some more contemporary Masters but if we have few dozens of achievers in the history of 6,000 years, then the ways or methods of search should have been ineffective. Otherwise, we would have had no only millions, but billions of achievers.
If we see modern people and question, how do they cultivate happiness, we may get the following answers:
- Weeds and substances
- Gadgets & technologies
- Food and beverages
- Friendship and socializing
- Love & romance
Studies show that if one’s life is full of love and romance, then till they last, happiness persists. But these days, since people are loved with calculations and we cannot find altruistic kind of love, the first category becomes too much temporary and rare. Still, most of the people may compromise with life, especially in the eastern societies where marriages are taken a life-long commitment, if not for 7 lives as in Hindu culture. The happiness compromised love life is also very much compromised. Then, such people try to find alternative way of happiness in friendship and social networking. This gives a good amount of external happiness but cannot stay consistent and last long as well.
If minimal happiness is not acquired with these, they may move to next alternative of eating good food and regular drinking, even in the binge style. This is an extension of socialization but some can enjoy these alone. Again, the problem is the momentary effect and additionally, health hazards. With this addiction, they may also try to find happiness in the technologies and modern gadgets.
But happiness level keep on fluctuating with these efforts as the intensity of stimuli keeps on changing and moving. People may move towards more sex and sexual freedom and think that it will liberate them. There has been a strong propagation “Sex can lead to super-consciousness” when you use it the right way and purpose – and this was extensively popularized by once a very popular and controversial master, labelled as Sex Guru “OSHO” throughout his life. This was a breakthrough ideation of using the human orgasmic activities for eternal emancipation in human life and basically, Tantra is taken as a means for such experience. Tantra on drinking and sex is basically practiced as a continual limitless session with madness and wilderness so as to gain a way to overcome it but only very few can get such experience. Others can get engulfed by the bottomless chasm of these erotic and exotic human behavior. Institutional marriages and commercial sex workers cannot be the means for such unethically pious practice.
If the hunger for happiness still remains unfed and life cannot compromise, people may move to initially substance use and then abuse, starting from some kinds of herbal weed that can travel towards hardcore substances. Though there have been lots of researches from modern medicine and Ayurvedic medicines about the healing properties of weeds and many countries have also started legalizing its use and cultivation, we may need more findings as well because we have seen few generations that grew with it and witnessed both the sides of effects – negative and positive. But, when it moves on to heroin, cocaine and other hardcore substances, it can lead to devastation of humans as it has been informed by the mainstream researches.
But if we see the claims by Johann Hari in his controversially popular book “Chasing the Scream”, his Ted Talk “Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong” and some other propagations, the addiction has been wrongly defined and has been lied to us. He talks about an example of someone who has broken leg and taken to hospital. The person in the hospital is administered with loads of Diamorphine – strongest kind of deluxe heroin, much stronger than an addict uses – for weeks or sometimes for months but the person doesn’t turn to be an addicted junky, nullifying the concept that if a person uses heroin for 20 days, by the 21st days, his or her body craves for it due to some chemical hooks in it. Why doesn’t this happen to the patient? Because this principle of addiction comes from several 20th century experiments on rats in which the rat was kept in cage, all lonely and provided with drugged water and plain water. The rat consumed drugged water continuously, with progression on quantity until it killed itself.
But Hari refers to a famous experiment of Psychologist Prof. Bruce Alexander on a reversed Rat Park, where he facilitated the lush park as heaven for the cats with colored balls, tunnels to scamper down, lots of other rats of different sex with liberal mating environment and of course lastly the drugged and normal water. Surprisingly, the rats hardly ever consumed drugged water and there were no cases of compulsive use and overdose. Similar things might have happened to 20% of the US soldiers in Vietnam war who excessively used heroin but when they got home, 95% of them lived just a normal life – never turned to be junky. Here, Hari concludes that heroin or the drugs do not cause addiction – actually the loneliness does it. The loneliness results in unhappiness and here, if we can consistently ensure healthy happiness for people, even the heroin cannot destroy human life.
So, cultivating healthy happiness seems to be the ultimate solution for all human problems and as we discussed earlier, happiness is a human nature but the ways people opt for it are the real culprits. For the cats, there were limited sources of happiness like friends, amusement activities and liberal sex because the brain they possess is not fully developed as the ones humans have – they have only two layers, namely basic reptilian brain and mammalian mid brain. Apart from physiological functions of breathing, heartbeat, fight-fright-freeze mechanism, they have some emotions, happiness, fear, anxiety and memories. But they do not have the cortex, the brain only the humans and few primates have. Cortex works for consciousness and cognition and is shaped by experiences – backside dealing with outside world and the frontal cortex working for thinking, reflecting and managing, mentioning emotions and having awareness. Pre-frontal cortex is even more important – it integrates body, brain stem, limbic area and cortex and manages relationships with other people. This helps to be aware of our and other’s feelings & understand them. This lets us to be moral, and this is why we actually have intuition & mindfulness. This makes us know where we have been in the past, where we are right now, where we will go in the future. Most importantly, it makes us resilient by reflecting on the inner world. To be precise, it is what makes us ‘Human Being’.
So, human beings, with this most advanced neo-cortex layers in the brain, can have more sources of happiness because they can create and cultivate. In this sense, we are unluckier than the cats. One of the safest, easiest and healthiest sources of happiness can be comedy or human humor. Of course, we can also opt the options that cats had but the problem is human civilizations have created so many judgmental values and cultures that have caged themselves. These have, in one way or the other, restricted love, romance, friendship, socialization and liberal sex. But, lucky enough, we have better brain.
So, cultivating Comedy as a culture in all human societies can pave the way to emancipation from all the traps. Only humans can be humorous, sarcastic and comedic and the resultant joy these qualities give is not beyond experiences for all other creatures but even beyond the explanation to us as well – the happiness is inexpressibly pleasant that has no other substitution – nothing as supplements or substance. So, in the 21st century challenges and crisis, Comedic Science can be the ultimate way for liberation. Since the root cause for unhappiness is loneliness, we have to ensure good family, friends and society. And yes, a good Comedic Culture can bring all these together. The comedic culture is not associated with richness, poverty, success, education, etc. If we observe the happiness of the Laughing Buddha – Budai – a 6th century Zen Master, nothing can stop us from being happy. Now, the only challenge is to develop Comedic Science to make useable to any human societies that can bring instant happiness that help people release dopamine in their brain without any other stimulus. Let’s cultivate the Comedic Culture to liberate humans in the 21st century.
(Dr. Lama is a Ph.D. in Comedic Science from Abide University)
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