Yeah, laughter lightens and seems to bring clarity with it… my working hypothesis here is that being ready to laugh at ourselves implies a willingness to recognize the limitations of what we thought we knew — the recognition that we thought we understood things firmly when we didn’t… and that comes out of Plato’s Cave, for me… the idea that comedy calls attention to the fact that the shadows we’re watching (and often taking for reality) are really just shadows.
“Lighten up” plays a big roll in Tom Robbin’s Jitterbug Perfume and, in what is my FAVORITE joke of Hegel’s (yes, his books are filled with subtle puns and word plays, believe it or not :), Hegel notes that the opposite of gravity is …. drumroll …
More and more I’m thinking about certitude as a kind of drug that makes us feel secure. This certainty (as absolute certainty I mean) is a delusion… but wonderment shakes us loose from it. And then we laugh — or cry sometimes. :^)