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Author Topic: A Healthy Sense of Humor  (Read 6086 times)
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Journeyman
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« Topic Start: September 09, 2007, 04:13:42 pm »

This will probably be just a quick post as I am facing time constraints, but hopefully it will be enough to go on.

One aspect of life that often seems neglected within the confines of religious practice is Humor.  Chaos Magic seems to have not only humor, but sarcasm, wry self-depreciation, and a healthy love of absurdity.  I often attempt to openly bring humor into religious practices of all kinds, being a bit of a chaote at heart.  It goes over better in some circumstances than others.  So what I'm wondering is this: Do you purposefully include humor in your religious practices?  If so is this done only in solitary practice or when groups are involved?  And if you have done this in groups, how has it been received? 

Side Note:  How do you feel about/work with the energy created by humor as opposed to other types of energy?  I personally tend to use it as a grounding influence.
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SunflowerP
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« Reply #1: September 09, 2007, 06:26:57 pm »

So what I'm wondering is this: Do you purposefully include humor in your religious practices?  If so is this done only in solitary practice or when groups are involved?  And if you have done this in groups, how has it been received? 
"Irreverent reverence" was one of Prometheus Coven's founding principles.  Its predecessor group NJD (a circle rather than coven) had gone through some massive and painful upheavals, and the four of us remaining were trying to rebuild.  The two people we were considering as new members, though, turned out to have major issues with the idea that humor and playfulness was acceptable at any time in the ritual, subject only to it not disrupting group focus.

When I suggested the possibility of limiting such things to the less-structured portions of ritual, it was the one of us who was least likely to exercise that playfulness who put her foot down:  she might not do it often, but its acceptability was profoundly spiritually important to her; if we changed that, we'd no longer be the right group for her, and she'd leave.

The prospective members also had a few other issues, so it was clear all round that we weren't the right group for them.  It was kind of discouraging after the previous upheavals, but it really crystallized the sense of unity we had, and helped us to realize that we'd developed the degree of bonding necessary to be a coven, not just a circle.

The bottom line is, for some people, any humor and/or playfulness in the "formal" parts of things (and for a few, even in the informal parts) is disruptive to their focus; they have a spiritual need for solemnity.  That's just how their minds/hearts/guts work.  I don't really understand that myself, so it's hard for me to talk about it without sounding disparaging, but I accept that it's true.

For us, it's spiritually meaningful.  It doesn't mean we don't take what we do seriously.  What I'll tell folks who want to join us and/or be taught by us is, "'Serious' doesn't necessarily mean 'solemn', it means 'important' - and play is also important."  If that makes sense to the prospective member/student - and especially if it excites them, resonates strongly - we may be right for them.  If it doesn't, we almost certainly aren't.

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« Reply #2: September 10, 2007, 03:35:48 pm »

"Irreverent reverence"

I do like that phrase.
I don't do group work, so that let's me out of most comments.
Personally, I might have been known to be less than reverent on occasion, and have gotten into trouble with some people for it - though not with tM - being irreverent about Her is not the same as being irreverent to Her.

But then, I see no reason why the (limited) religious aspects of my life shouldn't be treated the same as everything else - there are times when it is necessary to be serious, and times when it isn't.
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« Reply #3: September 10, 2007, 05:47:16 pm »



Well, I worship Hermes.  I get the strong impression that, while he appreciates reverence, he doesn't require po-faced reverence, and may actively disrupt things if he feels you're being too straightlaced -- I love Sunflower's "irreverent reverence," because that's *exactly* what Hermes seems to want.  I tend to have a somewhat... chatty and informal relationship with him; I get the impression that it isn't just me.  Humor and spontanaeity are among his Mysteries, after all. 
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« Reply #4: September 10, 2007, 06:29:35 pm »

Well, I worship Hermes.  I get the strong impression that, while he appreciates reverence, he doesn't require po-faced reverence, and may actively disrupt things if he feels you're being too straightlaced -- I love Sunflower's "irreverent reverence," because that's *exactly* what Hermes seems to want.  I tend to have a somewhat... chatty and informal relationship with him; I get the impression that it isn't just me.  Humor and spontanaeity are among his Mysteries, after all. 
Heh... I think it's a Trickster thing.  'Twas Coyote who taught me "irreverent reverence"; it's the only kind of reverence-to-him that he'll accept.  Not that I was inclined towards po-faced solemnity anyway; I'm really bad at reverence in that sense - what the Chaotic Canine showed me was that I could be good at reverence, which was something of a revelation.

Sunflower
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« Reply #5: May 27, 2010, 12:51:50 pm »

This will probably be just a quick post as I am facing time constraints, but hopefully it will be enough to go on.

One aspect of life that often seems neglected within the confines of religious practice is Humor.  Chaos Magic seems to have not only humor, but sarcasm, wry self-depreciation, and a healthy love of absurdity.  I often attempt to openly bring humor into religious practices of all kinds, being a bit of a chaote at heart.  It goes over better in some circumstances than others.  So what I'm wondering is this: Do you purposefully include humor in your religious practices?  If so is this done only in solitary practice or when groups are involved?  And if you have done this in groups, how has it been received? 

Side Note:  How do you feel about/work with the energy created by humor as opposed to other types of energy?  I personally tend to use it as a grounding influence.

i was shocked to find in the end..all of it was just a small joke
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« Reply #6: May 27, 2010, 12:59:40 pm »

Heh... I think it's a Trickster thing.  'Twas Coyote who taught me "irreverent reverence"; it's the only kind of reverence-to-him that he'll accept.  Not that I was inclined towards po-faced solemnity anyway; I'm really bad at reverence in that sense - what the Chaotic Canine showed me was that I could be good at reverence, which was something of a revelation.

Not just-Hades has a very wicked sense of humour too. I think that it is a way of coping with some things. If you can see the lighter side of things, it will never be completely dark for you. Life is never completely serious, so why should faith be? That said, there is always a time to play and a time to be serious-the trick is knowing which is which......
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« Reply #7: May 27, 2010, 05:34:15 pm »


Side Note:  How do you feel about/work with the energy created by humor as opposed to other types of energy?  I personally tend to use it as a grounding influence.

"Let there be.....mirth and reverence, ......"

We have times when our circles are solemn, and times when they are........so very not! Both are usually appropriate to the season, or to the needs of the group. Sometimes, you just have to laugh.
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« Reply #8: December 04, 2010, 05:19:39 pm »

This will probably be just a quick post as I am facing time constraints, but hopefully it will be enough to go on.

One aspect of life that often seems neglected within the confines of religious practice is Humor.  Chaos Magic seems to have not only humor, but sarcasm, wry self-depreciation, and a healthy love of absurdity.  I often attempt to openly bring humor into religious practices of all kinds, being a bit of a chaote at heart.  It goes over better in some circumstances than others.  So what I'm wondering is this: Do you purposefully include humor in your religious practices?  If so is this done only in solitary practice or when groups are involved?  And if you have done this in groups, how has it been received? 

Side Note:  How do you feel about/work with the energy created by humor as opposed to other types of energy?  I personally tend to use it as a grounding influence.

Depending on the energy of the work I am trying to do, I use humor as a tool. Laughter is a very good means of banishment. If I need to release tense energy before or after a tense working I will use humor. Some spirits I associate with only use humor to communicate with. I also use opposites and sarcasm to cast workings because I find that the subconcious mind works well with that. I hope I can't get any work in the next week! Ha ha. Being serious takes alot of energy anyway. I love the boost I get from funniness. You tend to remeber soomething if it is catchy or funny. If laughing is the best medicine I just hope I do not overdose. When working in groups we usually do not use humor in the ceremonies only afterwards. I would love to go to a group ceremony where humor was used to raise energy. It reminds me of the sacred clowns of some Native Ceremonies. I was once told that things will not work if there is not balance between the serious and play.
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« Reply #9: December 27, 2010, 09:58:00 pm »

Depending on the energy of the work I am trying to do, I use humor as a tool. Laughter is a very good means of banishment. If I need to release tense energy before or after a tense working I will use humor. Some spirits I associate with only use humor to communicate with. I also use opposites and sarcasm to cast workings because I find that the subconcious mind works well with that. I hope I can't get any work in the next week! Ha ha. Being serious takes alot of energy anyway. I love the boost I get from funniness. You tend to remeber soomething if it is catchy or funny. If laughing is the best medicine I just hope I do not overdose. When working in groups we usually do not use humor in the ceremonies only afterwards. I would love to go to a group ceremony where humor was used to raise energy. It reminds me of the sacred clowns of some Native Ceremonies. I was once told that things will not work if there is not balance between the serious and play.

This post was brilliant. Thank you.
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« Reply #10: December 28, 2010, 02:27:54 am »

This will probably be just a quick post as I am facing time constraints, but hopefully it will be enough to go on.

One aspect of life that often seems neglected within the confines of religious practice is Humor.  Chaos Magic seems to have not only humor, but sarcasm, wry self-depreciation, and a healthy love of absurdity.  I often attempt to openly bring humor into religious practices of all kinds, being a bit of a chaote at heart.  It goes over better in some circumstances than others.  So what I'm wondering is this: Do you purposefully include humor in your religious practices?  If so is this done only in solitary practice or when groups are involved?  And if you have done this in groups, how has it been received? 

Side Note:  How do you feel about/work with the energy created by humor as opposed to other types of energy?  I personally tend to use it as a grounding influence.

I don't often use humor within (during ritual or ceremony, for instance) my religious practice--although, as part of an exploration of the Ovayaki current in chaos magic, I did discover the use of laughter as a less-complex but incredibly effective method of banishment. The presence of a healthy sense of humor does inform the the fruit of my spiritual disciplines, though. If I've invested a great deal of time and effort into the work that is intended to enrich my spiritual essence, and I find that in so doing I have been stripped of my ability to recognize the inherent goodness and resultant humor of this existence, then I know that somewhere along the way I've taken a wrong turn. Humor, in this sense, becomes one of my barometers for spiritual progress, so I have incorporated it into my religious practice but not in the sense that you imply.

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