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The Alchemy of Laughter Article by Constantin Tanase Part I “Superficial laughter drains us. Authentic, genuine laughter gives us resilience.” – Dr Shyam Bhat “A day without laughter is a day wasted.” – Charlie Chaplin “The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.” – Mark Twain According to the Oxford Living dictionary, alchemy is a seemingly magical process of transformation, creation or combination. In this article, we will look at this magical process of transformation that is triggered inside of us through laughter. The origins of laughter lose themselves somewhere in the beginning of creation. Scientists have studied animal behaviour and have reached a conclusion that didn’t come as a surprise, that certain mammals endowed with an elementary form of self-consciousness, such as dogs, horses, dolphins, wales and monkeys all clearly manifest various kinds of laughter. People in their turn, laugh from early infancy, some of them even to the moment of leaving this world. Together with the self-preservation instinct, the human being holds impregnated deep within their consciousness the thirst for freedom and the profound aspiration to achieve happiness. All throughout our lifetime we are pursuing happiness, though most of the time we are unaware of this. Unfortunately, due to the level of understanding imposed by our society (school, family, church, massmedia etc.), most of the people condition their happiness to reaching certain goals, desires, acquiring material goods (houses, cars, business etc.), professional functions or social statuses and last but not least to establishing and consolidating relationships with other human beings. This is how, day by day, hour by hour, mistaking pleasure and comfort for happiness, we run about in all directions hoping that just maybe we will hit the jackpot and finally obtain the much longed-for happiness. Consequently, we gradually lose our spontaneity, the childlike state disappears, and as years go by we find ourselves uptight, tense, overstressed, old before our age, sick and unhappy. Having reached this place of maximum rigidity, we are stone-hearted and almost hopeless and only a miracle can save us. This miracle is the awareness of the state we are in, as well as the understanding that we need to take action. From the Bible to scientific evidence, various authorities in the matter remind us that “laughter is the best medicine”. There are countless methods we can apply in order to find our lost inner balance, purity, happiness and harmony. For instance, we can choose to go down the line of our existence and to realise where, in what way and whom we have wronged, and to start taking action in the opposite way: helpfully and harmoniously, thus compensating our mistakes with righteous actions. Another efficient method, practiced in most of the religions of the world, is that of completely abandoning ourselves to the Divine Will, allowing God the Father to decide for us, while we choose to live the present moment to the maximum and, as much as possible, without desires. One more method, which is practiced by yogis for Page 16 | Monad 5 / 2017 The Alchemy of Laughter Article by Constantin Tanase Part I “Superfi cial laughter drains us. Authentic, genuine laughter gives us resilience.” – Dr Shyam Bhat piness to reaching certain goals, desires, acquiring material goods (houses, cars, business etc.), profes- sional functions or social statuses and last but not least to establishing and consolidating relationships “A day without laughter is a day wasted.” – Charlie Chaplin with other human beings. This is how, day by day, hour by hour, mistaking “The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.” – Mark Twain pleasure and comfort for happiness, we run about in all directions hoping that just maybe we will hit the jackpot and fi nally obtain the much longed-for happi- ness. Consequently, we gradually lose our spontane- According to the Oxford Living dictionary, alchemy ity, the childlike state disappears, and as years go by is a seemingly magical process of transformation, we fi nd ourselves uptight, tense, overstressed, old creation or combination. In this article, we will look before our age, sick and unhappy. Having reached at this magical process of transformation that is trig- this place of maximum rigidity, we are stone-hearted gered inside of us through laughter. and almost hopeless and only a miracle can save us. 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