Day 267: What is Humor? From Personality Stimulation to Self Expression - Part 1
So to open this up, we'll look at the scenario of when I am for instance with a group of people, standing around in a 'social' setting, and people are joking and making fun of each other, or making fun of someone, or joking about a particular type of person, or type of style, or type of behavior. Now this 'Clown' personality specifically relates to the accessing and stimulating of 'humor' in people's minds, becoming the driving force that is bringing everyone to a point of laughter and 'enjoying my entertainment', and then within that getting a kind of 'thrill' experience.
So, as I'm hearing the jokes, hearing the line of discussion, observing specifically what people are laughing 'AT', I'll be able to see how I can take that joke, that line of humor, and bring it to its fullest 'expression' so to speak, like where I'll be able to 'capture' the essence of the particular point of humor that's being accessed by them, and then bring it forth / present it effectively, where then the others will, through experiencing my presentation of that point of humor, laugh and will respond to it in a way where - the attention is on me and everyone's enjoying 'me and what I'm saying', as the 'vehicle' of the joke / humor. They will see ME as the 'source' of their laughter and stimulation. Basically it's what you have with a comedian on stage. You have comedians of different styles and humors, and they are these people who have an ability to effectively capture the essence of a certain 'type' of humor that is shared by people who have similar interests, personalities, education, beliefs, opinions, etc.
And, as the comedian, as the person who everyone is looking at and listening to, and through who's words and presentation / expression, are being brought into this state of like, hyper-stimulation, you are getting this form of a 'thrill' experience, because you have basically this 'power' over a group of people. You are this leader, leading a bunch of minds to a specific state / experience through YOUR words and expression. Basically it's a way to, through being able to utilize this Personality, generate an energy through the mind where, as you're doing this performance and getting the attention, you feel like MORE than what you 'normally' are. And this is something to consider in looking at how many of the comedians, musicians, and performers in this world have had problems with drug and alcohol addiction and depression. Because such an experience of being in front of a crowd and performing and getting attention, you can easily suppress your 'regular life' and what you may 'normally' be experiencing when you are not performing, and drugs and alcohol may be used to maintain like a continuous state of suppression and stimulation to not have to face what you're really experiencing in yourself.
Now if you look at humor, it's a deceptive thing actually. Because when you find something funny, the laughter comes like, immediately and it feels like it's just 'natural', it seems to be just 'spontaneous'. And so we tend to just come to the conclusion that - because I laughed at 'that' -- that all that is happening here is that 'that is funny'.
But if you really investigate the content of different types of jokes and humor, most humor requires a particular line of preprogramming, a particular set of pre-formed, pre-accepted opinions, judgments, values, and self definitions.
Like, much of the humor in this world is based on observing what 'others do', and then making fun of it. Like, mimicking someone, or 'satirizing' someone's behavior, or a group of people's behavior from a starting point of seeing them as 'stupid' in some way, or some point of comparison and judgment that, in that act of 'making fun', you're actually validating and building up your own self image and self definition where you have in some way formed an opinion that you are 'better than them', or 'smarter than them', and so then when you're with a group of people and you're making fun, cracking jokes at someone / something's expense, it's basically a situation where a bunch of similar personalities built upon similar opinions, judgments and self definitions are like stimulating each other into this positive / charged up energetic / superiorized state, and within that, someone or something is being 'belittled' in a way in the minds of all those participating in the joke / humor. And, within this, those who are laughing, would for the most part not want to THEMSELVES be the 'butt of the joke' -- would not want to switch places with the person at which the laughter / joking is directed -- because they would feel bad, or embarrassed, or angry, etc. So in a way most joking and humor is this way of finding a common ground of judgment with others, to avoid being in the position of being laughed at themselves / feeling humiliated. Which is why you'll so often notice, if you look, that many people you know will joke about someone / something / make fun of someone / something, but then get upset when they become the object of a similar joke / making fun.
It's like this point where no one is actually in fact, stable within themselves, comfortable with themselves, not actually living / existing for and as themselves as a real SELF, but is instead completely defined through the acceptance and validation of others and through external sources of self value, for example being admired, complimented, agreed with, etc, and constantly exists within this need and drive to validate their own personality / self image / make themselves feel like 'more than someone else'.
Of course, there is humor of a nature more aligned with, for example pointing out ridiculous things that we do, pointing out our own dishonesties and idiosyncrasies, where when we laugh, it's more of an innocent laughter - we're laughing at ourselves in a form of self realization / looking at ourselves -- for example much of George Carlin's humor was in this vein. But I will get into that a bit more later.
And, what I've also found with using humor in more 'personal' situations, is that I would sometimes access humor / joking as a point of suppression, because of a reaction to a moment of 'awkwardness', or discomfort within myself, where actually what opened up is a moment / opportunity to be self intimate in communicating something directly with someone, or asking something, or sharing something about what I'm experiencing - a moment of Self Honesty where an opportunity for a point of actual unconditional, real self expression opens up -- but then one immediately reacts to this within fears of how the other might react / respond, particularly if that point of self expression would not be aligned with how you 'usually act', or 'usually talk about stuff', and within that one would have to face the fear of losing a particular relationship one has created toward another, and so rather suppresses the Self Expression, and goes back to Personality.
Like, you can relate perhaps to a situation where maybe you're laughing with friends and they're telling a joke, and you can see that the joke is based on an obvious judgment toward someone, like, seeing them as stupid / inferior -- like, being nasty toward someone, and a moment presents itself where you have within you this point all of a sudden where you see you could share what you see, you could stand up within yourself and really Express something, with for example saying 'you know, I'm seeing this humor is really just us making ourselves feel good about ourselves through judging someone and making them inferior' -- but you suppress that expression because you fear that the others will react to you negatively and will not 'like you anymore', and so keep participating in the Personality 'they know you as and accept you as' -- the personality which is predictable because it is just a Program that runs on specific sets of opinions, judgments, and self definitions.
With myself, I used the 'clown' personality in school and social settings from an age when I started to experience discomfort, humiliation, embarrassment, awkwardness, like when someone would make fun of me and I'd take it personally and feel bad, I learned I can use humor and jokes to prevent bullying, to control how people see me - to make sure they see me as 'entertaining' and so would 'like me'. But within this actually suppressing / hiding from negative experiences / reactions I've had. Only later in opening up such points and walking through them with writing and self forgiveness, was I able to release the points of reaction / taking things personally, and within that release myself from the 'need to be entertaining'.
Though, I still face moments where in social situations, I'll have a moment where I see how I can take a joke to a point where it will make the others laugh, and I'll go into that personality, and will get that moment of a 'thrilling' experience of being 'the object of attention', being 'the social leader', and getting that experience of feeling 'more than' for a moment.
I will continue opening up this point in my next post...