Spirituality and Humor

Spirituality and Humor

When my sisters and I sat beside Dad, saying our last goodbyes, for some unknown reason, we erupted into peals of unrelenting laughter. At first, feeling slightly guilty, later, I sensed vague symbolism in the coherence of laughter and death. Not until I read Peter Berger’s book, Rumor of Angels, did it make sense to me. Berger wrote, “mirth can signal transcendence when it occurs in the face of acute suffering or death. As with men making music in a city under bombardment, it reflects the ultimate defiance of death.”

Similarly, Pascal wrote, “Man is but a reed, the most feeble thing in nature, but he is a laughing reed … But if the universe were to crush him, man would still be more noble than that which killed him, because he laughs at the universe and the advantage which the universe has over him; the universe knows nothing of this.”

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