I’ve read a lot of books on spirituality, self-help, personal development and general self-do-goodery recently. I guess it’s because my thirtieth birthday looms and I’m still bemused as to why I’m not yet fully enlightened. Yet the reason why I bring this up is not to give myself an anti-enlightened self-flagellation, but instead to wonder whether these ‘improving’ books compound rather than aid the suffering. The reason — most of these books lack one of life’s greatest improvers — humour. In fact, I’ve got the feeling that many of these books that profess to be filled with inner-wisdom serve only to to compound my seriousness, even grumpiness, as I try to better myself.
I’ve looked back over these Simpletom articles and realised, despite the fact that I’ve enjoyed the writing and compiling, that they’re missing humour. And that writing something funny, as well as reading it, is one of the most fundamental ways to achieve what I am searching for, namely contentment and peace through simplicity. I wrote an article for Max Gladwell the other day, and it dramatially improved my mood, merely because it enabled me to be somewhat lighthearted. A simple remedy.
Compare Deprak Chopra with Bill Bryson, Ekhart Tolle with Douglas Adams – I think the latters have actually improved my life a little more. I’m not for a moment suggesting that Deprak and Ekhart and other scrabble-winningly named authors aren’t extremely wise and wonderful individuals, even occasionally funny – but instead, their writings can leave people a little serious or over-zealous.
After all, the great Dalai Lama manages to be deeply funny and cheeky, whilst also being sincere and profoundly wise at the same time. Humour is perhaps hard to handle when you’re talking ‘deep shit’, but I’ve got a feeling that those who can juggle the two benefit the most and that many self-helpers miss this phenomena as they preach.
So, without further ado, I will try to lighten up my posts and add some humour and even, god forbid, some flippancy, without loosing too much of the sentiment and solidity. Feel free to call me out if I descend into banality, or if my jokes leave a little to be desired and I shall straighten up my tie, remove the squirting flower from my lapel, and rename myself Tomzecq.