Recently, I read a great book titled, “Why Is God Laughing? The Path to Joy and Spiritual Optimism” by Deepak Chopra. I love reading spiritual novels which are fictional stories, yet contain a lot of spiritual truths to them. Many that I read are based on the author’s real life experiences, yet they use their imagination to enhance the story’s plot while weaving in the lessons they actually learned in life.
“Why is God Laughing” is an uplifting read on spirituality and gives us ten reasons to be optimistic even in a challenging world. It also teaches us why laughter from the heart is a very healthy response to life. As Epictetus said, “It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”
It’s about a fictional character named Mickey, who is a successful comedian, yet just as human as the rest of us. When his father dies, he goes into a deep despair turning to alcohol to try to deaden the pain. At one point he was passed out on the couch when he heard his father, Larry, coming through the TV. After his initial shock, he began having a conversation with his dad, who started explaining what it was like after he died. He said he didn’t see God, but he heard the voice of God. Mickey asks him what God said and Larry replied, “He didn’t say anything. He was laughing.” Mickey asked if God was laughing at Larry, but Larry answered, “He wasn’t laughing at anybody. This laughter was everywhere. It filled the universe. It was pure joy.” He added, “Everyone should hear that sound. Kiddo, it would make all the difference. Until the world laughs with God, nothing’s going to change.”
One day Mickey meets a mysterious gentleman named Francisco who ends up changing his life forever. Through riddles from Francisco, and by having Mickey experience different scenarios, Mickey begins to look within for his answers and discovers the truth of who he really is.
At the end of the book, Chopra gives us ten principles that Francisco imparted to Mickey and explains them in more detail. Chopra states, “As realization grows within you, there is no limit to what you may become; the only certainty is that you will be transformed.”
These principles are as follows: 1) The healthiest response to life is laughter. 2) There is always a reason to be grateful. 3) You belong in the scheme of the Universe. There’s nothing to be afraid of. You are safe. 4) Your soul cherishes every aspect of your life. 5) There is a plan, and your soul knows what it is. 6) Ecstasy is the energy of Spirit. When life flows, ecstasy is natural. 7) There is a creative solution to every problem. Every possibility holds the promise of abundance. 8) Obstacles are opportunities in disguise. 9) Evolution leads the way through desire. And, 10) Freedom is letting go. As it states on the book’s inside cover, “In the end, we really don’t need a reason to be happy. The power of happiness lies within each of us, just waiting to be unleashed.”
I can imagine that some are having a hard time imagining God laughing, but why not? Laughter is very healing! Personally, I consider laughter to be the music of the Universe! But how can God laugh when so many people are suffering here on Earth? Even though we see so much suffering, don’t we still laugh? It doesn’t mean that we don’t care. We still love and help our fellow beings. It’s a hard concept to understand, but once we do, we realize that we humans take ourselves way too seriously, and that in itself is a hard concept to understand when we do see so much suffering.
Laughter is a very spiritual emotion and is one of the greatest gifts from God to us. It’s everywhere if you just listen. Osho said, “If you become silent after your laughter, one day you will hear God also laughing, you will hear the whole existence laughing…trees and stones and stars with you.”
To give laughter is a wonderful gift you can give to others. As Lateef Warnick stated, “The greatest life one can have is of service. Give joy, happiness, bliss, laughter, wisdom, prosperity, love, and light to others. By doing so, you tap into the Infinite Source within ensuring that you will never have to do without these ‘treasures’ yourself!”
Whether you believe God laughs or not is up to you, but for me? I’ll laugh with God anytime, and I’d be willing to bet God has a really great, infectious laugh!
Published in the Cookeville Herald Citizen newspaper May 20, 2016.