Monday, April 09, 2007

Jesus wept laughed!

NOW READING: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

Among the other issues presented in this book, some of the monks in a chapter I recently read argued about laughter. Namely, is it OK? Is it OK to be funny? Did Jesus ever laugh?

Now, of course I'm not really expecting to agree with many monks on many fine points of theological debate, especially seeing as they tend to do this whole taking-the-Bible-literally thing waaaaay too much for my liking. But this I found interesting, and I'd like to gather with Brothers William, Adso, Ubertino, Malachi, and the like to discuss it. And Salvatore. Even though with him it's not really a discussion; he just sort of rambles in his incomprehensible language blend, but I'm rather fond of his incomprehensible language blend. Salvatore is my favorite. He has only had two scenes so far, but I'm hoping for many more.

Anyway the one part I found most interesting was the question of Jesus laughing, and specifically what one of the monks says about it: that he had no reason to, because he was omniscient. Whereas we laugh so often out of surprise, shock, etc., this divine-like being knew everything so you couldn't surprise him! No April Fool's fun hanging with Christ, that's for sure. Although, his big holiday comes right around that time anyway, so maybe you have bigger things to worry about than April fooling. Anyway, I thought this was a bizarre notion. Imagine being all-knowing, and then no longer being able to laugh.

Luckily, I don't believe in any omniscient beings. But I do sometimes refer to The Universe, which I may or may not have characterized as all-knowing, especially when it helpfully delivers me cosmic signs about what I should do with my life by playing a song on the radio or something. However, if said cosmic signs and my resulting life are any indication, then The Universe absolutely, positively knows how to have a good laugh.

Take it away, Depeche Mode!

"I don't mean to start any blasphemous rumors,
but I think that God's got a sick sense of humour,
and when I die
I expect to find
him laughing..."

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