Saturday, April 14, 2007

Seeing the Lighter Side

The world is becoming such a dark place that I fear there is very little genuine humor left (except on a few of my favorite blogs.) Here is an essay by Mitchell Kalpakgian about the ability to see the lighter side. To quote:

Nonsense is evidence of liveliness and a youthful spirit. As Chesterton remarks in Orthodoxy, "angels can fly because they take themselves lightly," and "a characteristic of great saints is their power of levity." Although nonsense does not have a literal meaning or present historical fact or represent scientific truth, it possesses poetic knowledge -- the ability to make new metaphors, see fresh comparisons, and form striking analogies in original ways....

Silliness is healthy medicine, and counteracts the disease of seriousness. In Chesterton's words from Orthodoxy, "Pride is the downward drag of all things into an easy solemnity. One 'settles down' into a sort of selfish seriousness, but one has to rise to a gay forgetfulness. A man 'falls' into a brown study; he reaches up at a blue sky. Seriousness is not a virtue.... Satan fell by the force of gravity." Share

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