To transcend the world requires compassion and acceptance. They are the result of inner humility by which the world is surrendered to God with increased peace of mind. One of the most valuable spiritual tools about which, historically, little has been said is the great value of humor. Comedy arises as a result of the comparison that is made between perception and essence, and the resolution is a consequence of the acceptance of the ambiguity.
Humor is quite different from ridicule or malice as it is compassionate in that it accepts human limitations and foibles as being intrinsic. It therefore assists ‘wearing the world like a light garment’ and illustrates that in being like the reed that bends in the wind, one survives instead of being broken down by rigidity.
The relief of laughter via a joke expresses the pleasure at dissolution of conflict, and the capacity to laugh at oneself is essential to positive self-esteem. To respond to everything as though it were highly important is a result of the vanity of the narcissistic core of the ego ( e.g. being ‘sensitive’ or offended’). Humor recontextualizes experiences and events and thus facilitates enjoyment without moralistic judgmentalism. Humor evolves as philosophical acceptance and has a healing effect. It thereby decreases suffering, conflict, and negative emotions.