Thursday, April 21, 2011


It's hard to laugh when you're alone. For me it is, anyways. Harder, anyways. Occasionally I see things that are funny enough to bring a laugh, but somehow, sharing a comical event with others makes the laughter rise more easily, more fully. I love to laugh; so I think this is largely why I find myself drawn to others.

Yet, often I fight my loneliness. I know it's weird, but when I feel lonely, I don't ask myself how I can better integrate with other people, I ask myself what is wrong with me that I am not comfortable being alone. Strange. Humans are, of course, a social species, it's only natural to want companionship. Yet I am not just human, I'm a philosopher. We all are, of course. It's a condition of thinking. So, I think, why is it I can't find the humor and zest of life but under certain conditions, those being social conditions? Is life really a serious thing, where we only find safe harbor and relief in the huddled warmth of the social sphere? I don't believe that at all.

Sometimes, of course, the laughter comes when I'm on my own. Watch a funny movie, or watch animals behave as they do, it's comical, it's hard to not smile, it's a matter of simply seeing. But, mostly there's just a sort of anxiety, an emptiness, a feeling of disconnectedness. It is that feeling of being cut off that I focus on when I persue this question. How to open oneself up, to find the joy and bliss in common experience? How to be a laughing Buddha myself, hmm...

I know it has something to do with relaxing, somehow. But I just don't quite get it.


  1. We may be a social species, but we also have some kind of consciousness of ourselves as individuals, so there is always this tension. Some cultures emphasize the social, some the individual. You need to be comfortable in both settings.

    Actually I laugh a lot when I'm alone. I enjoy my own company.

  2. Gosh, I laugh just as heartily when I'm alone as when I'm with others. Of course, I spend most of my time by my lonesome by choice. If I get the giggles or burst out in hysterical laughter, it's really not important if I'm with others or not. Laughter (in and of itself) is great medicine.

  3. I guess I just mean it's easier to laugh when others are around, with the banter and jokes. Watching, listening, ore reading comedy or funny things is only a slight remove from actual human contact, by the way.

    As for the second paragraph: I'm alone all the time, very comfortable with it, often prefer it. I was speaking of times when I feel lonely.