Go out there and work your magic!

My dear Humoristian hooligans-

If ever the world needed your kind-hearted sass and your good-natured love of humanity it is now. We are living in interesting times, for sure – but you were made for these times – and the world needs what you have to offer. May your love and courage touch and uplift all you meet today. May your sense of humor lighten the burden of those who are athirst for joy in a desert of responsibility and solemnity. May your smile be contagious, and your joy transforming.

Go out there and work your magic!
Karen

Love the Hell out of the Cranky, Crabby, and Crusty

My dear Humoristian hooligans –
The next week may test our mettle. But we shall continue in the Humoristian way. We shall (cue in the music here – something rousing – maybe the theme song from Chariots of Fire) continue in our mission to spread laughter across our planet 24-7; we shall love the hell out of the cranky, crabby, and crusty; we shall bring mirthful merriment to the morose and melancholy; and hope and courage to the fearful and discouraged. We will love as the sun shines – without discrimination or agenda. And we will find the joy and beauty in each and every day. Go out there and make ’em laugh! Amen.
Karen

Forum Friendships

When the heart speaks, however simple the words, its language is always acceptable to those who have hearts.
– Mary Baker Eddy

Nine years ago, as I was entering a challenging period in my life, I clicked on a button at the bottom of my book’s page on Amazon and found myself in a zany world of Christians, atheists, Buddhists, pagans, and other assorted folks engaged in dialogue about religion. I was fascinated by what I saw there. I laughed out loud. At times my mouth literally fell open in disbelief. I was moved. I was inspired. I was disturbed. I was informed.

I tentatively put my toe in the forum waters and soon found myself sucked into the current and pulled into a rollicking, outrageous, epic verbal adventure. Ohmygosh! It was an amazing trip! As I was thrown here and there by the currents, bouncing around ad hominem boulders, I reached up to a raft going by, and the folks in the raft reached down and pulled me into their daring, laughing midst. Without further ado, they handed me an oar and made me one of their crew. They became my friends.

I was the only Christian Scientist in the crew. My crew mates were atheists, Christians, Buddhists, wiccans – some believed in a god, some did not. But they all had a couple things in common that, for me, were more important than whether they believed in a god or not – they all had the ability to laugh at themselves; and they were all enlisted in battling self-righteous busybody bullying and meanness.

Soon after I got on the forum I got it into my head to start my own religion. I named it Humoristianity. Here are the tenets of my faith:

1) You must be able to laugh at yourself.

2) You must be able to recognize how ludicrous your beliefs might appear to others.

3) You must want nothing but good for everyone, everywhere in the universe.

4) You must have a natural aversion to meetings, committees, and scheduled events (as we will be having none of those).

5) You must enjoy the humor of Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Tom Lehrer, and Jerry Seinfeld (if you’re a Jerry Lewis kind of guy, you might want to think about starting your own religion – although we wish you nothing but good).

My friends soon joined me in the Humoristian temple. We gave each other grandiose titles and set forth to conquer the world with humor. The conquering-the-world thing never really came to pass. But we did get a book out of it: The Humoristian Chronicles: A Most Unusual Fellowship.

For me, the most amazing things to come out of that time on the forum were the incredible and lasting friendships that were made there. In some ways these friends knew me better than my off-line friends because we had talked with each other about things that people rarely talk about in normal, polite conversation – we’d talked about our most deeply-held beliefs about God and life and the universe. We’d shared our doubts and our fears and our triumphs with each other. We got to know each other through our thoughts and words before we got to know each other in the person. It was a rare and beautiful opportunity.

During my time on the forum I was also working my way through a terrible depression – something I’d never experienced before. When I clicked into the forum I was allowed to escape, for a time, from the world of depression, and into a world of laughter – into a world where people actually wanted to hear what I had to say, and listened, and responded with kindness. Later, when I was telling a psychologist about my experience on the forum – suggesting to her that I might have actually been addicted to it – she told me, no, it looked like I had instinctively done something really healthy for myself; I had found something that was helpful to me and helped me cope.

Through the years I’ve had the opportunity to meet some of my forum friends in the person. I have never been disappointed by the people they are in “real” life. They have been a blessing to me.

Yesterday my husband (who has met several of my forum friends with me) and I met my forum friend, Craig, and his wife, for lunch. Craig and his wife are from Jamaica, but they are currently living in Dubai. The last month they’ve been vacationing in the USA – traveling up the west coast – and, happily, I live on their route. Craig and his wife are WONDERFUL people. His wife is smart and beautiful and accomplished – a high school chemistry teacher. And Craig is as kind and funny in the person as he was on the forum.

Afterwards I asked my husband: “Weren’t they great?!” And he said, yes, they were. “Didn’t I meet cool people on the forum?”

Without hesitation, he answered “Yes, you did! Very cool people!”

Humoristian friends

 

Don your tights and play your kazoos…

12:05 am, June 8

My dear Humoristian hooligans –

Yup, I am still up. Before I go to bed I wanted to send out a message to you to tell you how very glad I am to know you are on this planet with me. If you’re feeling discouraged or ascared or alone – know that you have a whole community of people who are working for the same things you’re working for, who care, and who are blest by your kindness. You have a reason to be here – a purpose. You are here to love and to spread laughter. You are a hero. So don that cape and those tights. Put on the Groucho glasses and play the kazoo. You have work to do, my hooligan friends. Go out there and spread your magic. I mean.You know. After you get a good night’s sleep.

xoxoxo

Karen

work your magic 2

Neither Snow, Nor Rain, Nor Heat, Nor Gloom…

Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.
– Herodotus

My dear Humoristian hooligans,

Today, as you do battle against the forces of gloom and stodge, may you know that you are making a difference in the world. May your commitment to good will and humor lighten the loads of those burdened with fear and hate. May you bring laughter to the cranky, kindness to the bullied, and cheerful enlightenment to the ignorant. Let neither snow, nor rain, nor bigotry, nor FOX, deter you from your mission of irrepressible, unrelenting joyfulness. Go out there and make some laughter!

– Karen

Bokononism, Humoristianity, and Christian Science: A Really Scholarly Essay

The time for thinkers has come. –  Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures

“All of the true things I am about to tell you are shameless lies.” –Kurt Vonnegut’s character, Lionel Boyd “Bokonon” Johnson, in Cat’s Cradle

You must be able to recognize how ludicrous your beliefs might appear to others. – Alpha Wingoov Karen, The Humoristian Chronicles

***

I just finished reading Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. In his book, Vonnegut introduces us to a new religion, Bokononism. I very much enjoyed learning about Bokononism. I am also pretty sure that I myself am a Bokononist.  But then, the books suggests that we ALL are.

So, counting the religion I was raised in – Christian Science – and the religion I founded – Humoristianity – I guess I can now identify myself as a Humoristian Bokononist Christian Scientist – or HuBoChriSci, for short.

I thought it might be useful – at least to me – to compare and contrast these three sects.  In keeping with the religion I founded, Humoristianity, this will, of course, be a really thorough and scholarly presentation. 🙂

And away we go…

THE PURPOSE

Truth, independent of doctrines and time-honored systems, knocks at the portal of humanity. – Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy

As Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Christian Science Church, states in The Manual of the Mother Church, the Christian Science Church was  “…a church designed to commemorate the word and works of our Master, which should reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing.”

In the textbook for Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Eddy defines “Church” as “The structure of Truth and Love; whatever rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle,” and says, “The Church is that institution, which affords proof of its utility and is found elevating the race, rousing the  dormant understanding from material beliefs to the apprehension of spiritual ideas and the demonstration of divine Science, thereby casting out devils, or error, and healing the sick.”.

http://www.amazon.com/Science-Health-Scriptures-Authorized-Trade/dp/0879522607/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1384621398

In Cat’s Cradle, Vonnegut’s character, “Bonobon” Johnson, explains the purpose of his religion in a “calypso” poem:

I wanted all things
To seem to make some sense,
So we all could be happy, yes,
Instead of tense.
And I made up lies
So that they all fit nice,
And I made this sad world
A par-a-dise.”
–Kurt Vonnegut, Cat’s Cradle

http://www.amazon.com/Cats-Cradle-Kurt-Vonnegut-ebook/dp/B003XRELGQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1384621450&sr=8-1&keywords=cat%27s+cradle

My purpose in founding Humoristianity was to bring laughter to those weary seekers of humor, athirst in a discussion board desert of stodginess, pomposity, and people who took themselves waaaay too seriously.

Here, as I laid them down on that discussion board, are the tenets of Humoristianity:

1) You must be able to laugh at yourself.

2) You must be able to recognize how ludicrous your beliefs might appear to others.

3) You must want nothing but good for everyone, everywhere in the universe. (Editor’s note: Don’t let this one scare you. None of us is quite there, yet.)

4) You must have a natural aversion to meetings, committees, and scheduled events (as we will be having none of those).

5) You must enjoy the humor of Jon Stewart, Steven Colbert, Tom Lehrer, and Jerry Seinfeld (if you’re a Jerry Lewis kind of guy, you might want to think about starting your own religion – although we wish you nothing but good). 

http://www.amazon.com/Humoristian-Chronicles-Most-Unusual-Fellowship-ebook/dp/B005MGBEJI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1384621350&sr=8-1&keywords=humoristian+chronicles

LOVE

God is Love. – I John 4

In the Christian Science textbook, Eddy writes, “’God is Love.’ More than this we cannot ask, higher we cannot look, farther we cannot go.”

And in Cat’s Cradle, one of Vonnegut’s characters seems to echo this thought when she recounts a (fictional) conversation she had with one of the inventors of the atomic bomb:

“Do any conversations stick in your mind?”
“There was one where he bet I couldn’t tell him anything that was absolutely true. So I said to him, ‘God is love.’”
“And what did he say?”
“He said, ‘What is God? What is love?’”
“Um.”
“But God really is love, you know,” said Miss Faust, “no matter what Dr. Hoenikker said.”
“Miss Faust,” Vonnegut writes, “was ripe for Bokononism.”

TRUTH

Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. – John 8

“Dr. Breed keeps telling me the main thing with Dr. Hoenikker was truth.”
“You don’t seem to agree.”
“I don’t know whether I agree or not. I just have trouble understanding how truth, all by itself, could be enough for a person.”
– from Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

“Truth is ever truthful, and can tolerate no error in premise or conclusion,” writes Eddy in the Christian Science textbook, and “Christianity as Jesus taught it was not a creed, nor a system of ceremonies, nor a special gift from a ritualistic Jehovah; but it was the demonstration of divine Love casting out error and healing the sick, not merely in the name of Christ, or Truth, but in demonstration of Truth.”

IS IT POSSIBLE TO BE A HUMORISTIAN BOKONONIST CHRISTIAN SCIENTIST?

What? You want me to, like, give you an actual answer to this question….?

***

“Are you a Bokononist?” I asked him.
“I agree with one Bokononist idea. I agree that all religions, including Bokononism, are nothing but lies.”
“Will this bother you as a scientist,” I inquired, “to go through a ritual like this?”
“I am a very bad scientist. I will do anything to make a human being feel better, even if it’s unscientific. No scientist worthy of the name could say such a thing.”
– Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

“In this country most people don’t even understand what pure research is.” 
“I’d appreciate it if you’d tell me what it is.”
“It isn’t looking for a better cigarette filter or a softer face tissue or a longer-lasting house paint, God help us. Everybody talks about research and practically nobody in this country’s doing it. We’re one of the few companies that actually hires men to do pure research. When most other companies brag about their research, they’re talking about industrial hack technicians who wear white coats, work out of cookbooks, and dream up an improved windshield wiper for next year’s Olds-mobile.”
“But here…? “
“Here, and shockingly few other places in this country, men are paid to increase knowledge, to work toward no end but that.”
“That’s very generous of General Forge and Foundry Company.”
“Nothing generous about it. New knowledge is the most valuable commodity on earth. The more truth we have to work with, the richer we become.” 
Had I been a Bokononist then, that statement would have made me howl. – Kurt Vonnegut, Cat’s Cradle

 

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