A Good Sense of Humor Awakens the Spirit
By Elaine Hruska, MA
In the Edgar Cayce readings, there are hundreds of references to the importance of joy, laughter, and mirth that come from having a good sense of humor. Personally, on the conscious level, Cayce himself was known for his sense of humor and his love of story-telling. Harmon Bro, in his doctoral dissertation, wrote that Cayce was probably one of the most frustrated persons of his time, because he wanted to tell stories and talk to people, but they wanted him to keep quiet, go to sleep, and give a reading!
Even in the dispensing of information during a reading, Cayce sometimes made joking comments on himself. In one reading, for instance, he requested material on the subject matter for a lecture he’d planned to give and was advised not to be too technical; otherwise, he might be considered by his audience to be peculiar or strange. The reading went on to state that too many people considered him crazy enough already!
Here are just a few examples of humor from the readings:
In San Diego, Calif, at the 2014 meeting of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, Dr. Lee Berk, who is a psychosomatic medicine specialist at Loma Linda University’s School of Medicine, presented the newest research study on laughter (Houston Chronicle, May 4, 2014).
The brainwaves of 31 university students were measured while they watched videos, whose subject matter was either comical or upsetting. The funny videos included a range of humorous and slapstick scenes—no dark or derogatory humor was presented—while the upsetting ones included excerpts from horror movies.
Shortly after the laughter started, when the comic videos were viewed, gamma brainwave activity was noted in the students’ brains, similar to the waves produced by experienced meditators when they reach a meditative state. So the humorous videos brought their subjects’ brainwaves to a close approximation of what might be generated in mindfulness—a quiet, peaceful state similar to meditation.
The neurotransmitter dopamine, described as “the fuel of the brain’s reward circuitry,” is present with gamma waves, producing a pleasurable sensation that makes us want to return again and again to that state.
Because humor is within range for everyone—whereas meditation may not be, said Dr. Berk—the conclusion of the study would suggest that when we engage in regular doses of humor, we perhaps are reaping the already well-established benefits of meditation, since the patterns of both appear to be similar.
Cayce often encouraged individuals in their personal readings to cultivate a sense of humor, to see the ridiculous in situations, to read the comics, and to appreciate the optimistic, joking side of life. Of course, this works both ways, as one reading mentioned: “...in raising hope, in inspiring others, the entity may succeed the most in inspiring and in raising the vibrations in self...” (3197-1) For another individual the “ability to laugh at adversity when others would cry” would become a “saving grace.” (1991-1)
Employing a sense of humor at appropriate times and in appropriate ways—not to mock others—can also defuse an unpleasant situation. Several times the readings advised seeing the ridiculous in even the most sacred things, and reminded us that in all of creation God has given us alone the ability to laugh.
In regard to the healing value of humor, one reading explains: “Remember that a good laugh, an arousing even to what might in some be called hilariousness, is good for the body, physically, mentally, and gives the opportunity for greater mental and spiritual awakening.” (2647-1).
Healing relates to wholeness and balance—and humor can be a way of bringing us to that alignment within ourselves, releasing tension and creating a better barrier-free communication with others. It might also be helpful for us to attempt to follow this simple advice: “...don’t forget the recipe of making three people laugh every day!” (798-1)
Excerpt from the Winter, 2014 issue of Venture Inward newsletter, available to A.R.E. members at Edgarcayce.org/members.
Elaine Hruska is a therapist for the Edgar Cayce A.R.E. Health Center & Spa located in Houston, Texas. She holds her MA in transpersonal studies from Atlantic University and is considered an expert on the Edgar Cayce health readings. She trained under Harold J. Reilly, a pioneer in the field of massage therapy and a world-renowned physiotherapist who created the Cayce/Reilly Massage. She is the author of the best-selling books Edgar Cayce's Quick & Easy Remedies and Your Key to Good Health: Unlocking the Power of Your Lymphatic System.