The Spiritual Practice of Silliness

And now for something completely different: a bunny wearing a hat.

Silliness is more than not taking things too seriously; it is the awareness that we create our own experience. It is to decide to take the world on your own terms for a moment. The practice of silliness is indeed a spiritual thing, more so even than laughter, which is generally a result of forces beyond yourself. Silliness, on the other hand, is a self-constructed experience of controlling one’s reality. It shows how you can change not only your mood but your entire perception of the world as you see fit. Practicing silliness with an awareness of its power boosts one’s confidence in one’s own ability to manage one’s soul and one’s experience of life itself. Indeed, some of the greatest minds and deepest hearts are seen at their best when practicing silliness.

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A Retrograde Perspective of The Spiritual and the Physical

We are not alienated from the spiritual world. The truth is, it is the physical world that is hidden from us, and the material world is actually what is most esoteric.

Everything we experience comes to us from the mind. If you believe that mind (or soul) is immaterial, that the thoughts in your mind are not entirely made of physical matter such as atoms, then it follows that everything you can experience is also immaterial, since we do not experience or sense anything directly. The physical world is processed, rendered, and presented to us through the apparatus of the mind. Everything we see or feel or otherwise sense is a production of the mind. It is an immaterial representation of the material world.

Thus, we in fact only perceive an immaterial world — made of the same “stuff” as the spiritual world. Our senses are more closely related to the spiritual realm than the physical realm! Whatever the physical world is like, we have never perceived it; we have always perceived a “spiritual representation” of material things.

So the physical world is actually hidden from us and therefore is deeply esoteric, whereas the spiritual world is our ordinary, mundane, daily experience.

This is what I call a “retrograde perspective” (see here for more discussion of this term). It directly opposes what we commonly think about the physical and spiritual dichotomy. And it is a completely valid, yet opposite, way of understanding our experience as human beings.

If the physical world is actually hidden and esoteric, everything we experience being immaterial, then the spiritual world is the most intimate and ordinary experience we can have.

You can give up the desire to have extraordinary or sacred experiences without turning your back on spirituality. Spirituality ought not be mere thrill-seeking but a deep hue that paints your perspective of mundane experience. When you approach spirituality as a hidden and rarely-seen thing, you intentionally alienate yourself from it. At first, this viewpoint might make spirituality seem more exciting and attractive, but a steady stream of rare and extraordinary experiences is inherently unobtainable, leading to disappointment and a weakening of faith in one’s entire spiritual belief system.

But if you let spirituality be ordinary, contained even in the most mundane events, your faith will be supported on a moment-to-moment basis.

And it is inevitable that blind faith serves an unseen master, whose goals are both unknown and foreign to you. Taking the perspective of the immaterial as ordinary experience solves this too. Your faith in spirit need not be blind at all, but the actual mechanism by which you see.