This book is not exactly what I expected, but then again, I am not exactly sure what I expected.  I picked up this book while perusing the bookshelves in the store.  It looked interesting so I picked it up.  Truthfully, I hoped it would help me take myself less seriously and encourage me to laugh more.  I’m not certain that was the result, but what I did learn was profound.

I have sensed a theme in the last 2 books and movie I have seen.  They all touched on homelessness.  They have touched on the judgment of homeless people and also on what it might feel like to be homeless.  I find this interesting.  If this keeps popping up, I can only assume, I still have something to learn on this subject.

From the Foreword written by Mike Meyers:  Del Close’s philosophy:  “..comedy equals truth and truth equals spiritual growth.  Plainly put, “ha-ha” is related to “ah-ha” the sound one makes upon the realization of truth.”

I can honestly say, I have a few “ah-ha” moments of my own while reading this book.  I will list a few……..

On Fear:

  • “Fear tells you that you aren’t safe.  But you are.  Thinking that you aren’t safe is an illusion.  If you believe in an illusion, you’re buying into a lie.”
  • “Just because something bad happens doesn’t prove Fear will never stop trying to convince you.  But when you choose to stop being convinced, you’ll be fearless.”
  • “As long as you live in fear, the world is a threat.  If that doesn’t matter to you, okay.  But living that way you’ll never know the joy of your own soul.

We rely on fear to stop of us from getting hurt, but how often have we done something that scared us (like riding a roller coaster) and not get hurt?   A WHOLE BUNCH!  Fear is a false indicator to try and make us stay safe, but if we never take risks and prove Fear is a liar, we will miss some of the greatest things in life.  It is unlikely that we would follow our hearts to try new things, start new businesses, get married, have babies, all sorts of things.  I know fear has paralyzed me a few times.  I just need to remember that there have been many time when I have looked fear in the eye and did it anyway, and the outcomes have been amazing.

On Ego:

  • “Ego makes you believe you are in control, that you will get what you want. After a while, your fear is put out of your mind.  You have a self-image to keep up, after all.  You need other people to believe in you.  There’s money, status, possession, and a family to acquire.  As long as ego keeps holding out the carrot and creating constant drama, you never have to face what lies below the surface.”
  • “When the pain of being the same becomes greater than the pain of being different, you change.”
  • “Either you’re a person wondering if you have a soul, or you’re a soul who knows that being a person isn’t real.”

My husband received a $500 Apple gift card several months ago.  We decided that we wanted to use it to buy iPhones for the two of us.  This would require changing mobile phone carriers and having to buy the iPhones on line since we do not have an Apple store here in Idaho. I won’t go into the whole thing, but it cost me AT LEAST 5 hours of completely drama filled phone calls that ended with me yelling, screaming and me throwing my phone across the room.  Key word:  drama.  This drama kept me from facing my real fear.  I did not want to spend my own cash out of pocket to buy iPhones; I was afraid that I didn’t have enough money (a lie I tell myself all the time).  Once I let go of this it was incredibly easy to buy the phones, my life was FREE, and everything worked out great.  But man, that Ego and Fear of mine were enough to drive me crazy.

I have had lots of conversation about Souls before and where do they go when the physical bodies pass.  I have always heard that we are not physical beings having a spiritual experience but rather a spiritual being having a physical experience.  After reading this book, I have a new vision I carry with me.  This physical body I am in and the roles that I play are ones of my CHOOSING like a role in a play being played out on a stage.  We can change that.  The Soul is always there, but how we decide to show up in this physical world on this stage of life is completely up to us and can be changed at anytime.  This happens by letting go of the Fear and Ego.

On Addiction:

  • This isn’t about addiction to drugs, alcohol or food or anything like that.  We are addicted to our “old self”.  We are addicted to our own drama.
  • “You keep doing what never worked in the first place.”
  • “The ego never gives up trying to be in control.  So it keeps doing more and more of what didn’t work in the first place.”

When we let go of Fear, Ego, and Addiction we start living in Freedom…in “God’s World” not a world created by man (greed, fear, anger, consumption, etc.)

On God:

  • “How can you seek God if he’s already here?  It’s like us standing in the ocean and crying out, ‘I want to get wet.’  You want to get over the line to God.  It turns out he was always there.”
  • “Grace comes to those who stop struggling.  W hen it really sinks in that there’s nothing you can do to find God, he suddenly appears.  That’s the deepest mystery, the only one that counts.”

I loved these 2 thoughts.  I was having a conversation with a friend via Facebook about finding a church home.  One of her friends said he has gone to lots of churches where he couldn’t’ find God.  Her reply was that God is everywhere.  Anybody who has ever been to church has heard that he is everywhere, but I loved this ocean analogy.  And I love the feeling I got when I read that when we stop seeking him, he suddenly appears.  It’s our Ego that seeks him and Fear that tells us he is not there.  Yet when we let go, and be still, Grace will find us.  I love that!

There are so many more quotes and things I could say about this book.  It truly was an easy and quick read.  The first part reads like a story, and it is very touching.  It reads a bit like Dan Millman’s THE WAY OF THE PEACEFUL WARRIOR.  And at the end, there is a section that delves into “The Path of Joy” which has more of a text book feel.  In the end, it is a wonderful read, and I highly recommend it!