“[I]n order to gain the ability to learn from our mistakes, to have fun with our inherent hypocrisy, and to have a good sense of humor in regards to our fallibility as an imperfect species, we must first have the capacity to be vulnerable, which requires brutal self-honesty and ruthless self-interrogation.
Brutal self-honesty and ruthless self-interrogation forces us to face our own demons. It pushes us to confront our most personal foibles, fallibilities, and unhealthy propensities and to question all authorities, especially our own. It forces our head over the abyss of the human condition, searing our soul with the unavoidable blazing flame of truth: impermanence. It slaps us across the face with its absolute mockery of our happiness ever being a thing that can be permanent. It insouciantly rattles off the almighty cosmic joke, making damn certain we realize we’re the butt-end of that joke.
Which is why a particularly effective strategy at achieving a state of vulnerability and self-honesty is to use our sense of humor. When we laugh at ourselves, we loosen ourselves up. The screws of our seriousness get unscrewed by the genius of our humorous sincerity. We suddenly go from being the butt-end of the joke, to laughing at the joke, thus turning the tables on the jokes power over us, and thus on power itself. When we can laugh at ourselves, we are allowing ourselves to be “weird,” to tackle the dilemma of the self from another angle, to impose a state of existential vulnerability that transforms the soul into a prism where the light of truth can shine through…”