A Spiritually Enlightening Online Magazine. May's Theme: "Humour"
Volume 3 Issue 4 ISSN# 1708-3265
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Confessions of a Spiritual Stealth Bomber
There's a power in cartoons that I really don't understand. I welcome it, I exploit it, I depend on it, but I don't completely understand it. I can put together a clever observation or truth in a couple of well chosen phrases, drop them into a conversation, and if I'm lucky, get a smile or a chuckle. Or maybe just a polite pause in the conversation.
But take those same words, combine them with a funny little drawing, and people will crack up and laugh till their stomachs hurt, or possibly nod their heads and raise their eyebrows with a deeply approving "hmmmmm."
And they'll remember. And sometimes they'll even be able to apply it to their lives.
What gives? What accounts for the transformation?
Jim Davis, creator of "Garfield" once said that people don't laugh at cartoons because they're funny, they laugh at cartoons because they're true.
Cartoons are little stealth bombers that can slip in under our radar and connect with our spirits before we know what hit us. Zing ba da BOOM! they slip past the conscious mind undetected. Our conscious mind, which has appointed itself as our homeland security system, and very efficiently catches spoken words, will look right at a cartoon and not even see the ego-destroying payload it's carrying. I don't fully understand the technology, but I love the way it works.
So I'm a spiritual stealth bomber. Uh, cartoonist.
As a spiritual cartoonist, and as a faithkeeper, I want to bring people out of pain and into joy. Not just for a couple of seconds of smiling or laughter, but for something longer lasting, something deeper. Entertainment is great in and of itself, but in my work it isn't the end, it's the means. It's the invisible plane slipping right past the open eyes and ears.
As a faithkeeper, I see a lot of hurting people. And I hate to see people hurting, because I know what hurt is, and I don't want others to ever feel that bad. Or to stay there any longer than necessary when they do hurt, because life sometimes does hurt, I don't care how metaphysical or enlightened you are.
Humor as a spiritual tool can be serious business, like doctoring or healing is serious business. Healers have to maintain a balance of compassion and detachment. You can't be so compassionate that you are constantly in tears over your clients' suffering.
Although it's OK to be in tears of joy over their healing.
But while you're treating someone, you have to remain detached, whether you're a traditional MD or an energy healer. One of the best ways to stop the healing energy is to become too attached to the outcome. So while you're caring passionately about healing someone, you've got to move into a place where you also release any attachment to what the energy does, because you trust that the healing energy will work with the client's body and do what is best, quite without you trying to micro-manage it.
Which is a scary place to be.
It is the being-not-being.
It is the all-trusting place where we realize that if we have done our job, what we have really done is removed our selves, our egos, so that Spirit can flow through us cleanly, clearly, and in whatever way Spirit wants.
It is the place where we have to give up all control. Very scary. Where we risk falling on our face in front of everyone including our own ego.
The patient/client isn't healed, you didn't care enough, you're no healer.
The joke fell flat. Nobody got it, you're not funny.
It is the place you are when you put a bit of funny stuff out there, in front of everyone, and wait. Now, a stand-up comic knows right away whether the joke bombed or not, because there is a live audience. Lacking that instant feedback, a cartoonist may pester friends and relatives for a reaction. Friends and relatives who really don't necessarily want the responsibility of being the people to be relied on to pass judgment. Friends and relatives who the cartoonist knows are probably useless to ask anyway because they'll just want to be kind, unlike the ruthless public.
The good news, of course, is that they usually aren't being relied on in that way. The cartoonist is just looking for a little ego boost, a little stroking, a little reassurance. Either way though, the wielder of the humor has to make his own professional judgment, and sail his creation out into the void relying on his gut.
That's the way it is with any path with spirit and heart. Ultimately it's a solo job for every one of us, just our self and the entity in the mirror. We may poke around for others' reactions, for some reassurance, for some little stroking of the ego, but in the end we have to follow our own path, our own gut, our own intuition. No-one can taste our food for us, feel our spirit for us, or walk our path for us.
In life, as in cartoons, letting someone else decide for you is a recipe for disaster. When someone else says "I don't get it," whether it's the joke or the life choice, we have to know where our compass is pointing, and we have to trust enough to go, to just go, to taste our own food, to walk our own path, to live with the consequences.
And the consequences are that if the joke falls flat, there's always another one the next day to do differently. If the decision is a disaster, there's always tomorrow to decide differently.
Oh, yes there is.
Because even if you die - even if you die - there's always tomorrow, because we are eternal beings. We get to come back and do it again better, worse, differently, but again. There's always another choice, another learning. Another step along the way.
So go do something profoundly spiritual. Read some cartoons.
Spyder SpiritPainter Webb has been a cartoonist for over twenty years, and is the creator of the metaphysical comic strip Sacred Cows. He and his wife are faithkeepers (ordained ministers) in the Native American tradition. SpiritPainter is currently studying for a Doctor of Divinity, and Reiki Master certification.
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Any advice given is for informational purposes only.