Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Seventh Sense?

Do you read 'The Independent'?
The reason I ask is because it recently published a fascinating article by James Geary entitled:
'The wit of the wise beats any number of sermons'.

The article fully lived up to its title.  It was both witty and wise . . . and it got me thinking.

If you've a moment to spare, may I share my thoughts with you?

Did you know, for instance, that the word 'wit' comes from 'witan', the Old English word for wisdom and understanding?

Contrary to what some people might tell us, wit is not the resource of the shallow and the superficial, wit is a tool of the wise.

Thinking about this . . . reflecting on the potency of wit to make wisdom memorable, not to mention its power to sugar the unpalatable . . .  I realised that there's a broader picture to consider.

Wit doesn't stand on its own.  Like everything else in creation, it stems from a source and it gives rise to consequences.

What is the source of wit?  Undoubtedly, a sense of humour.
And the outcome?  The pictures on this page need no words of mine to convey the highly infectious outcome.
Come on, now, admit it . . . when you look at these pictures don't you have to smile?

But can we call humour a 'sense', in the way that sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell are senses?
I think we can.  If intuition is entitled to be known as the Sixth Sense, then surely the sense of humour can rightly lay claim to be the Seventh Sense?

Let's look at the essential qualities of humour.
It both lubricates the mind and nourishes the heart.  It is, at one and the same time, totally unnecessary and absolutely essential.

Humour is divine inspiration at its finest and least predictable, whilst laughter - that extraordinary sound that rises from the stomach and can bring tears to the eyes - has rightly been called 'the divine disinfectant'.

And this is where we can move from hypothesis to fact.  Laughter is not only a disinfectant, scientists agree that it boasts strong healing properties.  Did you know that laughter has the capacity to release healing endorphins into the system, endorphins that ease stress and promote well-being?

More than that, we can, if we wish, fool our bodies into releasing these endorphins.
You don't feel like laughing?
No matter, just raise the corners of your mouth into a forced smile and that will immediately trigger the dormant endorphins into beneficial action.

Can you imagine what a dark and arid desert we'd occupy were it not for the blessing of The Seventh Sense?
No, neither can I.

 Humour is surely creation at its finest . . .  a touch of divine subtlety that transforms  and redeems a weary, fractious world.

Given the wisdom of wit,  Genesis might well have written:  ' . . . God chuckled on the seventh day.'