Because of all of the humor on these pages, some people have wondered if Yoism is "a joke." Those who don't really understand Yoism have even compared it to tongue-in-cheek "religions" like Discordianism or
Reverend Bob's Church of the Subgenious
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If you take a closer look at Yoism, however, you will see that it is nothing like these religious parodies. The serious, at times even somber, aspects of Yoism—our Main Beliefs, our Pillars and Principles, and our sacred texts—can be found on the upper left of every page on this web site (the text links just below "The Way of Yo" video).
So, why is there so much humor on the Yoism pages?
The answer is simple. All aspects of joyful experience are sacred in Yoism. Yoism seeks to embrace, employ, and encourage experiences of wonder, awe, community, sharing, love, laughter, sexual ecstasy, and even dangerous feelings, such as believing one has access to a more valid truth, or that Yoism is a superior belief system, or that potentially treacherous feeling, righteousness.
Yoism also seeks to enhance our experience of unpleasant but necessary feelings, e.g., anxiety about where our "leaders" are taking us.
In short, Yoism is The Religion of Life. By that we mean that the joy and essential meaning in being itself is sacred. All experiences that enhance that meaning—including the painful, unpleasant feelings that lead us to be careful and to take care of ourselves and our world—are sacred in Yoism.
There is a great deal of pain and unpleasantness that we must face if we are to be able to survive as a species without unimaginable suffering. However, we must never forget the purpose for becoming fully cognizant of ugliness. That purpose is to use our discernment and understanding to minimize suffering and maximize the joyful experience of being alive and aware. Thus, when facing dreadful realities, we seek to join one another in the ways that humans have always found comfort in community when struggling with adversity. One of those ways is the ecstatic union of laughter as together we gaze upon the full, awesome Face of Yo (Reality) and struggle to comprehend fully who we are and the very serious problems confronting us.
|In addition to the Yoan use of humor, there are many, many other examples of how humor can often enable remarkable encounters with difficult truths. Indeed, brilliant comedians are most exquisitely funny when they are talking about some of the most painful realities. For examples, consider Richard Pryor's description of his heart attack (or his freebasing, near self-immolation), Stephen Colbert's mockery of insane, religious righteousness and heartless insensitivity, and the classic humor found in diverse comic expressions, such as Charlie Chaplin, Woody Allen, Jon Stewart, and South Park.
As the expression goes, "Sometimes only the court jester is allowed to speak the truth [and live to speak another day]." Is it any surprise that during the George W. Bush reign of righteous, religious idiocy and greed, parts of the U.S. Constitution were shredded, tax breaks were given to the richest of the rich, climate change may have entered an irreversible stage, and led by the U.S.,
the world slid into recession. While this was going on, however, the media was strangely silent. Only the court jesters—Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher, Lewis Black, and the like—loudly and unflinchingly spoke the truth: The Fundamentalist Emperor's New Clothes Were Not. During what seemed like a newsmedia blackout, it was the comics who boldly spoke truth to madness.
Comedy can thus be sacred on several counts.
First, it enhances the human experience of the joy of being.
Second, it can sustain us and help us to heal when the pain would otherwise be overwhelming.
Third, instead of joining together in delusional denial, it can help us to join together and more fully embrace realities that are hard to face.
All comedies—including the religious parodies of Discordianism and The Church of the Subgenius—that make us laugh are thus sacred on the first count. We would argue, however, that great comedy is that which joins the three together. (This is somewhat similar to what Trey Parker expressed in his Comic Wars episodes of South Park, in which he compared South Park to The Family Guy ;-)
Comedy and laughter are thus sacred in Yoism. But Yoism is no joke.
We are deadly serious, as can be seen on any number of our pages on this web site, e.g., our pages about the coming epidemics, tragic and potentially irreversible environmental destruction, rampant greed and the bizarre, cruel distribution of resources on our planet, the absurd "Drug War's" cruel and stupid incarceration of those who use mind expanding drugs, the equally cruel promotion and distribution of deadly, mind controlling drugs, the relentless human history of mass murder (as well as ongoing genocide), the insane meme systems (religions) that have humanity in their grip, and the increasing proliferation of actual WMD's.
We need to organize around a sane meme system before those power coalitions organized around insane meme systems bring about further, tragic destruction of our world.
And that's no joke!