Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"Nothing is sacred ... because Everything is"

I often wake up on this tour to the sound of the guys laughing. When we're breaking down from a show, I often hear the guys cracking up on stage. When they're performing in front of a packed house, if one guy hits a bad note or misses a cue, I see the other guys start laughing. When we're on the road, even if I'm on my iPod, I often hear laughter cutting through my ear phones ... this crew simply lives to laugh.

Of course we have our uncomfortable moments of perceived disconnection, but for the most part, we're laughing at everything. We have a saying that "nothing is sacred, because everything is." And that gives us license to laugh at pretty much everything. Believe me, if a reality show ever wants to follow HERE II HERE, they're going have to consider all the phone calls from offended viewers they'll probably receive (at least after we get comfortable in front of the cameras and start acting like ourselves).

The beautiful thing about it is that our joking never comes from the space of unconscious malice. We are generally aware that we're only laughing at our own projected selves, anyway, and we realize how absurd it all is - including our own silly little selves. From that space, it's just easy to see everything with a lightness about it, even our own discomfort.

Some of you might be offended by some of our joking, and then you'd totally miss the point. That it's all made up. All of it - every concept you've ever been certain was "true"; every principle you've ever stood firmly by in the name of some noble belief; every word or name you've ever spoken; every identity you've ever attached yourself to, including your own name, race, job title, nationality, culture, or religion ... all made-up stories. All of it. Even your own name. Even your religion ... which is but "the footprints of where Truth once walked." (rumi)

And we've learned to not take it so seriously. In fact the most we've laughed on this tour came the night we saw "SHUTTER ISLAND" with Leonardo Dicaprio. It's a movie about a very serious detective who lives a mysterious adventure on an island for mentally ill patients, until we find out at the end that he was one of the patients all along and the whole adventure was an elaborate charade by the hospital staff to help bring him out of his delusion ... when we left the theater, one of us realized that all of us in HERE II HERE could be mental patients living out a powerful delusion that our own hospital staff is only enabling. In the ongoing joke, Kaz our percussionist is just banging together pots and pans; Ash's turban isn't a turban at all, but one of those helmets designed to keep epileptic patients safe; Jaime is playing a broomstick guitar; Alex sings by screeching his ABC's at the top of his lungs; and Edwin, the quiet one in the group, well, he doesn't even exist - we've completely made him up. I'm the group's therapist, and every concert is simply an evening the hospital staff lets the "band" perform for the other patients (which would be YOU, the audience).

We still laugh uncontrollably at this idea of us all living out this hilarious delusion ... because it might on some level actually even be true!! The power of delusions!

I'm aware that someone with a mentally-ill child or brother just might get offended at our joke ... and then she'd completely miss the point. We're laughing WITH her, with our own heart, even if she doesn't recognize that. She just hasn't figured out yet that it's all made up; that this life is simply hilarious in its completely ludicrous ways ... I mean, the Universe gave birth to dinosaurs and nipples!! ... And that's ok. She'll suffer and argue with the world until she relaxes into the mysterious beauty of it all a bit more. All us in the band still do that sometimes ... when we REEEALLY believe a stressful thought.

And that's when we stop laughing.

-- Here's 2 of my favorite funny HIIH behind-the-scenes videos from our recent tours:

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