"What allows the energy you work with, gather and create a life of its own is humour. Humour is a lightness that admits of other possibilities. Combine that admission with hearty connectedness and those possibilities become incorporated into a body teeming and seething with life. If humour is maintained then those incorporated possibilities – each one a thread of energy if you like – remain in some way distinct – do not agglutinate into one amorphous mass – and there quickly comes a point where the combined intensity and complexity of these interacting threads develops into what feels like awareness.
Humour is not taking things, especially the self, seriously. It confounds the logical, rational, linear mind, which always struggles to force your movements into some preconceived template, with an element of play which revels in the surprises inherent in the unfolding of creative and natural processes. In a way humour is the most valuable possession you have because it allows you to put up with anything, not with resignation but with a smile – a mood and energy that is always opening and searching not for comfort and ease but for those threads that can be brought into the whole to transform it into a vehicle capable of thrusting you to the next level; humour finds fuel everywhere. Humour also admits that sneaking feeling that you are getting it wrong – that your efforts to do and to make are coming from a part of you – your conditioning – foreign to your essential nature. Humour is a natural and gentle way of applying shocks to your conditioning – unsettling it and loosening its iron grip sufficiently for your essential nature to momentarily peek through. This essential nature, so used to being plastered over, pushed into the background and over-ridden by the bullying conditioned and conditional mind, has a completely different relationship with reality than that mind: soft, playful, interactive, ringing with laughter – imagine children at play – but it needs years of gentle coaxing and encouragement before it will venture forth and take the lead in your life. Scars don't heal overnight. Humour – the touch of lightness that refuses to linger for too long and never repeats itself (jokes are rarely funny second time round). Your conditioning needs repetition to survive and it uses up most of your vital energy in the process of constantly reviewing and recounting its domain – imagine the lonely miser pointlessly counting his money each evening before he can sleep. Your conditioning is telling you the same joke over and over and because you don't realise it's a joke you listen and approve. Humour is the only effective way to cut through this – because it is so gentle its blade is very keen."
- Steven Moore, 6/11/06, Tai Chi Heartwork