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The Dalai Lama walks into a pizza shop

So the Dalai Lama walks into a pizza shop and says, ‘Can you make me one with everything?’

My favourite bits are the Dalai Lama saying, “theoretically possible”, and the presenter at the end who still doesn’t get the joke: “you should have said make me one with the lot”!

I recently sat in a noisy pub where someone told the joke, “Photons have mass? I didn’t even know they were Catholic.” An intelligent graduate didn’t get the joke, had never heard the word “Mass” used for the Eucharist. It was almost as painful as watching the above clip to witness the attempt to explain the joke.

In the gospels Jesus tells a real carpenter, building-site type joke about a guy with a plank stuck in his eye trying to get a speck of sawdust out of his mate’s eye. [You can visualise the log longer than the guy’s arm making even reaching the other’s eye impossible!]

Jesus tells a few of these rather dark, exaggerated jokes – another well known one of his is about the people who strain to filter a bug out of their drink, but they don’t filter out a camel and end up swallowing the camel.

Many people seem to miss a lot of Jesus’ jokes because they have a very glum picture of what Jesus must have been like.

Religious/spiritual insight is a lot like getting a joke. There’s that moment when you get it. And a lot of people – don’t. And trying to explain religious/spiritual insight is a lot like trying to explain a joke.

source of images: Jesus the Jester (Looking at Jesus)

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10 Responses to The Dalai Lama walks into a pizza shop

  1. There are many jokes in the Bible that folks do not get. One of the first concerns Adam And Eve when they discover that they are naked. They make coverings for themselves of fig leaves.

    No one in their right mind would do such a thing! Fig leaves are scratchy and make you itch, and if you get the sap on your skin, then you are really in for an unpleasant experience.

  2. As I tweeted a bit earlier ….I’m sure Jesus laughed. He must’ve done when Peter tried to walk on water. It is a comical scene. He may not have LOLed as I said in my tweet. But he must’ve at least been amused.

    Bosco, have you ever read/heard any of the Nasrudin tales? Some are really clever. The one about looking for your keys in the gutter under the street light — not because you lost them there, but because there is light there — is very well known. I was surprised to find that this well known joke is a Nasrudin tale. (see ‘The Ring’ ). One of my favorites is ‘Hospitable Nasrudin’. If I am not mistaken, according to something I once read on the subject, these tales are meant to invoke a kind of spiritual or conceptual flexibility … rather like a zen koan.

    Here is a link to a page of these tales:
    http://www.rodneyohebsion.com/mulla-nasrudin.htm

    Yes, I think Jesus at the very least was adept in his use of irony. For example: his exhortation to those without sin to cast the first stone is a rather ironic response to the situation. And when he gave his answer about rendering to Caesar what is Caesar’s … to me that is a clever/ironic response. I would say that this conceptual looseness or flexibility is a hallmark of Jesus’ thinking. Perhaps his humor was more pronounced in some situations, but it was left out by those who wrote down the Gospels?
    😉
    Great topic for discussion.

    • Thanks, Davanna. Yes, I know of the Nasrudin tales, especially the one you mention – and alluded to it in a thread recently where something IMO wasn’t the solution for the particular problem. Thanks for the link. Blessings.

  3. The thing that tickles me is Brother David’s reply!! You’ve ACTUALLY tried wearing a fig leaf!!! ROTFL….!!

    • Wonderful, Br Graham-Michoel! I think the model of joke re spiritual insight very helpful. And the model of Jesus as Jester, similarly (cf Godspell etc). Blessings.

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About This Site Welcome to this ecumenical website of resources and reflections on liturgy, spirituality, and worship for individuals and communities. It is run by Rev. Bosco Peters.

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