Buddhi Free
Enlightenment under the Buddhi Free
Pagliacci
Categories: General, Writings

I heard a joke once: Man goes to doctor. Says he’s depressed. Says life is harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world. Doctor says, “Treatment is simple. The great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go see him. That should pick you up.” Man bursts into tears. Says, “But doctor… I am Pagliacci.” Good joke. Everybody laugh. Roll on snare drum. Curtains.

-Rorschach

And then, just like that, I found what I was looking for. It did take a talking fox for me to figure it out, but I eventually did figure it out. This joke isn’t really just a joke on Pagliacci, it’s a joke on Supermen–everyone who considers themselves to be pillars of support, or such like.

When normal people fall, they are supported by men stronger than them. In time, these men come to be associated with reliability and support. This is not just a function of their superiority, but also a function of people’s longing and search for messianic beings. Maybe, that was why the concept of God was created in the first place–so that normal people could project their frailties on to Him and beg for support.

But, get it. There is no God. All there are, are people projected to a messianic state. If God were actually there, the world would be much fairer. Everyone’s equal for God, and this is a world created by him. So, why is everyone not equal in this world? Why are there poor people? Why are there social outcasts? Why are there dimwits, who’re ridiculed for being slow? If everything was part of God’s design, then why isn’t the playing field level?

There is just one reason–God might just be a sham. Project Jesus to a mythical status, and you have God. Exaggerate stories about an exiled king fighting a couple of goons to get his wife back, and you have Rama. All Gods were strong humans, but humans nonetheless.
Which actually brings me to the epiphany I had, and therein lies the source of my laughter–strong men actually fall the hardest. When normal people fall, they are supported by strong people who act as pillars of support. But, when these very pillars crumble (because of excessive pressure, say), who breaks their fall? Like the mob said at the very beginning of Watchmen

They watch over us, but who watches over the Watchmen?

Don’t you find it funny, when your very notion of strong, weak and stability just blend into one big pile of nothingness? Just like everything else around you? I find it hilarious. But then, I got the joke (courtesy, of course, the talking fox). And, the joke is on us, my dear friend. Laugh, while you can.

God is a comedian, playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.
-Voltaire

Rejoice.

20 Comments to “Pagliacci”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Rachit Agarwal, Rachit Agarwal. Rachit Agarwal said: Pagliacci: An observation on the frailties of all men. http://bit.ly/6jdmVo (New post at http://www.buddhifree.com) […]

  2. Since when did YOU get all philosophical?!

  3. Since when did YOU get all philosophical?!

  4. Harsh says:

    I actually, seriously love this.

    Me.

  5. Harsh says:

    I actually, seriously love this.

    Me.

  6. AkshatB says:

    Omfg. This is really awesome. It reminds me of “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?”, like Digital Fortress.

    • rach says:

      hey thanks.
      yea, now that i’ve read about “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?”, i can see that the idea is the same…but still, it really is a fascinating topic, aint it?

  7. AkshatB says:

    Omfg. This is really awesome. It reminds me of “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?”, like Digital Fortress.

    • rach says:

      hey thanks.
      yea, now that i’ve read about “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?”, i can see that the idea is the same…but still, it really is a fascinating topic, aint it?

  8. viveknair says:

    I didn't know about thing blog…and I wonder why…

  9. what do you mean, boy?

  10. Vivek Nair says:

    I mean that you had a blog, and I didn't know about it, and that saddens me…

  11. why? is it that big a source of amusement for you? 😛

  12. Vivek Nair says:

    No, it's the fact that you're my friend and I didn't know you had a blog, despite the fact that I met you and Ankur around the same time, and I knew he had one…no sarcasm at all…just genuine regret…

  13. bhavika says:

    I don't like philosophy, but I get what you're saying. Agree with it too. I guess that counts for something.

    I don't like how you've repeated 'When normal people fall, they are supported by men stronger than them' from para 2 in para 5, 'strong men actually fall the hardest'. I mean, I know why you did, you even mentioned something about going back to your point, but I still don't like it.

    I love the quotes.

  14. bhavika says:

    Oh, wait. I realized that you didn't repeat it, not really; it's just that I understood the para2 line to mean the para5 line and then it *felt* like a repetition.

    That is just a me thing to do. Sigh.

  15. yea…the quotes really are kick ass. and for a change, relevant quotes actually struck me while writing…

  16. […] plugging the movie. But then, that’s what the blog is for, anyway) and reading this blog post, the whole Pagliacci joke does fascinate me. Contrary to other people’s reactions, I do […]

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