Allowing Life’s Absurdities: The Cosmic Laughter, Hidden Divinity, and Manifestation

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Introducing the Philosophy of Allowance

We often find certain life experiences unpalatable. With or without direct personal encounters, cruelties and vulgarities exist in the world, people resist or seek to banish them, and the futility of this attempt, in turn, has often brought people to confusion, despair, or apathy. Here I would like to explore how allowing life’s absurdities, the unsavory aspects of existence, can foster understanding and inner peace and how embracing the concept of allowance illuminates a hidden divinity within humanity and enables us to observe life’s randomness with an elevated perspective.

The Hindu mythology of the Churning of Ocean of Milk may be a helpful metaphor. In the story, the Devas (gods) and Asuras (demons) form an alliance to churn the Ocean of Milk in order to obtain Amrita, the nectar of immortality. They use Mount Mandara as the churning rod and Vasuki, the king of serpents, as the churning rope.

The churning of the ocean is a long, arduous process, and initially, it releases a deadly poison known as “Halahala.” This poison is so potent that it threatens to consume the universe. Lord Shiva, one of the primary deities in Hinduism, intervenes by drinking the poison to protect the universe. It is a reflection that from the creation of reality itself, from the infinite realm of potentialities, of divinity, there’s a type of poison and there’s a type of something indigestible, that’s very hard to process and solid.  Yet it is a necessary part of existence. It drips down, and layers itself, and then needs to be resolved and recirculated and repurposed into the light. 

The concept of allowance or acceptance is pivotal in this transformation. Allowance is not passive acceptance of wrongs, but rather fully witnessing reality and cultivating inner stillness to play our unique role in creation, aligning with life’s unfolding harmonies. 

Allowance and the Absurdities of Life

Sometimes, the state of the world is truly hard to swallow. One snapshot of the world can be gained from looking at the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are a set of 17 interconnected global goals adopted by the United Nations in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure peace and prosperity for all people by 2030. And as of September 2023, according to Nature magazine:

“…we have a stark message: the world is not on track to achieve any of the 17 SDGs and cannot rely on change to happen organically.

At the current rate of progress, the world will not eradicate poverty, end hunger or provide quality education for all by 2030 — to name just some, central, aspirations of the SDGs. Instead, by the end of this decade, our world will have 575 million people living in extreme poverty, 600 million people facing hunger, and 84 million children and young people out of school1. Humanity will overshoot the Paris climate agreement’s 1.5 °C ‘safe’ guardrail on average global temperature rise. And, at the current rate, it will take 300 years to attain gender equality.”

What scientists need to do to accelerate progress on the SDGs, 13 September 2023

So what if we accept that poisons do exist in our reality, and that not every human experience is palatable? That is the first step. The attitude of allowance brings an openness to life. As Satish Kumar, a renowned peace and environmental activist, states in his book Soil, Soul, Society

“The old paradigm is about control, whether through the power of the military or money or knowledge. Controlling others is ingrained in education, in governance and in economic systems. Rulers want to be in control and they are afraid of losing control. The new paradigm is based on the concept of participation. People participate in the process of life. They go with the flow. They accept what is and whatever emerges. They are open to the unfolding phenomena of human imagination, creativity and nature’s ever-changing forms and patterns.”

This perspective embraces acceptance of all that arises, aligning with creative flow rather than seeking control. Kumar, with his experience promoting environmentalism and social change, eloquently captures how allowance involves actively participating in life while relinquishing the need to dictate outcomes. This participation cultivates inner peace amidst outer uncertainties. Allowance is not passive resignation, but involves bearing witness to the eternal unfoldment of creation, of which we are an expression. 

The Role of Love

But what is allowance? Love is key to the understanding of the concept. Often when love is pointed to, it’s seen either as some great abstract force, or it’s seen as something cultivated between two individuals. But indeed, suppose we simply understand love as the force that allows for things to exist and come together? Then when we retrieve love, we are retrieving faith, investment and engagement in where we are moving in life. When we put forward love, when we allow ourself to seep into reality, the magic mysteries unveil themselves in new and interesting ways.

Privilege vs Playfulness

The attitude of allowance also relieves us of guilt and duty on life, which may be a result of seeing life as a privilege. Regardless of whether we believe in reincarnation, it is an exquisite experience to be you, it’s a way of being that doesn’t repeat itself, at least in the same configuration. Therefore it is indeed privileged for consciousness to have this experience of being you. 

However, what if we allow for the opposite metaphor, the one of playfulness? That is, we are not really privileged, we’re just set free to play because we don’t have anything better to do. So the idea that there’s also an allowance, an extremity to existence, where everything is tried for, everything is allowed for, and then in that way, everything goes and nothing can go wrong is definitely intriguing. So this is perhaps also the image that we may want to hold and entertain to accept these energies of, the vulgar, the filthy, the muddled, because these are also experiments that reality is undertaking and in that way, they are slightly ridiculous. 

The French poet Charles Baudelaire in his poem “Au Lecteur (To the Reader)” describes the baseness and folly of human life, suggesting that these aspects of existence are as much a part of the human experience as the noble and beautiful. He presents the reader with the ennui of existence and the often cruel, absurd humour of the human condition:

“Stupidity, delusion, selfishness and lust 

torment our bodies and possess our minds, 

and we sustain our affable remorse 

the way a beggar nourishes his lice.

Our sins are stubborn, our contrition lame;

We want our scruples to be worth our while -,

How cheerfully we crawl back to the mire:

A few cheap tears will wash our stains away!”

Translation by Richard Howard

The Divine Laughter

That is in the sense of cosmic laughter. They are simply stirrings of the great stillness of the cosmic face. So it’s the divine laughter that is amused at the fact that things exist and that things are taking place. And you may even find that there is an element of this cruelty or schadenfreude in the human heart. That is, how we also take joy in watching somebody slipping on a banana peel, there is something comical about this act unfolding in and of itself, a kind of random arrangement of elements coming together for something unwanted to overtake a person. And this is the type of also slightly cruel, impersonal look that the divine may have, as it sees the divine play unfolding, because it’s, of course, eternal. It knows that whatever pain or discomfort experienced is deeply fleeting, compared to the deep, eternal stillness of infinite being itself. 

Baudelaire further wrote a vivid exploration of self-inflicted suffering, the duality of existence, and the absurdity of life in his Self-Tormentor:

I am the knife and the wound it heals,

I am the slap and the cheek, 

I am the wheel and the broken limbs,

Hangman and victim both!

I am the vampire at my own veins,

One of the great lost horde

Doomed for the rest of time, and beyond,

‘to laugh – but smile no more.’

translation by Richard Howard

The Hidden Divinity Within

The secret to this attitude of playfulness lies in exploring the idea of divinity as a hidden quality within human, in finding, or rather, acknowledging, the divine within the human. Divinity needs to remain mostly hidden from the human side for the human experience to unfold. If we were to realise our full divine nature, the human game would cease and a divine game would commence. From the divine vantage point, this life emanates from the wider creation that is your existence. The joyful creation is the totality of your existence, so there is no way for it to go to waste. This way, even in cruel displays, there’s a celebration of the allowance of existence. 

For high-minded individuals who seek refinement and improvement in the world, it is to understand that the existential angst of the natural world distils into human society, and the redeeming quality is not to escape this reality but to fill life with other things alongside these vulgarities. 

The Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde often examined themes of aestheticism, decadence and the contrast between superficial social virtue and inner immorality. Wilde wrote: “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” 

Even Baudelaire, who often portrays a stark picture of existence and humanity, sings about elevated human spirit thus:

“Free from the futile strivings and the 


which dim existence to a realm of mist, 

happy is he who wings an upward way 

on mighty pinions to the fields of light; 

whose thoughts like larks spontaneously 


into the morning sky; whose flight, 


outreaches life and readily comprehends 

the language of flowers and of all mute 


 – Elevation, Charles Baudelaire, translated by Richard Howard

Death, Relationships, and Potentials

Allowance extends beyond what has already occurred to allowing potentials to take shape. If we envisage souls as nodal points of light, a prism of potentials, stretching in complex bonds to other nodal points, and these nodal points extend themselves into lower reality through emanations of surplus energy they generate, with physical reality being a manifestation of higher reality, then relationships as we conceive of them in our everyday lives, with defined roles like parent, spouse or friend, do not continue in the same way after death. Rather than actualised relationships, our connections become more abstract potentials open to new creative manifestations. 

It is like how an artist visualises many possible ways a blank canvas could be painted before making their brushstrokes. With each stroke, more possibilities emerge for the finished piece. Similarly, with each life experience, our web of soul connections expand into more complex potentials for future creation. Death returns us to this realm of infinite possibility.  

Understanding this about relationships allows us to experience changes in relationships in an elevated way. Regardless what happens to a relationship in reality – and some relationships are meant to just teach what need to be known, the intimacy between the individuals could transform into a deeper, timeless companionship. There is the sorrow that comes with change but also the sweetness of experiencing the inevitability of change.

Manifestation and Creation in the Mundane and the Divine

Then making use of magic in mundane reality consists of the same thing – allowing a shape to exist for energy to flow into and assume its form. Even writing things down on a to-do list and planning them out serves the purpose of allowing this shape to exist for energy to flow into, just like  the ancients would discern patterns in nature in order to predict the future. A daily planner can be a tool for manifesting desires.

As the artist envisions then relinquishes control, we play the midwife role to what is created through us. There is pain in letting go of what we wanted it to be, but wonder in allowing it to be the thing that wanted to emerge. We can approach curiously what is being born out of life rather than worry.

Engagement of the Heart: Do What You Want, and Want What You Do

In this creative process, we need to engage our heart. The key instruction would be “do what you want and want what you do”. In “do what you want”, the heart is coy. It often spares itself the shock of the gift it’s giving itself by allowing this new thing to be. Therefore what we really want can appear too frightening to approach directly. Activities that create a sense of awe or fear are often the ones that offer the most growth. There is immense power to be discovered in choice and exertion, if we move towards what we feel drawn to without worry or second-guessing. And in “want what you do”, even seemingly mundane tasks, like driving, can be approached with a sense of joy and discovery. There’s wisdom in doing things that you want with complete determination, as well as doing things you don’t want to do with the same determination.

Embracing Allowance

Life presents us with difficulties and cruelties that can seem senseless. However, by adopting an attitude of allowance rather than resistance, we can find meaning amidst the randomness. Allowance involves acknowledging the full spectrum of existence – light and dark, sorrow and joy. It means participating fully in life’s unfolding with openness and equanimity.

When we embrace allowance, we cultivate understanding and inner peace. We align ourselves with the hidden divinity within, observing life’s contradictions and changes as part of a deeper cosmic dance. Acceptance allows us to play our unique role in creation, to become the artist painting what wishes to emerge. We relinquish the need for control and perfection.

Though our path in life may be difficult, allowance provides the key. It unlocks our potential for wisdom and growth, elevating our perspective. By accepting what is, we free ourselves to move forward and upward, looking to the stars even while grounded in earthly experience. While allowance alone may not perfect the world, it equips us to meet challenges with empathy, resilience, and hope for human progress.