Humour is by far the most significant behaviour of the human mind. Why has it been so neglected by traditional philosophers, psychologists and information scientists?
Humour tells us more about how the brain works as mind, than does any other behaviour of the mind – including reason. It indicates other thinking methods, something about perception, and the possibility of changes in perception. It shows us that these changes can be followed by instant changes in emotion – something that can never be achieved by logic.
Humour is so significant because it is based on a logic very different from our traditional logic. In traditional (Aristotelian) logic there are categories that are clear, hard-edged and permanent. We make judgments as to whether something fits into a category or not. This is labelled rock logic.
Imagine your path of thinking following definite paths. There are potential side-paths but these have been temporarily suppressed by the dominant track. If ‘somehow’ we can manage to get across from the main track to the side-track, the route back to the starting point is very obvious. This moving sideways across tracks is the origin of the term ‘lateral thinking. If ‘somehow’ with which we might cut across patterns is the essence of humour and is provided in deliberate creative thinking by the actual techniques of lateral thinking, such as provocation.
The significance of humour is precisely that it indicates pattern-forming, pattern asymmetry and pattern-switching. Creativity and lateral thinking have exactly the same basis as humour.
(Excerpt from Edward De Bono’s book I Am Right, You Are Wrong.)
Read more on the correlation between humour and creativity here:
Link via fastcompany.com
Laughter remains the best antidote for pain.