R2-26 Remedy of Laughter 

Creation of Human Ability (R2-26) 

The earliest known psychotherapy is getting a patient to laugh. Laughter is
rejection. A person being continually inflowed upon by the physical
universe, at length may find it difficult to reject anything. Getting him
to reject something could be made a processing goal. The best manifestation
of this is laughter. 
Laughter includes both surprise and rejection. The individual is surprised
into rejecting. In order to laugh, he must have laid aside some of his
ability to predict. An individual who is serious has laid aside so much of
his ability to predict that he now cannot be surprised into rejection. 

The anatomy of mystery consists of, in this order, unpredictability,
confusion, and chaos, covered up because it cannot be tolerated. Therefore,
this is also the anatomy of problems. 

Problems always begin with an unpredictability, deteriorate into a
confusion, and then if still unresolved, become a mystery which is massed
confusion. It will be observed that as a person falls further away from the
ability to laugh, he becomes more and more confused until at last he sees
no points in any jokes, he sees only embarrassment when confronted by
laugher, and the whole action of laughter itself escapes him. The ability
to laugh is rehabilitated in general by processing, as it advances the
ability of the person to know, which is to say predict. 

In this intensive procedure, only two steps are employed to remedy
laughter. Part I: The first consists of these commands, "Be completely
certain that the wall is there." And when the person has become, with
considerably conversation, complete certain that the wall is there,
touching it, pushing against it, and so forth, the auditor then says, "Sit
down, take your watch", "Now predict that the wall will be there ten
seconds from now", "Have you done so?" "All right, wait ten seconds by your
And when this is done, "Is the wall still there?" And when the person has
answered, "Now make absolutely certain the wall is there". The person does
so by touching it, pushing at it, kicking it. "Now make very sure that the
wall is there." And when the person very vigorously has done so, "Now
predict that it will be there in ten seconds." When the person has done so,
the remainder of the commands are given and this is repeated over and over. 

The second part of intensive procedure's process of laughter follows, but
only after the person has experienced considerable relief and is absolutely
sure that he can predict that all parts of the room will be there, not only
in ten seconds, but in one hour -- although no such timing is used, and
only ten seconds of time is employed. 

Additional steps for Part 1: If the person does not experience relief in
the above procedure and cannot predict easily, there are additional steps
that can be employed. The person would then be led to predict the position
of his own body, first by predicting that it was going to be in a certain
spot, then moving it there and seeing whether or not it had arrived at that
spot. He would then be brought to swing his arm in a circle, predict that
it would swing faster, and swing it faster. Thus being led to predict the
motion of his body with these simplicities, he could be exercised in making
his body go tense and go limp by his command, until he was thoroughly
certain that he could both predict the tension or relaxation by doing it.
Then he could be led to predict the positions of people walking on the
street until he felt some security in predicting without exercising
physical control. 

Part 2: "Start laughing." And no matter what the person says thereafter, or
what arguments he advances, or how many things he asks about, or how many
reasons he wants or gives, the processor says (adding words that urge the
client): "Start laughing". And when the person at length does so, no matter
how half-heartedly, "Keep on laughing." The two command used in addition to
works necessary to urge the person without giving the person any reason
whatsoever are: "Start laughing" and "Keep on laughing." 

End Point
This process is then done until the person can easily laugh without any
reason whatsoever, without believing that laughing without a reason is
insane, without feeling self-conscious about laughing, without needing any
boost from the processor.