...AN ELEPHANT in my pajamas (an alternative way of seeing the world)

by Terry 10 Replies latest jw friends

  • Terry


    By the age of 2, I began noticing comedy was a verbal violation of LOGIC.

    In fact, Groucho Marx taught me an important way of applying my thinking in terms of LOGIC and HUMOR. It was a “subversion of context.”

    By the age of 2, I had been taught to develop a bias toward “what was obviously logical” and to omit ALL ELSE.

    That was a social bias.

    Look at what Groucho Marx said following his first statement...

    "Last night I SHOT AN ELEPHANT IN MY PAJAMAS (pause)

    What he was doing in my pajamas I'll never know."
    Groucho subverted the rule of social bias.

    Aha - a new paradigm for Terry! A whole new world opened up for me.
    A private world with more possibilities lay ahead.

    We have an emotional reaction to a violation of non-contradiction implied because Elephants do not wear pajamas.

    Our natural bias is to understand Groucho to mean "Last night, I was wearing pajamas when I shot an elephant."

    When Groucho contradicts that bias of understanding the LOGICAL truth about elephants we react emotionally to this violation by LAUGHTER.

    By the time I was an adult I held a secret power. A well-trained student is c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y taught BIAS toward logical thinking.

    My secret power gave me a certain edge.

    I understood that humor came from pulling the rug out from under expectations.

    GEOMETRY MATH and SCIENCE, of course, require the use of AXIOMS.

    An axiom is a statement that is taken to be true, to serve as a premise or starting point for further reasoning and arguments.

    Without a bias toward axioms, Western civilization could not have developed in advance of the rest of the world.

    HUMOR violates axioms! Humor infuriates Authority. Humor is a great leveler.

    Humor was my self-defense against bullies and a special way of determining

    Intelligence in other people. If a person laughed at my wit - they were automatically a playmate!

    Tyrants, Authoritarians, and Sociopaths have NO sense of humor and will never tolerate criticism or being made fun of.

    Carried much further, humor challenges the bias inherent in everything else as well.

    If carefully applied - a sense of humor is a wonderful TEST of people, institutions, and faulty premises!

    SATIRE, for instance.

    SATIRE challenges every form of bias using, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

    Satire tears away the curtain of bias exposing the "truer" truth inside.

    A self-important person automatically thinks they understand what they know but

    Jokes require a “different” understanding.

    Here is an example of very dark humor which upsets a basic understanding of the phrase:

    " I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather…""

    A natural and logical understanding of this set-up puts us in the frame of mind that is about to be shattered with the punchline.

    " I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather…

    Not screaming in terror like the passengers in his car."


    This should make us mindful of the reason why a Judge in a courtroom setting requires a witness not only to:

    "Tell the Truth..."

    (But even more is required…)

    The Whole Truth...

    And Nothing but the truth."

    We suddenly understand that grandfather was driving the car when he fell asleep and everybody died in a crash.

    Like I said at the top …

    When I was 2 years old I discovered absolutely EVERYTHING can be seen as a matter of bias, interpretation, and "possible" misunderstanding unless we have ALL the information and proper contexts.

    Take Christianity, for instance.

    The World Council of Churches tells us there are over 40 thousand “Christian denominations”!

    Each one “thinks” they own the Truth exclusively! How is that possible?

    It is possible when the members keep to themselves in a closed echo chamber

    disallowing criticism, debate, or challenges to authority.

    However -Jesus was constantly debating with the leaders of Judaism, critical of their teachings, and challenging their thinking - and even his apostles and disciples bickered about all sorts of matters. Paul had to challenge Peter at one point on a matter of doctrine even though Peter was given “the keys of the Kingdom.”

    Is it any wonder there are 40 thousand differences of opinion calling themselves “Christian?”

    And then - there are Puns!

    PUNS require that you deliberately apply alternate (and absurd) meaning to ordinary words.

    "I have a split personality", said Tom, being frank.

    "Will glass coffins be successful?" Remains to be seen.

    "I lost my job at the bank on my very first day. A woman asked me to check her balance, so I pushed her over"

    We can sum that up this way:

    It's hard to explain puns to kleptomaniacs because they always take things ...literally


    Finally, is it any surprise that when I was 12 years old I became involved with a religious organization that provided alternate explanations and interpretations to practically everything in mainstream religion and the Bible?

    I think not!

    Once you develop a secret power: (being open to alternative bias and seeing contradictory contexts) the world you live in is a MUCH MORE INTERESTING place.

    We tend to think of bias and discrimination as BAD but both must be applied with experience, wisdom, and comprehensive awareness of other possible interpretations.

    After all, all things consist of BEING what it is - as opposed to what it IS NOT.

    And then…?

    Some things can be viewed as automatically self-contradictory.

    Happily married and Military Intelligence, for instance.

    Let's end this with a laugh using famous people who violate the logic of sense-making bias...by making an alternative sense.

    I am a deeply superficial person. - Andy Warhol

    Of course, I can keep secrets. It’s the people I tell them to that can’t keep them. - Anthony Haden-Guest

    I distinctly remember forgetting that. - Clara Barton

    You'd be surprised how much it costs to look this cheap. - Dolly Parton

    The budget was unlimited, but I exceeded it. - Donald Trump

    I have a terrible memory. I never forget a thing. - Edith Konecky

    I hate people but I love gatherings. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

    Hegel was right when he said that we learn from history and that man can never learn anything from history. - George Bernard Shaw

    Always be sincere, even when you don’t mean it. - Irene Peter

    Live within your income, even if you have to borrow to do so. - Josh Billings

    We must believe in free will. We have no choice. - Isaac B. Singer

    I can resist everything but temptation. - Oscar Wilde

    It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech. - Mark Twain

    I can believe anything, provided that it is quite incredible. -

    Oscar Wilde

    The best cure for insomnia is to get a lot of sleep. - W.C. Fields

    I always avoid prophesying beforehand because it is much better to prophesy after the event has already taken place. -

    Winston Churchill

    I never said most of the things I said. - Yogi Berra

  • peacefulpete


  • Terry

    Funny you should say that ...:)

  • waton
    Humour infuriates Authority.

    absolutely true, found that valid for the Nazi bullies, Commies and local wt guardians.

    really a great OP!!!! a must read!

  • Terry

    What a puffed-up self-image the GB have of themselves and present to the world!
    They are like Ghostbusters' Pillsbury Doughboy figures floating in midair like oversized blimps
    of self-importance.
    But don't dare say a single word of less than praise and total agreement unless you want to
    commit the JW equivalent of "the sin against the holy spirit."
    The easiest way to get yourself disfellowshipped is to misalign against them.
    FRAGILE EGOS require constant affirmation and asking them to accept humor is like asking them to sit on a cactus. They are pricks who can't stand real pricks.

  • ThomasMore

    Terry, all I could think of was why Marx hunted in his pajamas. My mother explained the double meaning and all I could think of was that the pajamas must have been uncomfortably tight on that elephant.

    I was primed for indoctrination by WTC - missing the point and the whole picture.

    A restaurant in town was closed by the health dept. I was dumfounded, how could a millin roaches and a hundred rats be wrong? Sadly I used that reasoning to reassure a Bible study that 8 million JWs must surely be right. He countered with "Christendom has a billion people who feel the same way don't they?"

    He was right, and he wasn't even smart. I needed to start questioning everything. I did. Here I am.

  • waton

    An avid writer on this forum suggested Wt bible research operates like an open for all crossword puzzle. here are some suggestions:

    word for a 160 year long lasting generation: "overlapping"

    word for arrival of 2075*: "soon"

    2 words for the anointed generation that goes to heaven at the outset of the GT, but passes away only after Armageddon: " Mission impossible"

    * 2 centenarians overlapping by 20 years since 1914. .

    Elephants, even in pyjamas, have a good memory, we shall not forget.

  • Terry

    The (Governing Body) of the last twenty years is
    BELOW AVERAGE in personality and appear to be both intellectually and (most importantly) imaginatively UNGIFTED.
    The analogies they make as well as demonstrations they perform to illustrate new teaching are KINDERGARTEN level.
    This Governing Body clown car is filled with such phony pretenses I can't imagine why the rank and file
    JW's treat them like rock stars.
    These men claim to be BRIDES (of Christ). That is a real stomach churn.

    Is it possible for intelligent householders NOT to laugh at JW dot org?
    I sincerely wonder.

  • Yomama

    Norway shunning

  • smiddy3

    That was a great post Terry ,I had a real laugh at those quotes.

    Drinks are on me .

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