June 12, 2019

18 Mind-Altering Jokes. ~ Gregg Eisenberg {Book Excerpt}

“An entire treatise of philosophy could be written that consists entirely of humor.” ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein


Humor is an excellent vehicle for exposing the cracks and crags of human knowledge.

Humor exposes the parts of us that suffer from incongruity or internal contradiction by holding them up to the light for everyone to see…and laugh.

As we celebrate the 100th anniversaries of relativity and quantum physics, the role of the modern philosopher now runs parallel with the roles of comedians and scientists—they all help us wrap our minds around truths that come in strange packages. Truths that are neither linear nor predictable.

Scientific truths don’t fit into tidy packages anymore, and neither does our “human story.” We are now forced to embrace paradox, ambiguity, and complexity in our everyday vernacular and spoken language.

And now, we can embrace ambiguity and complexity with a laugh.

18 Ways to Take My Advice and Think for Yourself:

    1. “Not only is the universe stranger than we think, it is stranger than we can think!”  ~ Werner Heisenberg
    2. “Mathematics is the subject in which we never know if what we are saying is true.” ~ Bertrand Russell
    3. “I can verify with 100% certainty that I don’t have a clue what I’m talking about.” ~ Gregg Eisenberg
    4. “The best way to focus on the present moment is to sit back, think about where you want to end up, and work backwards from there.
    5. We were practicing Zen when the identity theft happened, which is why they didn’t really get much.
    6. Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do,” a thought I often ponder on my way to the bathroom.”
    7. I always follow my instincts, except when I get a funny feeling that maybe I shouldn’t.
    8. I do believe in a completely parallel universe, I just don’t think we’re going to run into it any time soon.
    9. I like to learn from all people, but especially from those who agree with me.
    10. The rest of us think you are being totally paranoid for feeling singled out by the group.
    11. Unlike you, I am not drawing distinctions between us.
    12. The people who say “You create your own reality” sure are hard to get way from at parties.
    13. I am totally irreverent, but only out of a deep respect for everything that is sacred.
    14. I love that you are such a free spirit, and I want you to be mine forever.
    15. Now that I have it all, I miss the feeling that there must be something more…
    16. Focusing on quality over quantity does eventually work, if you do it enough times.
    17. I’m making a detailed list of all the things in life I’d rather not remember.
    18. I need to take a little break from creating a lifestyle I don’t need a vacation from.


author: Gregg Eisenberg

Image: Author's Own

Editor: Michelle Gean

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Gregg Eisenberg

Gregg Eisenberg is a stand-up philosopher, geographer, and musician living in Boulder, Colorado. He grew up writing poems in a Jewish household in Chicagoland where he learned how to feel a dissonant mixture of awkwardness and confidence about himself from some of the most loving people you could ever meet. When his childhood peers went off to Dartmouth, he went on an experimental writing journey across the deserts of Greece, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, and Israel. At the time he told his mother: “I’m a poet – anything else is extra.”

After months of circulating through dangerous countries and scribbling notes in remote border towns, he received an auspicious fortune cookie in a small Chinese restaurant in the Arab quarter of Jerusalem with a scarcely-known quote from the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu. This sparked his fascination with eastern thought and led him to study Asian language and literature at the University of California. There the coastal ecosystems and exposure to Taoist thought further riveted his imagination and forced him to take his exploration of aesthetics (and restless mind-syndrome) further. Songwriting became his passion, in a genre he calls Heavy Meadow. After working in China and then completing a Master’s in Geography at Boston University, Gregg moved to Colorado to continue writing music and work to protect the west’s fragile environments.

Gregg formed Curved-Space Comedy in 2016 and under that name performs his multi-media, science-comedy show Even the Earth is Bipolar in planetariums, publishes his books, and provides private speaking events. In 2018, he released two titles: Letting Go Is All We Have to Hold Onto: Humor for Humans, and Love Without Madness (Amor Sin Locura) – bilingual poetry which he performs with live musical accompaniment. In a somewhat radical return to his roots, he is currently writing Follow Your Bris to perform in smoky synagogue and church lounges around America.

“The desire to spread levity in the world weighs heavily upon me.” – Gregg Eisenberg

For information about the fortune in the cookie, contact Curved-Space Comedy.

For a very fun video of the author reading from his book, watch his video on Youtube.