I have been reading Buddhadasa's Buddha-Dhamma for uni students. There is a section which has me stumped on page 20 (Q12). I will quote part of:
"But laughing is regarded by the ariyan, and in their discipline, as the behaviour of immature children. So if we could laugh less, it would be a good thing, and not to laugh at all would be even better."
I would be grateful if somebody could clarify the above sentence in light of the following facts: laughter is a physiological response to amusement, and serves as a form of basic human communication. There are mental health benefits associated with laughter.
In addition, we have: "According to the traditions of ordinary people, singing, dancing, and laughing are of no consequence and are normal events, while in the ariyan discipline they are looked upon as pathetic and evaluated accordingly."
I would have thought that to indulge in such actitives excessively and mindlessly would be foolish. But to do so occasionally with proper understanding is fine. e.g. singing, dancing, and laughing can can beneficial and appropriate in some instances as part of human behaviour.
My current interpretation of that section is that Buddhadasa advocating that a true Buddhist is an emotionally numb zombie. It is at one extreme and therefore not the middle-path.