Title: The Last Laugh
Author: Arjuna Ardagh
Publisher: Hay House Visions
Genre: Visionary fiction
The Last Laugh by Arjuna Ardagh is the story of Matt and his meeting and interactions with Joey, a lively old man – white beard and all – who in ten lessons gives him the key not only to living a more aware and engaged life, but also to getting his life back on track.
When Matt meets Joey, he has lost his job, all his money, his wife and his children (they’re staying with her father). He’s at the lowest point in his life, a perfect place to let go of the habits that keep him bound so he can begin to live his life as it presents itself here and now.
This visionary fiction has much wisdom in it. It’s the kind of book you read when you want more than just a story, and something more entertaining than a self-help book. It’s the kind of story that could be dull in less deft hands, but Ardagh writes well and moves the story along a a good pace with a healthy mix of elements that keep you reading. His characterisation is excellent and Matt’s journey very realistic. There’s even a hint that it might be a true story, not that it matters. What is truth after all?
A large part of the interest in the story is the character of Joey. You never know quite what he’s going to say or do, and yet everything that happens is exactly the kind of thing that can happen with such a master. He reminds me of several Tibetan Lamas that I’ve met, and, apart from having hair, is not unlike the mountain guide in my Diamond Peak series.
The wisdom in the book is true to all genuine traditions, but there were a few little gems that stood out for me.
‘The real teacher is not a person, it’s a meeting.’ There’s many levels to that one.
‘Just like me.’ When you complain about someone else and say that they are this or that, add the words just like me at the end of your sentence and see how it feels and what it tells you. A simple but effective method of breaking down barriers.
It’s a quiet book that leaves you feeling light and joyful. In fact you might just laugh out loud. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys visionary fiction. If you liked ‘The Way of the Peaceful Warrior,’ you’ll enjoy this.