To the Fool and Foolishness
Regardless of the arguments over where or how the traditions originated of celebrating the Fool, the Trickster, or of setting aside a day for pranks, none of us will probably deny the delight we find in the occasional twist of the plot, or a particularly clever turn of a phrase.
The power of such surprises to shift the consciousness in both mental and emotional ways are legendary. The power of laughter to open and expand the heart is also pure magic. Even so, it’s amazing how often we fail to appreciate this.
The Unconscious or Shadow Principle of the Fool
The essence of the most modern expression of this tradition, at least as I know it in the US, is all about the prank. The prank may be harmless or it may even be cruel. April Fool’s day is like a one day permission to lie shamelessly. The get away with it ploy is to say afterwards, ‘April fools!!’ But, there’s so much more to this rich archetype than meets the eye.
Today, the insinuation that you may be the village idiot might start a fight. It’s a toxic, shame inducing attack to make such a statement. This is, from my view, a nod to the shadow principle of what essentially is an archetype that is all about innocence.
The village idiot may be seen as foolish, and yet, what is beneath the foolishness is the innocence from bad intentions combined with being ignorant. If the ignorance factor is taken out of this equation, the choices change and the foolishness factor also disappears.
Either that, or the big reveal happens as to what the true motivations are for such attitudes and choices. A big reveal, in other words, of the payoffs hidden in the shadow zones.
The Beginning of the Spiritual Pilgrim’s Journey
True childlike and naive innocence and the freedom from bad intentions combined are the earmarks of the unconscious fool archetype. We’ve all been there, haven’t we? It is what it is. There’s no one to blame for it. It’s a part of the process of maturing.
At the outset of the spiritual quest storyline, we go forth like a sponge, taking in the wonder and awe promised by such lofty new horizons. We don’t yet have the experiences to know how to manage the immense information in such vistas, but we’re filled with enthusiasm coming from the innocence of what challenges such a journey may bring us.
We find many others on this pilgrimage pathway too, expressing the same unconsciousness innocently. How comedic this interplay may be really depends on the perspective the individual takes along the way. The phrase ‘a comedy of errors’ may be descriptive enough for a whole lot of what may happen in these scenarios, and yet, many of these errors can also be painful, as we work through our naive illusions and our personal shadow territories.
Reverence and Mirth
While the spiritual journey is a serious task to undertake and a sacred one as well, there is a balance between the Divine principles of reverence and mirth. Unfortunately, one rarely finds mention of this in conventional offerings about how to go about the spiritual trek.
I personally think this imbalance is purposely and artificially created to keep us from owning the awesome power of laughter and comedy to sweep away nonsense and instantly pop the heart open, but I invite you to ponder this aspect for yourself and come to your own determination on this.
Regardless of where we are on this pathway to enlightenment the fool archetype represents, keeping one’s sense of humor and especially a sense of the absurd intact is essential, in my view, to lessening the suffering possible along the way.
The Conscious Fool and High Mastery
We don’t adore our brothers and sisters capable of making us laugh for no reason. This is a skill set that is highly specialized and it doesn’t spring from the spiritual immaturity zone.
It takes a very intelligent person to express this form of mastery. I think we underestimate the conscious fool and their power to unveil our own foolishness in ways that are both harmless and healing too.
To point out unconscious foolishness in others is always a dangerous position to take on oneself. The sense of the absurd is essential and the courage to be on the proverbial hot seat for it is also required.
These bringers of balance back to distorted version of spirituality most of us have been saddled with in terms of being trained to be ONLY reverent about spiritual matters are marvels of mastery in my estimation. They are few among us and rarely get acknowledgement for the awesome service they provide for us either.
I hope everyone had some moments of fun and laughter this weekend with April Fool’s Day. Lucky you, if you were graced with the presence of a masterful fool to bring balance and fun into your life.
High five to the fools in all of us. May we all have, within our tiny knapsacks we carry on the spiritual journey, plenty of willingness to honor our own innocence and our own mastery of mirth as well. Please share what you have on this with everyone you meet.
Oh, and I’m not fooling around. Many mirthful blessings to you.
Written for Gaia Scenics’ View
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