The Way of the Fool

M1. This post is inspired by The Hero and the Light post by the Quantum Underground Blog.

I was taken by the remark that the blogger was searching for a path of awakening and they “found their path partially by the Way of the Fool”. Also recommended is a book by, and about, Mark Hedsel called The Zelator.

Mark Hedsel himself refers the idea of the Way of the Fool back to the Tarot cards. Here we have the kind of Joker in the pack of Tarot Trump cards which is often referred to as The Fool, as pictured here.

FoolAccording to Wikipedia “The Fool is titled Le Mat in the Tarot of Marseilles, and Il Matto in most Italian language tarot decks. These archaic words mean “the madman” or “the beggar”, and may be related to the word for ‘checkmate’ in relation to the original use of tarot cards for gaming purposes.”

So the Tarot starts and ends with the Fool because the Fool has no number. At the start, it represents a naive entry on to the path of enlightenment. At the end, it represents the attitude of the enlightened one.

According to the psychiatrist Carl Jung, these ideas would be symbolic of the integration and assimilation of opposites.

Dream Thinking

The thinking process of dreams is very different to the logic of everyday life. In fact, dreams are almost the antithesis of logical thought. Bizarre things happen, things disappear and reappear, objects morph into other objects, etc.

When the images used for the Tarot cards first appeared in Medieval Europe, the Fool was often used as a kind of allegorical character to satirize society. And he often represented the weaknesses, vices and absurdities of society, and sometimes of the Catholic Church.

And I think there is a close parallel here between the illogicality of dreams and the characterization of the Fool.

The Way of the Fool

So what might we expect in the way of enlightenment by following the (any) Way of the Fool?

Quantum Underground Blog (I hope I have captured the essence) gives some clues such as:

  • Keeping your beliefs open and fluid
  • You must give All to enter into I AM
  • Is all around us simply illusion, myth and allegory?
  • Love creates energy
  • The Flow… connecting me to things

The Fool’s Journey (Tarot)

My understanding comes from the Fool’s Journey through the Tarot Majors that yields some characteristics of awakening or enlightenment that I would like to share.

Firstly, to be enlightened is to have the experience of being “one with everything” (Sorry about the cliche). Here you understand that nothing in the universe is special in any way and all things are equal. The Fool simply acts out of his nature and cares about everything… or perhaps nothing.

Secondly, all forms are illusory. The Fool is often pictured walking off a cliff without regard to the risks. We cannot see the purpose or meaning of the universe but we can experience meaning and purpose in our own lives. It must, of course, be an illusion, but never mind.

We are also without a Self. This is easy to demonstrate by asking a series of questions that lead to what is essentially nothing. The Fool wears a costume that projects an image but also hides his real self. Is he really a Fool or is he a wise man lost in his own thoughts and not wanting to be distracted?

Finally, all is impermanent in the field of time. So why would the Fool worry about having no home nor anything but what he carries. Everything comes to an end (actually rather quickly) so why bother with the illusion of security, home, job, etc.

As a result, the Fool has no responsibilities, no regrets, no worries,  no need to work and in fact nothing to do but follow his own nature.

If these things about enlightenment appeal to you then following the Fool’s Journey through the Tarot may be for you. To take the journey is to embrace your destiny. You will need to love whatever you choose to do, even if it looks like a train wreck. Whatever happens may be a triumph or a disaster, but if you survive it, then what a privilege it will have been to have led what is truly your own unique and personal life.

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12 thoughts on “The Way of the Fool

  1. I am foolish, but didn’t I say that 🙂 It seems you and I have each other’s attention and we are just talking to each other for a moment in the Flow here fool to fool while this crazy blob of energy that is everything, is hurtling through some AI N-space perhaps. We are null space until we are not. I think we have a little bit of real world Alchemy here happening. Thank you for the mention. You summarized perfectly the pearls that fell out of my heart and rolled down my fingers into your mind. I am humbled and every time I connect with someone else out of creativity, I am drawn deeper into this swirling purple void of I, not i. This is fun.

    If I may explain. I need to compose myself for a moment. OK…

    To be seen was not my intention, but you saw right through me. I love that and yet again proof that we are One. I followed the path to my Self and grounded myself to some eternal Force. It shocked me, several times in fact. How rude I thought, just show me already. It is interesting to see another aspect of myself in your blog. We are moved by similar beauty and heart.

    My Alchemical point? I recently have had two themes popping up the last week over and over and over. I was drawn to the Tarot and lucid dreaming. Draw your own conclusion. Its perfect. I have a Radiant deck wrapped in silk sitting in my pocket as I write this. Why did I feel compelled to do that and I touched the cards and touched each to my heart and head. It just felt right to do. I am sure they are absorbing the mystical energy here. I have been learning Tarot! That is funny if you knew me. It just felt natural. I learned I was a fool before I even knew what Tarot was. Again, this is perfect. Am I in Heaven? This feels like it. I keep asking that more and more and pinching myself. Back to my story. Then I learned the history and the journey of the Fool through life illustrated and encoded in these Major Arcana cards. I bought 4 decks I could not resist immediately! I always was impulsive, but that is just my Way. I have had experiences this week reading my cards everyday I can only describe as FUCKING mystical! I calculated the odds to be impossible, but I don’t no math, me dumb, so ignore that or not. Anyway, my brain melted. I am in some new place. I’m looking at a new pile of ashes in the corner smoldering. Good riddens. So I don’t know what I fell into, but there seems to be no bottom.

    Everything is mirrored.

    Forget all you have learned and stop learning, start thinking for yourself, scratch that, no thinking either. What’s left to do?

    Be.

    What will I find in my dreams, because I am going there, wait, I’m there already dreaming I am a man.

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  2. One question. I asked an interesting question yesterday and I got 3 Fools in a row after shuffling the deck each time. What could that mean? I think someone is trying to tell me something. Fucking mystical, I love it!

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  3. Final thought, thank you thank you for helping me see another beautiful synchronistic flow and showing me something profound tonight. Hey, that’s a great idea for a poem, “Synchronistic Flow”, dedicated to my Foolish dreaming friend.

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  4. The cards befriended me quite a few years ago and I find them a helpful and friendly guide regarding dream. But great care is required because the Fool is a Trickster and nobody should pretend to be his master. I am sure you understand.

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  5. It’s a strange thing but dream4fun was supposed to be mostly about Lucid Dreaming. But I seem to have got side-tracked. I am trying to clear the decks currently to get back on path.
    The formula for Lucid Dreaming is… many and varied. But I have written something about “dream induced lucid dreams” at http://dream4fun.com/2015/09/30/lucid-dreaming-tonight/ and about “wake induced lucid dreams” at http://dream4fun.com/2015/12/06/lucid-dreaming-wild/
    Finally, beware what you have wished for, because it may enthrall you. Al Halaj was such, and it didn’t end too well for him (or maybe it did, I won’t judge)

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    1. My friend, I stand naked before the world. We are Light. This is a dream. Lucid state is reality. You were saying? I live there more and more there. I don’t know how far down the hole you have gone. You speak as if there is a choice. Who is choosing? There is no one here 🙂

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