Today we will take some time to think about “the fool’s” journey through life. This theme is represented in literature with works such as “the Epic of Gilgamesh” and ”Alice in Wonderland,” among many others. Joseph Campbell, an American writer and professor, described it as the archetypal hero story.
These themes are prevalent in our lives as we grow from child to adolescent to adult, gaining insight and experience along the way. We begin our journey as the uneducated novice (infant) bound in pure awareness, with no sense of self – hence, the fool.
Our modern language has negative connotations associated with the word FOOL; however, when examined through experience, we see that societal trappings and norms unencumber the fool. The fool experiences life in all its splendor, tasting experience for what it is. There is no shame, no guilt – only pure being.
As babies, we have no sense of self (as in self-consciousness); purely instinctual beings. Our whole experience is based upon survival- cry to be fed, changed, consoled. All our energy is concentrated in the root chakra. As we grow, we develop a sense of separation, of otherness. It is at this point our energy moves into the sacral chakra. We experience the partition based on sex and slowly become aware of the power sex and sexual identification has in our lives. Like the fool/hero on the journey, we must come to understand that power is limited, controlling, and lacking Love. If our karma in this life allows, we move into the third chakra, some of us developing a stable sense of self, or we become lost in the anxiety of trying to fit in. Most people are living through the energy of the lower 3 Chakras.
Progress moving the energy upwards becomes difficult because our physical plane of existence constantly tells us we need more to be happy, loved, and fit in. Beings stuck here are trapped by instant gratification-always seeking outside of themselves.
The fool/hero, however, can move beyond the physical plane of power after some time. This shift can happen gradually, or some trauma can rend open the heart instantly, allowing the experience of the power of unconditional Love. This subtle energy will enable us to bridge the gap between the lower and upper chakras.
This Love can assist us further on our foolish yet heroic journey. It allows us to see the world for what is in pure Love. It invites gracious speech and action and opens our intuition to allow a depth of understanding: everything is exactly as it should be every moment.
This is the most difficult pill to swallow. War, greed, and suffering are all intrinsic parts of human existence, and they are the opposite side of the coin of Love, compassion, and empathy.
At a point in history, we began to see everything as duality (Eve eating the apple/Gilgamesh and Enkidu), and we lost the pure taste of awareness.
Those whose karma is ripening for awakening feel the “something not quite right” in how we are told to experience life.
The fool’s/hero’s journey is never straight, and it is a crooked path with many missteps and falls along the way.
Take time to look at your life from the perspective of storytelling. Can you identify early life moments where energy stagnated in the lower chakras?
In working with these ideas, we must remember that we are most likely not fully awakening in this go-round, and we are the fool – just beginning to open our eyes to the light of truth. This is a journey of many lifetimes, unpredictable and long.
With this realization, which cannot be intellectualized, we begin to see the face of god in everyone we meet. No one is better than us, no one less than us. All god, all one; All beings are moving toward the light in their way, in their own time.
The person who cut you off on the highway is god; the megalomaniac, hell-bent on persecuting other beings, is also god. It is all energy in form and all one. Ram Dass says, “It is all grist for the mill.”
Everything we meet is the path.