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, American writer and professor, described it as the archetypal hero story.
These themes are prevalent in our own 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 looked at through the eyes of experience we see that the fool is unencumbered by societal trappings and norms. It is the fool who 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 separation based upon 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 the 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 due to our physical plane of existence which is constantly telling us we need more to be happy, to be loved, to fit in. Beings stuck here are trapped by instant gratification-always seeking outside of themselves.
The fool/hero, however is able, after some time, to move beyond the physical plane of power. This can happen gradually or some trauma can rend open the heart instantly allowing the experience of the power of unconditional love. This subtle energy allows us to bridge the gap between the lower and upper chakras.
This love can then assist us further on our foolish yet heroic journey through life. It allows us to see the world for what is in in pure love. It invites compassionate speech, action and opens our intuition allow a depth of understanding: everything is exactly as it should be in every moment.
This is the most difficult pill to swallow. War, greed, suffering are all intrinsic parts of human existence. 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 of us whose karma is ripening for awakening feels the “something not quite right” in how we are told to experience life.
The fool’s/hero’s journey is never straight. It is a crooked path with many missteps and falls along the way.
Take time to look at your life from the perspective of story telling. Can you identify points in early life where energy became stagnant in the lower chakras?
In working with these ideas we must remember that we are most likely not fully awakening in this go-round. 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.
It is with this realization ( which cannot be intellectuallized) that we begin to see the face of god in everyone we meet. No one better than us, no one less than us. All god, all one. All beings moving toward the light in their own way, in their own time.
The person that 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. All one.
As Ram Dass says “ it is all grist for the mill.”
Everything we meet is the path.