Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Holy Fools’ Day Coming Right Up!

My friend, Gail Larsen, sent this in her RealSpeaking newsletter. I pass it on in a spirit of fun and creative thinking. . .

I’ve taken it upon myself to rename April Fool’s Day. This festive holiday suggests we play tricks on others with a jovial spirit and once we’ve duped them to yell with delight, “April Fools!”

Comparative mythologist Joseph Campbell talked about the archetype of another kind of fool: the Holy Fool. The Fool is the most dangerous person on earth, Campbell explained, the most threatening to all hierarchical institutions. He has no concern for naysayers, and no one has power over him (or her). She is not limited, not stoppable, nor controllable. She knows what she has to do and is doing it, no matter what.

I think of the Holy Fool as similar to the Court Jester, the only person in the Royal Court who dares to make fun of the King without consequence. Or the Koshari of the Hopi and Pueblo peoples of the Southwest, who in the midst of sacred ceremonies makes us laugh at ourselves by mimicking our behavior so we can see ourselves in a new way. This “sacred clown” creates lessons at the expense of another’s seriousness, recognizing that laughter is a great shape shifter of old habits and patterns.  I often wonder if the striped ceremonial dress of the Koshari isn’t designed to remind us that getting out of our self-imposed jails isn’t a really good idea.

So here’s a suggestion. How about on April 1 we engage in a dialogue with our inner Holy Fool and ask what she most wants to express, convention be damned. Ask where you are being duped day in and day out and not shining the light of your truth. Let’s stop concealing our greatest passions and be willing to say what we love and what we know without editing and rehearsing ourselves into oblivion. Let’s declare April 1 Holy Fools’ Day and engage the passionate part of us that has something important to say—and just say it!

Rumi said (and I paraphrase):
I used to be like you.
Calm, rational, controlled.
Now I am seized by passion.
Watch out!No one’s safe!!!

Sacred Cows cartoon by Spirit Painter