I Don’t Want to Be Part of This Revolution if I Can’t Dance

by Peter Milhado PHD on October 3, 2017

Are you a Fool?  For God’s sake let’s hope so, because it is the Fool inside of us who lives more in the ‘here and now’ than any of the many of our ‘inner personalities’.  The Fool inside doesn’t care whether we’re good looking enough, healthy enough, wealthy enough, working hard enough, smart enough, man enough, woman enough, or successful enough.  It is the inner Fool who helps us give up living lives that do not fit our souls, imposed upon us by the insane dictates of our consumption oriented society and sometimes our families. Achievement and material possessions are secondary to fully living in the moment without neurotically worrying about tomorrow in anticipatory panic of impending loneliness, illness, or poverty.  The Fool finds joy in life as it is and to pick up on my last article… the Fool invites ecstasy!  The dance is here for it’s own sake (Pearson).

Damian, an old friend of mine, who works as a psychologist in a metropolis south of here has the best conscious connection to the ‘archetype of the Fool’ of anyone I know.  He answers the phone differently every time it rings (at home that is).  That’s one of the reasons why I call him at least twice a week.  Last time he answered, “Hello, this is James, the butler…my mistress Helga (his wife’s actual name), the most relentless dominatrix this side of the Rhine river, is tied up right now…Oh, sorry I have that upside down.  However, if you’d like for me to whip up an appointment for you… Call back next week…we’re booked.  In spite of the recession, our business is smashing!  Call after eleven am…. No early risers…please!”  He’s been the same ever since I met him back in ’68.  Outside of his relationship to Helga, his friendships, his camping trips and his excursions to Mexico, I’m convinced it is his soulful connection to the Fool and trickster inside that have helped him survive the contaminating insanity of LA all these years.

What’s essential is that we have a conscious and deliberate relationship to the Fool inside, because the Fool will show up anyhow.  If not invited consciously he’ll break through in his negative form…this is true especially if joy has gone out of our lives.

The Dark Side of the Fool

At it’s best the ‘Fool’ brings fun, creativity, playfulness and joy.  At worst he brings self-destructiveness, manipulation, deceit and isolation.  The Fool is connected to the most primitive instincts and drives within us.  When we let our appetites become out of control, the Fool has gotten the best of us.  This happens when people tell us what we said and did at the party last night and hide our face in shame, because we were blind drunk… or when we find we are about to become a parent because we forgot about birth control in a moment of unbridled passion.  The unconscious Fool’s lust is disconnected from any responsibility or sense of love.

The shadow Fool’s motto is ‘If it feels good do it!’ without any thought to consequences.  He tricks some folks into doing drugs, leaving a good job or relationship just to meet an impulsive need.  He can even lead one into criminal behavior and embezzlement (“no one will ever find out”).  The ‘unconscious Fool’ causes a split in some people’s personalities… most of the time they lead a rather conventional life, but they are never safe from compulsive eruptions of lust, greed, drunkenness etc. – they truly and simply become stupid.  At worst gluttony, relentless self-indulgence and total irresponsibility set in.

The Wise Fool

The Fool’s connection to the instincts and basic animal drives should never be repressed, because if we’re disconnected from our primitive instincts we loose our ‘zip’ and all of our energy!  This primitive energy, however, needs to be harvested and channeled consciously!  The wise Fool is never bound by the rules and conventions of society, but he does know the rules…he just manages to play the ‘game’ effectively.  He’s a shape shifter who can wear the appropriate persona (social mask) at the right time, depending on circumstances.  It allows the world to be seen from different perspectives

The wise Fools know they are not their roles.  Their motivation is to utilize the Fool’s personality in the service of soul, not to gratify some narcissistic or manipulative ego need.  When we let go of the need to be important we can open up to laughter and life without judgment, anxiety or despair.

So the best of the Fool is that he allows us to enjoy life in the here and now, without judgment but also without illusions.  He brings us down to earth and punctures our deceit, arrogance and self-importance.

The Fool is often behind Freudian slips as in the case of the overly ambitious and manipulative junior executive, who wanted to make an impression on his boss’s wife.  He compassionately inquired about her sickly daughter, Regina, saying, ‘I hope your Vagina is doing better.’, in front of the whole office crew.  The Fool always flattens an inflated ego.  Let’s hope the junior executive got the message.

When the Fool is not present in our lives we become uptight, anxious, bored and depressed.  Special thanks to Carol S. Pearson Ph.D. for her many contributions.

One for all and all for one. Love to Mother Meera

Peter Milhado © 2015

P.S.  If you are worried what the neighbors think, the Fool won’t show up… Guaranteed!

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