Sunday, 1 April 2012

The Fool

The Fool's number is 0, no number, but for me 0 is a number. The fool in the tarot deck is as strong as all the cards put together. Why? Because he represents man on his spiritual quest. Not knowing where he is going, the fool is ready to discover. He is the hero of the fairy tales who appears dim-witted but is able to find the "treasure" where others have failed. The fool has few possessions. He travels light.*

The fool with his childlike sense of wonder dances through life looking at things for what they are and not what they are supposed to mean or what they are supposed to symbolize. He lacks knowledge, wealth and success in the conventional sense. So it is no surprise that often the terms 'merry' and 'happy' are associated with him.

That's why, perhaps, we have a day dedicated to celebrate the fool in all of us. As we become a sum total of our consumptions, our worth measured in terms of possessions and happiness becomes a pursuit of a 'like' here and a 'share' there. As we surrender our sense of wonder at the alter of  'gaining' knowledge and 'attaining' a 'respectable' position in the world, maybe it is necessary to sometimes be shown for the fool that we actually are. To remind us, as we sit smug and comfortable in our grand palace of knowledge and wealth, impervious to the chains rattling at our ankle, that somewhere out in the world there is a fool not knowing where he is going, but ready to discover. He is carefree. He is merry. And he travels light.

*Niki de Saint Phalle Tarot Cards. To take a tour of Niki de Saint Phalle's magical Il Giardino dei Tarocchi or The Garden of Tarot click here.

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