By Pamela Wells
Affirming the Fool Archetype Within
The beginning of your life is full of questions and doubts. “What will I be when I grow up? Who will I fall in love with? Will I be rich or poor? When will I die?” The purpose of your inner Fool is to humbly ask questions and to cultivate an open mind throughout life.
If you find yourself asking and then seeking the answer to the question, “What’s my life all about?” -an enormous philosophical question – then you may also be a “Seeker” or a “Mystic” and someone who realizes life and happiness is about more then what you own or how much power you wield in the world.
The Search for a Meaningful Life
It seems almost everyone desires a life filled with joy, freedom and peace. But how do you get there? Where is my personal road map to living a meaningful life?
The truth is a meaningful life is a huge learning experience where your personal road map always redirects you back towards the questions that answer the ultimate truth of your heart and mind’s greatest fulfillment. In other words, learning about yourself and “self-knowledge” is the most empowered path to take.
Of course, it is always your choice whether you live your life consciously or unconsciously. Whether you decide to do so or not is often represented by the curiosity of your inner Fool archetype because it is this aspect of who you are that gives you permission to ask questions and get around the fears and conclusive answers of your know-it-all ego.
Which Path Shall I Take?
Whether your own life is currently full of all the joy the world can offer or full of despair, there is no way to understand the human condition without a personal act of faith and surrender to a bigger answer. It is a matter of your own free choice as to whether or not you want to begin the journey to greater self-knowledge.
The focus of these current times has become the satisfaction of endless desires that results in much outer wealth but very little inner wealth – joy, freedom or peace. As a result most people are living life unconsciously at the mercy of their egos, in a place of confusion, doubt, emptiness and fear.
If you are someone more focused on nurturing self-knowledge, you have realized that inner wealth and joy is the result of turning inward. Having the courage to be a “Fool” on your journey, you begin to understand that you are both a human being and a divine being and that living a life full of meaning is a very precious gift.
Choosing to live your life consciously is hard work, but it will bring you much joy, freedom and peace. At the end of your journey, you will have learned and understood who you really are and your connection to the nature of the universe. And most importantly, you will have experienced great joy, peace and happiness in the process.
If you have not yet begun, here is a handy checklist:
Beginning the Journey
1. First and foremost, in order to begin, you must ask the question, “What do I need to know about myself, other people, and the world?” You may be ridiculed and teased as you ask questions and seek answers. Sometimes the answers may not be part of your religious background, culture or heritage. Even so, you can move forward each time you feel doubt and fear by cultivating faith and love.
2. The second important task is mastering and understanding your individual sense of self by asking “Who am I?”
3. The third task is surrendering yourself completely to a higher Source of inspiration in order to gain wisdom about the human condition and the true nature of the world. The act of surrendering completely to this quest for truth is considered the greatest leap of faith and folly in the world. Here you must be willing to suspend what you think you know for what you long to know and you must have the curiosity and open mind of a child.
4. The final task is the process of living in congruence with a higher and universal code of conduct. To become conscious means sacrificing and growing your intellect to be placed in the service of the Creator. You will know the whole truth once your head and heart are united.
It does not matter in what name or form that the universal truth comes to you. You are simply to follow the path set before you. It will lead you in the best way to suit your particular nature. Whatever way you recognize, loving and taking in Divine truth is the way Source recognizes, loves and takes joy in you. So begin the journey!
When you set out on your journey to Ithaca,
pray that the road is long,
full of adventure, full of knowledge.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the angry Poseidon–do not fear them:
You will never find such as these on your path,
if your thoughts remain lofty, if a fine
emotion touches your spirit and your body.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the fierce Poseidon you will never encounter,
if you do not carry them within your soul,
if your soul does not set them up before you.
Pray that the road is long.
That the summer mornings are many, when,
with such pleasure, with such joy
you will enter ports seen for the first time;
stop at Phoenician markets,
and purchase fine merchandise,
mother-of-pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and sensual perfumes of all kinds,
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
visit many Egyptian cities,
to learn and learn from scholars.
Always keep Ithaca in your mind.
To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
But do not hurry the voyage at all.
It is better to let it last for many years;
and to anchor at the island when you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.
Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.
Without her you would have never set out on the road.
She has nothing more to give you.
And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not deceived you.
Wise as you have become, with so much experience,
you must already have understood what Ithacas mean.
–Constantine P. Cavafy
Contemplation for the Fool archetype within you
1. Do I consider myself a Seeker?
2. Do I want to begin the journey?
3. What is the trial of contemporary times?
4. What was the trial of past times?
5. How do I know when I am living my life consciously?
6. What questions do I have about life?
7. What can I begin to understand and learn in the journey toward self-knowledge?
8. What do I give up in order to gain wisdom and knowledge about the human condition?
9. How does the evolution of my own awareness change the world?
10. What do I need to know about ___________?
Exercise: Write Your Life Story
Write your life story as a simple narrative time line. Start with your childhood and go on to adolescence and your early 20s. If you are older, continue on to midlife, maturity, and old age. Consider the influence of your family, culture, and gender on your self-development. Write about what you want to become and your greatest life purpose, dreams and inspirations.
Ask: “What do I need to know?”