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The Fool

* Someone who's not afraid to look foolish in front of others, or to do and think about things others might feel are dumb or useless. This is why such fools are depicted with torn chothing that shows their skin below. They are willing to let their inner truths show in the outside world.
   
* The word is similar to "idiot," an epithet used by Gurdjieff and the Sufis to indicate anyone who admits they don't know that the world is about or what their role in it should be. It is, however, a term of respect, for this person is willing to unlearn all that he or she knows in order to learn something real. "Fool" though, seems a bit less outre.

* In different words: Our "fool" is someone who has tired of the shallowness, superficiality or limitations - whatever you will - of the mundane world, and seeks to access an ontological plane deeper than that of mere individual consciousness. Or again: Someone who seeks realities of a superior, archetypal order which are shadowed in various ways by myths and symbols, specifically the 22 archetypal symbols of the Tarot trumps.

* A related term is "warrior fool," meaning someone who has embarked on a path of inner knowledge, meaning specifically experiential knowledge. This person is engaged in a war against himself or herself, and is willing to lose the ordinary state of being in order to gain a new one, symbolized in our scheme by The Magician.

 * Our fool, therefore, is also someone willing to do the work necessary to win this war. Only the basics may be taught. All the rest must be gained from experience. The teaching can only guide these experiences in the right direction. "No pain, no gain," as my high school PE teacher was wont to say. When you say it to and for yourself, it has a different flavor.

 * Ultimately, a Fool is someone willing to look for the inner wisdom required for spiritual transformation. The Fool's Journey isn't in business to provide any "wisdom" (a ha ha ha!), but only to put you in touch with this inside yourself.

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