Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Our Foolish Experiences

I feel the vibrations of life moving along faster all the time. I know that many of you are feeling it too. It seems as though we are inspired to make decisions quicker and take action on things we have been postponing. All this is good because it clarifies our focus.

Some who have undergone a sudden shift in careers are still adjusting. Some who have been muddling along in relationships that are unsatisfying have decided to opt out and search for a relationship that is more spiritually and emotionally aligned with their persona.

During these times of transition, we may often catch a glimpse of old traumas, feelings and thoughts  that need to be healed so that we can move on to greater freedom and happiness.

Times of turmoil often present us with opportunities to find out what we can do. Challenges force us to dig deeply into our perceptions of ourselves and our situations to discover ways to resolve our difficulties and discover talents, skills and abilities that have been dormant. Once activated, we find that we are able to see things differently and recognize opportunities that we had not previously seen because our previous circumstances may have obscured our vision.

When difficulties have interrupted our life, we may have let that instance make us feel like a failure, but that is not the truth. What appears to be a huge setback can actually be a way for spirit to get us to stop, step back, take a deep breath and examine other options which can lead us to an evolved state of consciousness.

Consider for a moment the character of The Fool in the tarot. Although the first impression of many viewers is that this character is foolish, stupid, childish. Not necessarily. The dog is warning him or her not to fall off because he or she is busy letting his mind wander rather than watching where they are going.

However, the image could also be that he is stepping to the edge to enjoy the view. I once had a hiking buddy who would sit on the edge of cliffs, with his feet hanging down, eating a sandwich while taking a break. That was a bit too edgy for me, so I sat back on a rock and enjoyed the view without sitting on the edge.

Another thing we see in the picture is that the fool travels light, with only a small bag. He is out to experience and enjoy life. For a large portion of history, people would live and die within 20 miles of where they were born. Some still do. My mother has lived in the same house her entire life, while I have lived in several different parts of the country, learning new terrain, different customs and traditions and making new friends. When travelers are about to set out on their journey, the ones who are staying put often warn them that "it is dangerous out there. You don't know who you will meet or what will happen to you." This is true, and not necessarily bad.

Of course, many of our journeys that are more introspective cause people to think that we are foolish. Friends, relatives, lovers and others may question why we would want to learn about past lives, reiki, dreams, runes, tarot, psychic development and other subjects they view as "far out." But the journeys we take by reading metaphysical books, taking classes, or participating in groups stimulate a different kind of growth that comes from exploring our own inner resources. Some people simply have only learned to see things one way.

For example,back when I took up drumming as a spiritual tool, I bought my drums from a drum shop, and the owner of the shop asked me if I was in a band. When I told him no, he looked puzzed. "Then what do you want to buy drums and rattles for?" he asked. I told him that I like to play drums in circles with friends and that anyone who wanted to join in with us was welcome and I brought more than one drum to the circle both to experience different kinds of sounds and also so that people who didn't have a drum could borrow one. He responded that he had never heard of anything like that before and asked why we would want to do that. "Just for the fun of making music together, and building connections with new people, a simple way of creating unity with a bunch of strangers." Eventually he came and checked it out for himself and he really liked it, becoming one of our friends, and gaining new customers. I smile whenever I remember this because originally he could not imagine what we were up to because it was a whole new world view for him.

Another view of The Fool as depicted by different artists, is that he is a very powerful character because even though he has learned many important life lessons through his variety of experiences and his life journey, he knows that he does not know every thing. Our life journey is both internal and external. For all the lessons we may have learned, we know that there is still more to learn.

One of my favorite illustrations of this principle is the World Card from Ciro Marchetti's Tarot of Dreams. Here we see the fool, further along in his journey, still the fool, the adventurer, the traveler, the explorer, with many miles behind him, yet many more to go. This is an example of why some scholars say that the fool is numbered as zero, because he or she is both the highest and lowest card in the deck. The fool can pop in and out of sequence at any time to learn lessons and then continue on to the life journey which is never ending.