“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool”
Spo-fans know I am a Jungian in my psychological training and approach to the Human Psyche. From time to time I write about the concepts; you can look my previous entries under “Jungian Psychology” here at Spo-Reflections.
April Fool’s Day made me reflect on The Fool Archetype. I was surprised I haven’t written about it before. April 1st is an apt day to discuss Fools.
Like all archetypes, The Fool is universal and easily recognized. He (The Fool is usually male) is beyond the usual yoke of custom and convention. As the Village Idiot he is ostracized. But The Fool can see and do things others can not. He is often coupled with the King; they make a balanced pair. The King must be dignified and proper, while the Fool has the “Fool’s Privilege”. He gets to say things no one else dares. King Lear is an excellent example. The Fool chastises Lear when no one else will.
In the Tarot Deck he is numberless; he is the “0”, both starting and ending the Major Arcana. He is the only Major Card to survive into the modern deck of cards – the Joker.
Of course, he has a negative/Shadow side – all archetypes have such. I don’t need to tell you how to spot someone dominated by too much Fool energy.
Like all archetypes, we need The Fool. “A little nonsense now and then is cherished by the wisest men” capture this necessity. People with no Fool energy are sour pusses indeed – or frightful or dangerous.
So on this Day of Fools, let us celebrate this untamed zany Archetype.
My entry ends with one of the greatest group of Fools ever – Monty Python.