“The card that bears no number passes through all the numbered cards and is changed in each.”
-A. E. Waite
First Knowledge: The Great Fool is you.
In the story as I am telling it here, life is a quest, a game. In order to play you don’t need to believe anything. All you need is a world that makes sense within its own limits. Like any good fiction story, a world with its own rules must be created.
And this is that world . . .
When we enter the body, the amazing vehicle that permits our experience here on The Terrace, we forget everything we knew. Only moments before our arrival we knew everything, absolutely everything. We even knew what we came here to learn. We knew our purpose, we knew who we would meet and why, we knew many of the things that would happen. . . and then we forgot.
It is The Forgetting that provides us with innocence. We forget so that we may begin in perfection. We forget so that we may witness our strengths and weaknesses as we navigate the often rough and confusing terrain of free will and chance combined with underlying purpose and destiny. We are all of this. Destiny exists, though we may choose to go against it. Purpose is ours, as we have desired it, though we may never access its path.
Here, on The Terrace, we are free will in search of destiny. An undertaking only The Great Fool would bother to engage.
You are The Great Fool. In other words, you are The Great Hero and every lesson you learn here, whether tragic or sublime, informs the infinite consciousness, The Master Everlast, as I call it in these stories. Everything you learn informs the knowledge of consciousness itself. So . . . learn well you Fool . . . it matters.
The Great Fool is the you that encounters every event, every emotion, every thought, every word, every propaganda, every expectation as it is placed at your feet.
The Great Fool is deeply important as not only a character, but as a place inside of us. This is our being. We are always free in this place inside ourselves. Breathe deeply and think: I am free. I am free. I am free. Get used to going to this place because you will need it often in this game. You will need it everyday.
This place is where the yogis and masters of all variety direct us to go in meditation or yoga. It is a solidity of self in full dignity and peace. The Great Fool is on The Terrace in body, yet is never caught-up in the events, even the emotions, that assail and compel, that satisfy and fulfill.
Think of anything in your life and remember: I am not that. I am free.
Think of the worst thing that ever happened to you, breathe and repeat the above words until you feel yourself detached.
Now, think of the thing you are most proud of and say the same words: I am not that. I am free.
Whatever we identify as, is never truth. As we move through our days it is vital that we can say wonderful things about ourselves: “I am a good father”, “I am a good friend”, “I am good at my job”, “I am good at my art”. All of it matters. And to be good at these things certainly matters. But none of it is who we are.
Why is this important? For one thing, if we can understand that we are not the very best of our accomplishments, we can also understand that we are not the very worst of our experiences either.
Further, if one is heavily identified with, say, “I am a good mother”, one is unlikely to stop and ask, “How can I be a good mother? Do I listen to my children?”. When we identify too strongly with one belief about ourselves our capacity for hypocrisy and blindness becomes strong.
Take the best and the worst of yourself and detach from it. Go the The Great Fool within and become free to choose, to change. Become free to access your destiny and purpose.
For those who have suffered trauma this place inside is the most vital of all to create. This is the place where you are safe to be exactly who you are. This is the place of well-being. You cannot be pulled apart by the elements, by the social orders. This is the place where you can simply be. Here you are free. You are much, much more than the worst things that have ever happened to you and the maladaptive feelings and behaviors that have grown out of these events.
Most importantly . . . The Great Fool is in constant contact with the self that never forgot one thing. The Great Fool is always in connection to full knowing, complete love, and synchronicity. The Great Fool is beyond forgiveness, even. “Forgive what?” The Great Fool asks, “Everyone is only another version of myself.”
Take the best and worst of yourself and set it free like a bird into the sky.
Take the best and worst of yourself, detach from these so that you may choose, choose, choose.
Our free will is tacit though in our fear of freedom (which we rarely acknowledge), in our fear of others (whom we are taught to regard as out to get us), in our desire to see punishment and call it justice, we deny the very free will that can change our larger world instantly and are, therefore, easily ruled by those persons and organizations, by systemized machines of social functioning, that would use us against ourselves and against each other.
Take this key into the rest of game. Success in everything is gained in just this way:
1. Show up.
2. Pay attention.
3. Tell the truth.
4. Be detached from the outcome.
The Great Fool is you. Congratulations! You are free. You may choose. (find The Great Fool exercise in categories)