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Arcane Zero






THE FOOL




Fools move somewhere half way between the heavens and the earth. It should hardly surprise us to find one merrily dancing above the clouds on the top of a mountain.
It is a blessing to be a fool. People always sensed that fools were accorded special Divine privileges, and they often held their fellow beings afflicted with a degree of foolishness, in a high esteem. Those among us who could afford it, often employ personal fools; many kings had their jesters who could speak the truth to their faces, without  fear of being punished or even reprimanded.
Since its inception, the world has been compelled to bear a constant stream of fools, but has anyone wondered where fools come from? Perhaps they are being continuously born from the Cosmic Egg, and blown by the winds of universal breath, they are scattered into all corners of the Universe. Breathing is a slow form of combustion; isn't the never ending production of fools meant to prevent the Universe from being covered by eternal ice? Indeed, snow bearing clouds come each time humanity decides that it is tired of looking at their mentally handicapped and offers them the comfort of living in isolated institutions. On the other hand, everlasting summer reigns where the population can still look with the smile of understanding and appreciation on the resident village idiots.
A fool creates havoc wherever he sets his foot, but he can also help to relieve overloaded minds of tensions, he can conjure up a smile on sullen faces by crawling under surmountable obstacles, by turning up with beer instead of water he was supposed to bring, or by delivering vinegar instead of the requested beer. When the atmosphere becomes too heavy with ideological conditions, exhilarating jokes are invented by fools. It might land them in jail for a while, but from a cohort of fools a whole legion of rational killers will eventually beat the retreat.
Our Fool wanders as if he hadn't a care in the world, in his jester's apparel, a walking stick in one hand and another over his shoulder that supports a hanging purse. He lacks care, the world that lies below his feet is still waiting for his birth, he is going to stroll into it and unpack everything he owns from his bundle. We are all born naked and most of us believe that we do not bring anything with us, that all is provided for us by our parents. But is this true? A staggering number of consummate fools are born to absolutely normal parents. When a child of ten, born to and raised by an artistically non-gifted and tone deaf couple, suddenly begins to compose music, could it be because of something that he brought with him, something that cannot be suppressed by environment, by education, by rationality, by anything? There is a great mystery surrounding the contents of every newly born child's bundle and it is only revealed much later, whether he or she is destined to become just another average citizen or to astonish everyone around, even the whole world.
The Fool's future is about to unfold. At the moment he is still in a timeless zone, but his first conscious step will lead over a cliff, he will fall into a precipice that is the human existence, perhaps fascinating and desirable, or miserable and lamentable, yet unavoidable. He may sense how useless any procrastinations would be, that may be why he keeps his gaze fixed on the distant horizon, ignoring everything, even the small dog who frantically tries to stop him by hanging onto his trousers, tearing it off and revealing the Fool's proverbial naked bottom. The Fool wants to go, he wants to fly, he does not want to be slowed by lower, animalistic instincts. He wants to be human, he wants to make human errors and he wants to learn from the experience.
A curtain has fallen over the Fool's past and the one in front of him is yet to be raised. It would be an opportunity to contemplate the future that awaits him in the vast space below his feet, if only he could think with any clarity, if only he could use this brand new instrument, the human brain. But the incarnating spirit's connection with the body is still incomplete and loose, all he can do, is dream. He is aware that someone or something is trying to enter his dream, he allows it to proceed and hears a small voice near his right ear.

-   Hey, you, Fool!

The Fool has no idea who is talking to him.
-   Can you hear me, Fool?
-   Who are you? Where are you hiding?
-   I'm your inner voice, you carry me within your purse.
The voice seems to come from the end of the stick over his shoulder. Again, it talks to him:
-   Do you know where you are going?
-   I..., well, ... I'm not sure... I think, I'm about to enter another life.
-   Indeed, you are. But this life will be different than those you have lived before.
-   Why should it be different?
-   Because you desired it to be so and you have accepted certain conditions.
-   I don't remember anything.
-   No, you wouldn't. That's why I'm here, to remind you of it.
-   Did I make any foolish promises?
-   You may have, but you are the Fool. As such you are best equipped to handle the situation. Others come into the world carrying purses that often contain many talents they have been developing over their past incarnations. They are committed to developing them further and this can be a burden to them, it can deter their spiritual advance. You have no such ties, all you carry with you is your inner voice, you can stay focussed on your spiritual life.
-   Am I meant to become a monk, or something like that?
-   I didn't say that. On the contrary, your's will not be a life of contemplation, it will be full of action, with many adventures.
-   I'm looking forward to that.
-   So you should. But I have to forewarn you, there will be some weighty trials!
-   These trials, will they be very dangerous? Will I have enough courage to face them?
-   You will know that only when they come to you. But others have faced them before you and many have passed. The only difference is that in your case they will come in a quicker succession, so you'll have to keep going, you cannot afford to remain inactive. Always act as if there were no tomorrow!
-   What about you, will you be helping me?
-   I will do my best, but it's not that simple. The problem is that you might not be always able to hear me.
-   Why? I can hear you very well.
-   You can hear me now, but later you might be too busy listening to others and not to your inner voice. We will keep in contact while you are a child, but as you will grow up, you will inevitably begin to draw away from me and perhaps forget me altogether when you have reached adulthood.
-   How can you be so sure of that?
-   Because that's the way of you, humans. No matter how loudly your inner voices keep yelling into your ears, you stubbornly refuse to listen. I'm resigned to it, because I know that you are meant to make mistakes, it's the only way you can learn.
-   Maybe I can have something that would remind me of your existence.
-   What, a knot on your hankie? You will be born naked, remember?
-   If I try to fix it into my mind?
-   Perhaps there is a way, after all. Your future life will be a journey of self discovery and you will need to gather information and experiences of the real world while maintaining an open link to your intuition. Try to impress deep into your mind this one image: you are standing here with your walking stick planted into the ground and the other stick over the shoulder. The latter acts as an antenna and you can listen through it to your inner voice, the former is your grounding. The world you are entering, has not yet heard of radio transmission, so these words will not sound familiar. That's exactly why it might help to jolt your memory.
-   Antenna, grounding... I'll remember that!
-   I'll always be near you, ready to help. The rest is up to you. Happy journey!
The Fool's very next step takes him over the edge.