In a world that doesn’t understand that boundaries can be transformed into horizons, the Sacred Clown stands as periphery keeper. They are forever vigilant, forever circumspect, and forever full of unconditional humor.
The world is a playground, and they are on recess. Nothing stands outside their absolute grip on griplessness. In the Path of the Sacred Clown I described the basic function of the sacred clown. Here I put forth seven signs in which you may already be one.
1) You have a robust spiritual flexibility
“Doing as others told me, I was Blind. Coming when others called me, I was Lost. Then I left everyone, myself as well. Then I found Everyone, Myself as well.” ~ Rumi
You understand that faith without doubt is spiritually myopic, leading to naïve presumption; and that doubt without faith is spiritually hyperopic, leading to the bondage of reason. Both leave the third-eye blind. Faithful doubt, or doubtful faith, leads to the opening of the third eye and dissolves the opaque weight of heaven and hell, thereby freeing the spirit… not from anything but for something: A good sense of humor. And so you choose to be motivating, but not manipulated. To be useful, not used. To make changes, not excuses. To excel, not compete. You choose self-esteem over self-pity through a humor of the most high.
You listen to your inner voice and not to the random opinions of others, although you take them into consideration as integral aspects of your art. You choose to do things others won’t, so you can continue doing things others cannot. You mix the sacred with the profane, and mock the religiosity that gets caught up at any point in between. You’re the ultimate governor of transitions from one state to another. You have been called upon to reestablish the bridge between the physical world and the spiritual world through the sacred art of metaphor and play.
2) You deflate the Ego and animate the Soul
“The most exciting phrase to hear in life, the only one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’, but rather, ‘hmm… that’s funny…’” ~ Isaac Asimov
Your ego is clay, malleable and puppet-like. It is your tool for higher transformation, rather than a weight that drowns you in the mundane. You use it to inject wakefulness into an otherwise somnambulant world. Your ego is secure enough to be vulnerable and ignite the fire that becomes Soul.
As the ego deflates, your soul blossoms, and assumes the interdependent state of eco-consciousness, subsuming cosmos. Your self-expression is your art, animating an otherwise inanimate world. Half-animal half-divine, Hermes-like and Mercurial, your feet are roots that dance and your hands are wings that fly.
You are torn between Worm and God, but you appreciate the tearing. At the end of the day, ego is the tool you use to leverage the universe and soul is the instrument you use to harmonize with the universe.
3) You embrace Uncertainty
“I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of certainty about different things, but I’m not absolutely sure about anything.” ~ Richard Feynman
You question things to the nth degree, understanding that healthy skepticism is an open door for novelty and other-worldliness to come in. You are adept at introducing paradox, as you are okay with being a walking paradox yourself. You humiliate your certitude, recognizing that a background of mystery always remains.
You daily practice the art of open-mindedness, and consistently embrace the art of hypocrisy, understanding that we are all fallible creatures who are prone to mistakes and tend to be afraid of being wrong. You have no fear of being wrong. You have the uncanny ability to capitalize on your mistakes by making all stumbles, falls, or missteps a part of the overall sacred dance. You are Drunken Master. You are Jester Guru. Your duty is to crack open the hard shell of certainty to reveal the uncertain Godling softly blooming inside us all.
“The trickster is the embodiment of contradiction, creator and destroyer of norms, clown, monster, giver of fire, creator of worlds. Having such a confounding figure at the center of one’s worldview helps to keep the mind nimble as it moves between opposites, both creating meaning and tearing it down to make room for new creation.” ~ Louis G. Herman
You have the ability to live between worlds, preferring the peripheral neither-nor to the limiting either-or. Your shadow is white; your halo is black. Both daemonic and shamanic, you blur boundaries and transform them into horizons. coinsidencia oppositorum, a unity of opposites, is your call to arms.
You realize that only by throwing ourselves off our high-horse, by diving off the pedestal, by laughing at what before we took too seriously, can we stretch ourselves into becoming.
You stimulate others to think dialectically, coaxing them to stay open to the flow of thought from thesis to antithesis to synthesis to Metathesis and back. Your skills pull light into dark and launch the gray into sparks that catch fire to consciousness. You are the tug-o-war rope between ought and naught, balancing like Nietzsche’s Übermensch.
Except God is not dead, for you know that we are all our own gods creating and destroying the world through our own myth and art. You’re the infinite player tripping up the floundering finite players, because you understand that Reason operates in service to Imagination, not vice versa.
5) You promote radical egalitarianism and mock all tyranny
“There is something in the nature of all play that is not serious, but at the same time can be sincere.” ~ Alan Watts
You understand that modern day societies cannot stand real fundamental criticism, whereas tribal societies were strong, healthy and secure exactly because they could withstand real criticism. The main reason for this was because of the role of the sacred clown.
As a sacred clown, you understand the necessary function of deflating the power dynamic of any system of human governance, especially “absolute” power. You remind those in power of their own fallibility by planting memes, insurgent music, satire, and rebellious art like seeds into their fragile invulnerability.
You empower the average individual to become a proactive citizen by promoting radical egalitarianism, thus curing the system of nature-deprivation and anoia, the disease of the soul that results when we forget our partnership in the sacred community of being.
You understand that human beings have an innate need to expand consciousness and to experience direct relationship with the divine, and that spiritual impoverishment is directly related to our nature-deprivation, our systematic enslavement of each other, our bureaucratizing of the soul, and our misunderstanding of the fundamental interconnectedness of all things. Thus, through your art, you count coup on any and all tyrannical systems.
6) You’re an amoral agent par excellence
“In an atonal world one must oppose it in such a way that one compels it to tonalize itself.”
~ Slavoj Zizec
You amorally rebel; therefore morality exists. You’re the medium, the go-between, the impossible bridge. You understand that the charm of life exists precisely in its inconstancy. Between essence and appearance there is consciousness, there is you, existing in a delicate pirouette of transcendence and immanence, a coup de théâtre of higher awareness. But your amorality is sacred: with the understanding that one must be amoral in order to transform immoral action into moral fortitude.
Your way of taking this immoral world seriously is to disrupt it amorally and then give it a moral form. Dionysian, your art is jest and madness, mockery and frenzy, tomfoolery and balderdash, tautology and malapropism, but it balances the Apollonian forces of order, rigidness, ennui, apathy, reason, contentment, logic and boredom, resulting in an even playing field of open-ended Meta-realization. You are the perennial Jesterado: a bold outlaw clown. You openly declare to the world, “You can have your moral high ground; I’ll stick with my amoral middle ground, and astonish you all.”
7) You move between metaphor and reality by contrary means
“Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious.” ~ Rumi
You understand that Metaphor is the ingredient added to the recipe of language that makes “the pen mightier than the sword.” It is a way of dreaming away from the world only to return with new knowledge (sacred elixir) in tow.
You are coyote & crow, fox & phoenix. In practical realms there lies radical hope, and you are the walking personification of that hope, walking “backward” when others are walking “forward,” inverting language when others are being direct, twisting circles into infinity symbols and back, playing devil’s advocate. You are the Trickster God personified.
You are the Human Leitmotif. You are the Heyoka that subsumes all Heyokas past, present and future. Through your myth and metaphor the world takes on a majestic meaning and an enchantment that goes beyond merely a “self” with an “I” observing the “object” of the “moon.” Through myth and metaphor “I” and the “moon” become sacred things, interconnected and synergistic, and you subsume both through artistic self-expression, donning moon-mask, dog-mask, eagle-mask, whale-mask, ALL masks, in your sacred dance over the abyss of the human condition.