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Tip o' the Week #106 - Wisdom and The Fool

Dear [firstname]

It is with some trepidation that I write about the topic of Wisdom. But recently some things have come together that have emboldened me to be so foolish.

Let's begin with the Kabbalistic Tree of Life.  Wisdom is the next to last Sepheroth (#2) called "Chokmah."  (The Sepheroth are the 10 attributes/emanations in Kabbalah through which God created the world and/or manifests.)

Tree of Life

Tree of Life
(from A Complete Guide to the Tarot
by Eden Gray.New York: Crown Publishers. 1970.
Library of Congress Card Number: 70-108086.

Wisdom is the last step of the Pilgrim/Seeker on the Spiritual Path before reaching Kether/the Crown/dare I say, "The One."

Wisdom "means HOW TO ACCURATELY 'ACT' IN ONE'S CURRENT SITUATION. This is not a matter of 'information' that one is missing (for apparently the 'facts' are already known), but of HOW TO TAKE ACTION on the known facts.  EFFECTIVE PLANNING OF HOW WE WANT OUR LIVES TO BE IN THE FUTURE is the central issue in solving Chokmah-related crises; we must find a way to DECIDE what to do, how to become or what to evolve our lives into. Carefull FUTURE-PLANNING is of the essence here." <http://www.spirit-alembic.com/chokmah.html>

According to Dr. Igor Grossman of the University of Waterloo in Canada, there are five crucial aspects of wise reasoning. (Cited in The Economist - 7 April 2012 p. 80).      {I have put my small additions (in italics and brackets/parentheses)}:

1.  Willingness to seek opportunities to resolve conflict.

2.  Willingness to search for compromise.

3.  Recognition of the limits of personal knowledge.  (Wisdom didn't start with me!)

4.  Awareness that more than one perspective on a problem can exist. (Sacred point of view)

5.  Appreciation of the fact that things may get worse before they get better. (Healing crisis)

I have begun to apply these five aspects to difficult issues I encounter.  Seeking resolution and compromise is where it begins - not 'My way is the ONLY way!' as said by so many Fundamentalists these days.  Then recognising one's limits of personal knowledge reminds me of that quote by one of my teachers, Terry Ross when questioned about something he said or dowsed, "Wisdom didn't start with me."  I've written about Seneca Wolf Clan Garandmother Twylah Nitsch's saying, "When sitting in a circle, everyone has their own sacred point of view."  We all see the centre (the object of discussion) from a slightly different perspective or point of view depending upon where we sit in the circle. And finally, the reality that things may get worse before they get better.  Here in Glastonbury, that's called a Healing Crisis. 

IMHO, all these points are wise to remember.

The Role of the Fool

The Fool

I've long felt an affinity with the Fool particularly in my early school years and also in the Tarot.  I have dyslexia, and to cover my spelling and math misteaks, I became the class clown (lots of us dyslexics use this disguise).  If you have difficulty in responding to even simple questions from the teacher, if you're already a clown, no one can call you a fool. 

But I was also drawn to this archetype when I first got in to things esoteric in the late sixties.  The license plate in my hippy wagon/Volkswagon bus was "Aleph."  In the Tarot, the Fool's numerical location is Zero, and therefore the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet - Aleph is the Fool.  In a sense, because s/he has no numerical location, the Fool represents the Pilgrim/Seeker on the path.  Like the player in a board game, S/he can be everywhere.

Recently, I was re-reading Eden Gray's Complete Guide to the Tarot (cited above).  Each card is attributed to a path number.  The Fool's path is Number 11 - the last path to be trod by the seeker before reaching the One/Kether.  When the Fool gets to Wisdom (Chokmah) and s/he then ready to reach The Crown/Kether.  And Eden Gray says, "The Fool, in its esoteric meaning, goes along with Kether, as they both represent the Unknown Absolute before it comes into manifestation."

In the Medieval Court, only the Fool could tell the King where it was really at - and get away with it.

May this foolish thing called Wisdom come to all of us on this planet.

We sure could use it.


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Sig Lonegren
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