April Foolishness

Yesterday was April Fool’s Day. Most people I know use it as an excuse to pull jokes on the unsuspecting, taking advantage of someone’s trust or naivete. It is rare that a “victim” is truly foolish, but that idea is what sent me thinking …
As someone who has often gained insight from contemplating the tarot, April 1st naturally brings to mind the idea of The Fool. The Fool is often misjudged by the world at large, because s/he has an innate trust that defies the logic of this world. Walking off a cliff in the Rider-Waite deck, I am reminded also of a rune that I pulled for my meditation focus this month: Dagaz. Dagaz is about breakthroughs and transformations, but it is also about radical trust and leaping empty-handed into the void.

Dagaz and The Fool appear to be ideal centers of focus for me right now, as it looks like my life is about to change. At the very least it is going to be a moderately big change, and it could indeed be transformative. I am in a position where I need to change jobs, and I don’t know what I should do next. I am tempted to stay with what I know, with what I have done for 20 years, but I wonder if I am limiting myself by thinking that way. A boss I had many years ago once gave me some words of wisdom that have had a huge influence on me. He said that I needed to remember that there are times when you can’t reach new shores unless you are willing to lose sight of the old one. This time of transition is an amazing opportunity for me to reinvent myself, if I only have the courage to walk that path, and step away from what I know.

Everything is in flux, and I am reminded by The Fool and Dagaz to engage in radical trust. The time is ripe. So, I have to wonder how I make that happen? I know it involves trying to listen to the still, small voice within … as constantly as possible. The New Testament tells us to pray constantly (1 Thessalonians 5:17), and I truly believe that this is what it is talking about: Listening without cease for the nudges from that place inside where Spirit resides. I know that most people think of prayer as talking TO the Divine, but I have found that listening is frequently more vital than talking. If I take that as step one, then I have to wonder if there is anything else I can do?

As a member of our western culture, it is challenging for me to wait and listen without doing. I am always wanting something to do, and it feels very uncomfortable to not be involved in some type of action, especially when a goal, no matter how nebulous, is in mind. I have found that Spirit often accommodates me with “busy work.” I think it means something productive, until the light goes on. Then I realize I was just given something to occupy my need for action until the real action comes along. The risk, of course, is that I might miss an opportunity for right action if I focus too much on the busy work. So, I have to be careful to be an attentive listener.

George Sand once wrote (in Mauprat) that, “No change, even from bad to good, can be accomplished without pain.” Change is uncomfortable as habits are modified and expectations have to be revisited. Even when I want the end result, it is a process to create new habits to support that outcome. When I am not sure what the end result will look like, it is even more challenging!

All of this is swirling in my mind on a pretty constant basis right now. I meditate and count it a victory if I can get even just a few minutes per day of no-mind peace and silence. I try to let it all go, but I am not beating myself up when I can’t. I recognize that I am not a Buddha, a Jesus or some other spiritual master. I am where I am on my path and that is ok. I just keep trying to relax into my truest self, and trust that I will get better at this as I go along.

From The Gospel of Thomas:
Verse 70: Jesus said, “If you bring forth what is within you, what you have will save you. If you do not have that within you, what you do not have within you [will] kill you.”

From The Psalms:
51:6 – Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.

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