“Who’s the more foolish…the fool, or the fool who follows him?”
— Obi Wan Kenobi
It would be easy to conclude that April Fools’ Day is not the same anymore. Not when so many politicians and others of cultural authority are seemingly doing their best to outperform even the most creative satire with the conduct of both their public and private lives.
All, is not lost, however. April Fools’ Day can still be saved. Referring to Obi Wan once again (this time in paraphrase), the nature of foolishness depends greatly on one’s point of view.
There is, for example, a point of view that cannot lighten up. Perhaps the most perfect current case of taking things too seriously is represented by the official news agency of China’s communist party. Earlier today the Xinhua News Agency admonished its readers to ignore April Fools’ Day because it “does not conform to Chinese cultural tradition or `socialist core values’.”
Oh please. What can be more foolish than the assumption that human beings in China are any different from people anywhere else when it comes to having (or making) fun? Indeed, the tradition of April Fools’ is demonstrably both ancient and pan-cultural. Therein, however, is also the rub. At least some of us have an unpleasant memory of being the butt of an April Fools’ Day joke. There is no joy in being mocked. There is, however, some potential for liberation available to anybody who can shift their point of view and not take themselves quite so seriously, if only for a day.
As a matter of fact, the willingness to laugh at yourself could very well be an important turning point of how you view your life. Consider, for instance, the tarot card that portrays “The Fool.” One way of interpreting “The Fool” is that it represents both the beginning and the end of a symbolic cycle. It is as if to say that being a gullible, laughable initiate is both the prerequisite to and ultimate objective of being part of a life’s continuum.
Astrology also has cycles. The Moon orbits Earth, continuously moving through its phases. The Earth, in turn, circles the Sun, constantly repeating the seasons. Then, from our point of view here on Earth, every other object in the solar system also moves through cycles of their own which, in relation to each other, emulate how the Sun and Moon appear to move in relation to each other. First they come together. Then, they move through a predictable order of separation, then closure. Finally, they come together to begin again.
From astrology’s point of view, a number of cycles are even now closing towards the point where they must begin again. Since you are undeniably part of the solar system, it stands to reason that your life’s cycles might very well be doing something of the same.
All of which may explain how any situations you are facing now could simply be a sign that you are approaching an appropriate time to initiate some renewal of your own.
If there is anything to the tarot’s representation of cycle, starting over might well require you to reclaim and embrace your own fool. Doing so might include recognizing the part of you that clings to what no longer serves to continue your life productively. One could certainly also make a case for how being defensive and taking offense merely serve to burden you unnecessarily, preventing you from moving on.
Hence, if you are fortunate enough to be the object of a harmless prank today, laugh and be grateful for being able to experience it. If no such good luck should befall you, take it upon yourself to lighten up, and not just for today. Endeavor to catch yourself when you are at your most serious and consider whether there might be another point of view that will refresh your perspective, and even set you free.
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