*Heyoka – holy fools – sacr

*Heyoka – holy fools – sacred clowns. the contrary.*

by Kenneth Udut on Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 9:21am

Just reading up on Heyoka, ”Sacred Clowns”, ”Holy fools” – it’s a topic that’s fasctinated me for years. These are people, in traditional societies, who are walk backwards, talk in a strange manner – either confusing or in riddles or parables or extremely straight forward. They are not afraid to walk through the taboos – to say the things that nobody’s saying – to do the things nobody does – to be silly and corny and contrary to social norms. In the process, they teach without teaching and by making people uncomfortable they help reinforce the social norms and help bring people together (they break the norms so the people of the tribe don’t have to).

These are my heros. But do they exist in modern society?

Yes, they do.

They come in different forms.

You have the ”shock jocks” on the radio and the stand up comedians – they are the most obvious, but they’re not necessarily the sacred clowns because they gather a following, many imitators. Their ”coolness” takes away their sacredness.

You have the traditional clowns, the mimes. They choose as a profession the path of the holy fool, the disrespected by most but admired by few. They are a form of holy fool.

But the true holy fools are the ones who live day to day in society, breaking taboos (I’m not talking about illegal activities, mind you – just social norms) making people uncomfortable which helps people face the things they fear, to look within and face the demons. Most people spend their lives running away from their inner demons — the clowns, the village idiots – they force people to face them head on and it provides an opportunity for people to defeat them.

You’ll see them portrayed in the movies – the homeless bag lady at christmastime, the cranky old neighbor who teaches a lesson – coming of age movies are full of examples.

Children love them. Teenagers (and teenage minded people) mock them. Adults go back and forth between respecting the hell out of them and scratching their heads in confusion. Some people are even scared of them.

Think of when you were growing up. There was that lady who walked down the street and would talk to anybody and she almost made sense but not quite. She’d say something to you that would make you go, ”huh?” but she’d stick in your head and one day you’d go, ”Oooooh!!!!!!” and it would be something that would change your life. Teens would try to laugh at her, but she was never bothered by that. She’d just smile cryptically and say or do something absurd that would diffuse the situation or make them walk away, baffled as to why she didn’t take the bait.

Some adults in town would be very protective of her, in some sense understanding her status as a modern holy fool. Others would be uncomfortable because she forced them, by her actions or the things she says, to face themselves – and 98% of people don’t like to face themselves. You could see she was very intelligent – she was no simple buffoon – and many people are frightened of this type of intelligence, because she knows something that they don’t know and those who are not ready to hear are deaf.

But if you allowed yourself to get close to her or him, you’d find they can teach you things you never knew, see yourself in a way you never realized, and sometimes simply to confirm your place and help you realize that ”you’re okay”.

Holy fools help keep you from being too wrapped up in yourself, in your wants and desires by acting as a distorted mirror of yourself, exaggerating the parts of you that you’re trying to ignore, making you, in the end, a better more balanced individual.

Holy fools exist to support you in various stages of your life. They love everybody, which is why they volunteer their services. They will help you when you are a child, as a teenager, as an adult and when you are older. Don’t be scared of the sacred clown, the village idiot, the holy fool, the heyoka, those who beat to a different drummer. They are precisely who you NEED to know if you ever want to be more than what you are. They rock the boat so you don’t have to.

”Their role is to penetrate deception, turn over rocks, and create a deeper awareness”

And they are my heros, my idols, my mentors.

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