Sacred Guru, Sacred Clown

"If the Fool Persists in Her Folly, She Becomes Wise"

~William Blake

Who is the Sacred Guru?

A Sacred Guru is an intellectual and/or spiritual teacher who counsels and advises others to achieve deeper meaning in their lives. The Guru's role is to provide others with meaningful teachings and mentorship. Ideally, he is wise, conscientious, knowledgeable and honest. The Guru may advocate traditional spiritual philosophies and rhetoric or she may espouse her own cultivated beliefs and teachings. Ultimately, a Guru will guide you on your path and empower you to become a self-sufficient, content person with strong moral beliefs and a desire to cultivate inner peace while doing good in the world.  

Who is the Sacred Clown?

A Sacred Clown is an intellectual and or spiritual person whose job in life is to reflect to the world the absurdity of life. They use humour and satire to poke fun at people in order to get them to witness themselves and to change their ways. They teach people to see beyond the literalness of rituals and roles and to dive deeper into mysteries of the sacred.

 

Traditionally, they were trusted healers, interpreters of dreams and people of great medicine. In indigenous Native American society, Sacred Clowns acted in ridiculous, obscene, and comical ways, especially during sacred ceremonies. They were thought to be fearless and painless and often dressed in a bizarre and ludicrous manner, Yet, Sacred Clowns were highly respected, initiated people of great insight, wisdom and radical intelligence.

 

Jesus: "Ok Buddha, let's get this straight. Are you saying that we have the same holiness status as that clown below?"

Buddha: "Yes JC apparently so. This clown seems like the real deal to me despite her attire."

Jesus: "Well, that clown has a hell of a lot of guts! She also has wisdom, speaks the truth and is a bit childish and cheeky too.!"

Buddha: "I agree! I just wish she would take things more seriously... She's always playing the fool!'

Jesus: "I have a feeling that that's her point... You know we tend to get hung up on the "suffering" thing. Maybe the clown is on to something."

Buddha: "Yes, perhaps when we truly let go of our attachments, we are liberated to the realms of the universal sacred clown. Perhaps it is THAT easy after-all!'

Jesus and Buddha- Sacred Gurus

Heyoka- Sacred Clown of the Lakota People

The clown wearing the red nose represents the idea that when we become too identified with our personas, our experiences and our stories, we can become overly attached and serious. We become heavy,  weighed down and armoured in our constructs.

 

The sacred clown is not there to poke fun at any of this but rather to remind us to lighten up, dance in the face of change and let go of our need to control. The ability to laugh at ourselves and our foibles is a high-level spiritual practice.

"No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness." Aristotle

So what to do?

Let yourself be serious about not becoming serious. Let yourself be something important and something ridiculous at the same time! Build yourself a strong foundation through your spiritual practices and let one of them be the practice of laughing and crying at the same time! Have the strength of a great warrior and the wisdom of a great guru while seeing life through the eyes of the innocent child. Understand the importance of balance and that we are always both tragic and comic, serious and playful, wounded and healed,

6 Signs That You Might Be A Sacred Clown: adapted from an article written by Gary Z. McGee

1) You have a robust spiritual flexibility: You understand that faith without doubt is lacking in spiritual imagination and leads to naïve presumption and that doubt without faith denies the potential for God to show you something different. Both leave the third-eye blind. A sacred clown practices spiritual flexibility in order to nurture third eye (insight) and dissolve the opaque distintion between heaven and hell. You choose to be motivating, but not manipulated. To be useful, not used. To make changes, not excuses. To laugh not cry. 

2) You deflate the ego and animate the soul: 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 slumberous world. Your ego is secure enough to be vulnerable and ignite the fire that becomes Soul. At the end of the day, ego is the tool you use to leverage the practical universe and soul is the instrument you use to harmonize with the vibratory universe.

3) You embrace uncertainty: You have the ability to let go of certainty understanding that the opposite of certainty isn’t uncertainty, but openness, curiosity and a willingness to embrace paradox. You question everything, understanding that healthy skepticism is an open door for novelty and other-worldliness to enter. You are adept at allowing change to unfold and you are not afraid of the unknown. You humiliate your certitude by recognizing that mystery always remains.

4) You have the ability to hold the tension between opposites: Like a shaman, you have the ability to live between worlds. You realize that by throwing yourself off your high-horse, by jumping off the pedestal and by laughing at what you take too seriously, that you can stretch yourself into becoming something new. Within the stretch is healthy tension. You know that we are all God creating and destroying the world through our own myth and art. You are the infinite player tripping up the floundering finite players and you understand that reason operates in service to imagination (not vice versa).

5) You promote radical egalitarianism and mock all tyranny: As a sacred clown, you understand the necessary function of deflating any corrupt system of human governance. You remind those in power of their own fallibility by throwing skillful mockery, intelligent satire and rebellious art at their fragile egos. You understand that human beings have an innate need to expand consciousness and to experience direct relationship with the Divine and you will do WHATEVER it takes to make them realize this. You clearly see the connection between spiritual impoverishment and the degregation of the planet, the systematic mistrust and enslavement of each other, the bureaucratizing of expression and our misunderstanding of the fundamental interconnectedness of all things.

6) You move between metaphor and reality: You understand that metaphor is the ingredient of language that makes, “the pen mightier than the sword.” Metaphor is a way of dreaming away from the world only to return with new knowledge (sacred elixir). You are the personification of hope, walking “backward” when others are walking “forward,” inverting language when others are being direct, twisting circles into infinity symbols and playing devil’s advocate. While this may force the sacred clown to walk the path alone, the dance between metaphore and reality allows her to create her own reality and whereby she walks the path back home to God.

Sacred Clown Quotes and Messages:

~“We are reflections of each other. When we begin to take ourselves too seriously, there is the Clown to give us a laugh! When we become too heavy with self-importance, there is the Clown to knock some of that load away and lighten us up! The power of the Clown is the power of life itself. Acknowledge the pain, then let it go. Don’t carry it around with you. Focus on the joy, the mystery, the happiness, the cosmic joke”. Peggy Andreas

~“Do something backwards, turn it inside out. Destroy your own definitions and traditions and suddenly the barrier breaks! We destroy the illusion of our separateness, our brokenness, the world as we know it, when we stand on our heads. The clown will help you let the new in.” Barbara Dametto

~"Clowns are dangerous to tyrants and exploiters because they are so disorganized and so completely honest. They see with the eyes of a child (and have minds of a wise guru), and because of this, they can spot a phony a mile away. They are sometimes called, “destroyer of heroes.” Peggy Andreas

~"Like a child, she is vulnerable, fluid, and open to the life-force. Unlike a child, however, she has learned to shield herself and move safely through an insane world by using masks, disguises, tricks and transformations. In a sane world, she might risk a bit more exposure." Peggy Andreas

~"The power of the Void is the power of wombness in us all, the power of true creativity. Being open is sometimes regarded as a weakness, but the sacred clown gives us this paradox: The weakest can be the most powerful. The dumbest can be the most wise." Peggy Andreas 

 

~“In a clown’s craziness, she can be obscene or test any of the existing structures and ideas to see if they are true and real—and she gets away with it. She herself is weak, but her very weakness is her power.” Peggy Andreas

“Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself.” Charlie Chaplin

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