The Fool

Numerical Value : 300 Letter : 2? Shin

On this card we see a strange man, apparently without a care in the world, wandering around in even stranger clothing. On his head we see a large turban composed of fairly broad coloured stripes. It looks as if these stripes were radiating from his head. We see here the most important colours, yellow, green, red and a narrow white stripe. We know that red denotes spirituality, green goodwill and love of humanity, yellow intellectual powers, through which spirituality is manifested, and white, purity. The jacket is made up of the same colours with the addition of blue, i.e. devotion and faith in God. The back of his head and his neck are covered with a green cloth, so that neither his hair nor his ears are visible. His face is bare: the fool does not wear a moustache, but where the cloth ends he has a narrow brown beard framing his face. Therefore we really see nothing of his head because it is entirely covered. Nor do we really see his face. This face is much too big in relation to the size of his body. It cannot be his own face, it is a mask. Yet even the mask is scarcely visible because the fool holds up his face - his mask; he looks up to higher worlds, to heaven, where he is at home, and not to the ground. His face is therefore visible only to the person who lifts his own face up.

The magician's wand has become a simple walking-stick which he holds in his right hand. The stick is red, thus symbolising spiritual help on die path. In his left hand he holds a narrow green club, similar to a stick. Although he carries it in his left hand, he lays it across his right shoulder. He has brought everything over from the negative to the positive side. He has nothing else on his left side, he even holds his left hand to the right. He carries a small bag hanging from the green, club-like stick. In this he carries all his possessions. The colour of the bag indicates that its contents too are only spiritual.

The fool wears yellow hose and brown shoes. But the hose have been torn down by a strange animal so that his posterior is naked. The animal still bites his leg but the fool pays no attention whatever, as if he did not feel anything at all. He continues on his way unconcerned and calm, looks up to the sky, carries his little bag and does not pay heed to animals which bite him from behind. He is equally unconcerned about the animals which lie in wait for him. Behind a beam a crocodile waits for him. But he is apparently afraid of the fool and does not dare attack him.

Between his legs we again see the red flower. It is open, but inclines its head so that no one can see into the heart of its cup. The fool no longer shows his treasures to anyone.

Who is this fool ?

This fool is man who has passed through the most advanced stages of human development on earth and has reached the highest level. His consciousness has united with the divine. Yet in so doing he has removed himself so far in spirit from his fellow-men that nobody understands him any longer. Already as the hanged man he saw everything the other way round; but even if he saw everything in this way, he did so from a human point of view. Now that he has crossed the threshold between the two worlds and finally died in the grave-furnace as a mortal human being to rise to a new life as a heavenly being, he can no longer see anything from the human standpoint. Not even earthly life. He has brought everything over to the right, spiritual side; he sees everything from a divine eternal point of view. He no longer sees any difference between the finite and the infinite, between the mortal and the immortal. He sees clearly - even if it is applied to himself -that only the forms change, but that nothing has a beginning and an end. There is nothing that could die. No! Even if we wanted to or had to, we cannot die. There is no death! There is only eternal life, eternal transformation and rotation, life, life everywhere we look! A dying plant, a dying animal or a dying man have only reached a bourn where they will change their earthly garment and don a new one. What lives - the Self - cannot die because it has never been born. And what has been born, matter, the body, cannot die either, because the earthly garment, die body, has never had independent life, it has never lived. The body of a plant, an animal or a man lives merely because the spirit - the Self - is embodied in it and manifests its own life through the body. Matter, the body, as such, does not live, and when the Self leaves the body, there remains only a decaying, dead form. Many people have a panic fear of death, but the fool is no more afraid of it than a person who undresses at night to go to bed is afraid of sleep. Is he dead because he is not wearing clothes any longer? Or are the clothes now dead and less alive than during the time when he was inside them ? Even when they were worn they were not alive. They merely complied with and imitated the movements which their wearer made in them. Now that he has taken them off, they have grown neither more nor less alive than they have always been. The fool regards life only from the standpoint of the divine. How could people understand him who pursue merely the gratification of the body, who consider it more important than anything else and regard it as the single goal in life? For the fool none of this is important at all. In the activities of his fellow-men he participates only as far as is absolutely necessary, for he does not wish to stir up trouble and he knows that it is all completely unimpor tant anyway. He sees men clearly, he also understands them for he knows that, at the level of development where ordinary people stand, they cannot help being like that. But people do not understand his point of view. And the fool does not enter into discussion. He does not want to be right for he knows that anyone at his level of development is right\ It is only a matter of time when those people who do not understand him at present and regard him as a fool will themselves reach this level, be as litde understood and regarded as fools.

Those who cannot yet understand him are displeased that he does not offer any explanations about himself or discuss with them. They want to see his 'face' and get to know his character. And what happens? These people cannot see his true being, there is no way of allowing them insight into his true being. They could never follow him into his world, because they would not yet be able to sustain these vibrations. These people have no idea that 'his world' even exists and that it is the absolute reality. They do not know that theirs is only a world of visions, a dream. Thus primitive worldly people cannot see him in his spiritual reality, they only see that part which is visible in the material world; they only see how he lives in the realm of matter and what he does there visibly and tangibly. Thus they see him only from his purely material side. Since time immemorial the material side of man has been symbolised by the organ which serves to eject the waste matter, the impurities, from the body, thus by the anus. Thus the inquisitive bite of the 'animal' primitive men who want to 'bite into' the living flesh of the fool, merely renders his posterior, his purely material side, naked and visible. The curious see only this side of him. They can watch when he rises or goes to bed, what he eats and drinks or how he behaves outwardly at his place of work.

All this can be observed by the maliciously curious. But this breed of mortals has no inkling of his spiritual being. And just as animals tear apart other animals if they are not like themselves, so these primitive people want to tear apart the fool. Yet they will never be able to see him. Just as they could not see Christ, only kill his body.

Thus, whoever has reached the goal must continue whether his primitive fellow-men 'bite' him or not. He knows that he always remains the same and no matter what others may diink or say of him, he cannot and will not change. He is how and what he isl And he has long forgotten vanity! Vanity, envy, hate and other human qualities belong to the human standpoints. For a long time, however, he has seen everything only from a divine point of view. He continues unconcerned and unimpeded on his way. And if he hears people calling him a fool behind his back, he is not in the least offended. On the one hand he takes it as a matter of course, on the other hand he cannot harbour any resentment and lives at peace with his fellow-men. He knows that they are as yet unable to think differently. He leaves them alone, for one must not pluck unripe fruits from the tree, otherwise they could never ripen.

This card does not have a number, but it carries the letter shin to which the number 21 belongs in cabbalism. The numerical value 300 must have arisen from the number 21 with two ciphers. The number 3 with two ciphers, thus 300, is obtained by multiplying the divine number 3 with the square of 10, which is the fulfilment of creation in the universe. This card cannot be considered in isolation and therefore does not carry a number. It is only the external image of man whose inner side is symbolised by the next tarot card, 22. This last card, the world, shows the inner nature of the fool, his inner state of consciousness. He does not value wealth and secular power which primitive men prize above all else, but spiritual riches, the very existence of which is not even known to primitive men. He is therefore a fool! Yet this fool bears within himself what is shown by the last card, divine all-consciousness!

Even though this card is unnumbered, we feel that it is the twenty-first tarot card and that it is connected with the number 21 because it carries the numerical value 300 and the letter shin. This letter is a corner-stone of the alphabet. According to the Cabbala, God set the letter shin as king over the element fire. It is therefore fire, the fire of the spirit, of the creative principle, of Logos. Moses beheld God in a burning bush, thus in fire. Suddenly he saw that life - god - is manifested in the material world as fire. But the spirit of fire which the earthly, visible fire merely manifests, yet is not itself this visible fire, is life itself, is god himself! - And Christ says in the Bible: 'I baptise you with fire .. he, Christ, is the fire and the life. He himself says: 'I am the life.' If the name of the omnipotent, impersonal God consists of all the vowels and the letter h, through which God breathes life, the Self, into man, then we obtain the following name for god : iehoua (Yod He Vau He). If we now insert the letter shin, which means the fire of life, in the middle of die name of the impersonal God, we obtain the word iehoshua. This is the name of the personal God, of God incarnate. For in the original Hebrew language the name Jesus is Jehoshua. Only in the West is he known as Jesus.

We understand the importance of the letter shin because it is the fire with which Christ, the higher Self, baptises us, initiates us into life. This card represents the Christ-man!

The state depicted on this card is fatal for the immature man. The mature man with his universal, all-embracing self-awareness becomes identical with God at this level and lives according to the inner divine laws while still recognising the secular laws. The immature man, however, lacking all-con-sciousness, does not yet recognise the divine laws or even the secular ones. He loses his inner balance, plunges into the abyss, into the void, and in the language of ordinary people, he becomes mentally ill. To the immature man this card means hell, to the mature person, the God-man, it means heaven.

Tarot card 12, the hanged man, is linked with the number 30 (the sum of the digits of 12 is 3, plus the o, symbol of space). It was for thirty pieces of silver that Judas betrayed Christ. This card, the fool, carries the same number, but takes on cosmic significance with the second 0, thus with 300.

The hanged man is still a man., the fool is the god-man who has attained universal consciousness. We see the link between the number 300 and the letter shin. Both denote god-men.

The fool is a man who has become one in his consciousness with logos, with christ, with life!

Tarot Card 22 *

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