I felt these articles were thought-provoking and familial with the many disinfonauts who, from what I can tell, seek to enact change and incite awareness through irony and humor. This is for those of us who’d rather die from laughing than life without ever cracking up.
“The main function of a sacred clown is to deflate the ego of power by reminding those in power of their own fallibility, while also reminding those who are not in power that power has the potential to corrupt if not balanced with other forces, namely with humor. But sacred clowns don’t out-rightly derive things. They’re not comedians, per se, though they can be. They are more like tricksters, poking holes in things that people take too seriously.
Through acts of satire and showy displays of blasphemy, sacred clowns create a cultural dissonance born from their Crazy Wisdom, from which anxiety is free to collapse on itself into laughter. Sacred seriousness becomes sacred anxiety which then becomes sacred laughter. But without the courageous satire of the sacred clown, there would only ever be the overly-serious, prescribed state of cultural conditioning. Lest we write our lives off to such stagnated states, we must become something that has the power to perpetually overcome itself.
The sacred clown has this power. Christ was a sacred clown, mocking the orthodoxy. Buddha was a sacred clown, mocking ego attachment. Even Gandhi was a sacred clown, mocking money and power. Like Thomas Merton wrote,
“In a world of tension and breakdown, it is necessary for there to be those who seek to integrate their inner lives not by avoiding anguish and running away from problems, but by facing them in their naked reality and in their ordinariness.”
Sacred clowns are the epitome of such integration. Heyokas, for example, remind their people that Wakan Tanka, the great mystery, is beyond good and evil; that its primordial nature doesn’t correspond to human platitudes of right and wrong. Heyokas act as mirrors, reflecting the mysterious dualities of the cosmos back onto their people. They walk the Red Road, following in the bloody footprints left behind by their Heyoka fore-brothers.
They go forward, to that place where emptiness is full, and fullness empty.
“As a representative of Thunderbird and Trickster,” writes Steve Mizrach, “the heyoka reminds his people that the primordial energy of nature is beyond good and evil. It doesn’t correspond to human categories of right and wrong. It doesn’t always follow our preconceptions of what is expected and proper. It doesn’t really care about our human woes and concerns. Like electricity, it can be deadly dangerous, or harnessed for great uses. If we’re too narrow or parochial in trying to understand it, it will zap us in the middle of the night.”
Sacred clowns are adept at uniting joy with pain, acting on the higher and more inscrutable imperatives of the Great Mystery. They tend to govern transition, introduce paradox, blur boundaries, and mix the sacred with the profane. They are called upon to reestablish the bridge between the physical and spiritual worlds.
They dare to ask the questions that nobody wants answers to. They are the uncontrollable avatars of the Trickster archetype, constant reminders of the contingency and arbitrariness of the social order, poking holes in anything taken too seriously, especially anything assuming the guise of power. They are a conduit to forces that defy comprehension, and by their absurd, backward behavior, they are merely showing the ironic, mysterious dualities that exist within the universe itself.”
Read the rest here.
The 7 Signs of Sacred Clown Behavior by Gary Z McGee
1) You have a robust spiritual flexibility:
“Doing as others told me, I was Blind. Coming when others called me, I was Lost. Then I left everyone, myself as well. Then I found Everyone, Myself as well.” – Rumi
You understand that faith without doubt is spiritually myopic, leading to naïve presumption; and that doubt without faith is spiritually hyperopic, leading to the bondage of reason. Both leave the third-eye blind. Faithful doubt, or doubtful faith, leads to the opening of the third eye and dissolves the opaque weight of heaven and hell, thereby freeing the spirit… not from anything but for something:
A good sense of humor. And so you choose to be motivating, but not manipulated. To be useful, not used. To make changes, not excuses. To excel, not compete. You choose self-esteem over self-pity through the humor of the most high. You listen to your inner voice and not to the random opinions of others, although you take them into consideration as integral aspects of your art. You choose to do things others won’t, so you can continue doing things others cannot. You mix the sacred with the profane and mock the religiosity that gets caught up at any point in between. You’re the ultimate governor of transitions from one state to another. You have been called upon to reestablish the bridge between the physical world and the spiritual world through the sacred art of metaphor and play.
2) You deflate the Ego and animate the Soul:
“The most exciting phrase to hear in life, the only one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’, but rather, ‘hmm… that’s funny…’” -Isaac Asimov
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 somnambulant world. Your ego is secure enough to be vulnerable and ignite the fire that becomes Soul. As the ego deflates, your soul blossoms, and assumes the interdependent state of eco-consciousness, subsuming cosmos. Your self-expression is your art, animating an otherwise inanimate world. Half-animal half-divine, Hermes-like and Mercurial, your feet are roots that dance and your hands are wings that fly. You are torn between Worm and God, but you appreciate the tearing. At the end of the day, ego is the tool you use to leverage the universe and soul is the instrument you use to harmonize with the universe.
3) You embrace Uncertainty:
“I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of certainty about different things, but I’m not absolutely sure about anything.” –Richard Feynman
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, rather than to choose sides. You question things to the nth degree, understanding that healthy skepticism is an open door for novelty and other-worldliness to come in. You are adept at introducing paradox, as you are okay with being a walking paradox yourself. You humiliate your certitude, recognizing that a background of mystery always remains. You daily practice the art of open-mindedness, and consistently embrace the art of hypocrisy, understanding that we are all fallible creatures who are prone to mistakes and tend to be afraid of being wrong. You have no fear of being wrong. You have the uncanny ability to capitalize on your mistakes by making all stumbles, falls, or missteps a part of the overall sacred dance. You are a Drunken Master. You are Jester Guru. Your duty is to crack open the hard shell of certainty to reveal the uncertain Godling softly blooming inside us all.”
Read the rest here.