A Safe Place to Get Acquainted
Many of us are acquainted with The Joker in a deck of cards. If you come across The Joker whilst rifling through the pack, you can simply stuff him back in the pack somewhere with the other cards.
The Joker from Deck of PLaying Cards – Like The Fool, an air of Innocence.
When I first set out to write this story, I first thought of The Fool from the tarot deck. Too innocent for what I have in mind, I thought to myself. Second place in my thought processes was The Joker, and even then he’s not a perfect fit for the main character of this story I will shortly tell. Even The Joker in a conventional deck of cards looks like a happy go lucky sort of type.
We take The Joker from the pack and have a look at him. Somewhat bemused perhaps, we play with him between our fingers before we put him back in the deck. In this context, The Joker is in a controlled environment. You can decide what to do with him. Maybe you leave him out on the coffee table for a while. Eventually, you gather all cards together and The Joker, like a soldier under orders, dutifully gets back in line with the rest of the cards in the deck.
Actually, with this military angle I have stumbled upon as I write this story, I could easily say that the above description of The Joker is that of a Sleeping Cell; a lethal weapon that gets placed in enemy territory and then, when the time is right, it is ordered to strike. Now this is more like The Joker I have in mind.
When you look at The Joker, although in human form, it is hard to categorize him; it’s hard to pigeon hole him, to place him in some conceptual framework of understanding. This is why you might look at him a while, slightly intrigued perhaps by his clown-like appearance.
He’s still a sleeping cell at this point. He has not been ‘activated’. However, he is just recognisable enough by you that you let him stay and he sleeps in the deck of cards…waiting.
An Unknown Quantity
Let’s get closer to this Joker character. Let’s do this by looking at some characters we accept as part of our conceptual landscape. A milkman, who delivers milk to your front door. You look out the window and you see the milkman walking up the drive coming toward your house. Well that’s OK. He’s just delivering the milk. That’s what he does – delivers milk to houses.
You see The Joker walking up your drive? What’s going on here? What does he want? You don’t know. What does a Joker want from you? What is he going to deliver – good news, bad news? Maybe he wants something from you. You don’t know. You see, The Joker can’t easily, if at all, be defined. He does not sit comfortably with your everyday world. There is something unpredictable about this guy. What’s he gonna do? You have no idea. Lawyers, policemen, farmers, doctors et al – we know the typical actions of these characters and have already decided from experience how we will approach them and interact with them. The Joker – an unknown quantity. Which way will he turn? You know not.
Can you see any Joker characters in this image?
Has he come to flatter you, reprimand you or deride you? You know not.
Looks like we are now looking at The Joker in settings other than a conventional deck of cards. He was safe there wasn’t he? He didn’t make you feel uncomfortable there did he? Yeah, you were in charge; you were in control as you put him to bed back in the deck of cards when you so pleased. And now? Looks like The Joker is out and about, set free of his shackles found in the deck of cards. Getting a bit nervous?
The Joker still carries with him that air of innocence, which may itself make you twitch and a little agitated. He hasn’t done anything wrong, and yet he is walking up the drive way, just like the milkman did this morning, and for some reason, you’re …well..at the very least simply not sure…
Tea & Biscuits anyone?
So, what’s the setting? Where do we find The Joker now? It’s a spiritual gathering, a weekly meeting, where students are gathered since…a long time….to teach Enlightenment and er… to get it too. Haha! Here goes…
The Joker has now changed his clothes. He walks into the group session under the auspices of being a ‘new student’, a certain ‘John Doe’. Yes, The Joker is disguised as somebody who has never been to such an event before. Furthermore he acts that way too. Oh Boy! Is everybody in for a surprise. Even the most seasoned teachers of Enlightenment don’t realise that The Joker has just entered the room to wake them up. The Sleeper Cell is about to be activated! Ha Ha Ha! Hi Hi Hi!
The conditioned mind that orders its own idea of reality, expects a person only to eat apples. There are exceptions of course 😉
The Joker is now in his most virulent form, and to the uninitiated, to the average person, he appears to be possibly crazy – is he mad? – a menace that’s for sure! Get rid of him! Somebody! Please!
In this new setting The Joker is socially unacceptable. He plays not by the rules that lie within the bounds of a socially accepted moral code. As certain individuals try to tell him how things work at this group session, he flips out, he goes crazy. And because they are not dealing with John Doe but with The Joker, they fail to bring him in line, and in fact do nothing but trigger and activate The Joker – The Sleeping Cell.
Like a baby who does not want his food when spoon fed, he has a complete tantrum and does not appear to care who is present. The Joker has no inhibitions. John ‘Joker’ Doe raises his voice, gets up from his chair, throws items across the room.
Those in the room wearing the biggest and most deceiving masks are The Joker’s prime target. Remember, that John Doe thinks he is here to get help, and his story line is such that he believes that nobody can provide him with the help he needs. The Joker, on the other hand, is here to reveal all that is not true to leave only the true true.
Look! The Emperor Has No Clothes!
The Joker is out now! He is the child that points to the Emperor with no clothes. Those individuals, those students of Enlightenment, who are investing a lot of energy in securing their masks – are caught unaware. The unpredictable nature of The Joker renders all defence mechanisms useless. Yes, the biggest fakers are the first to fall; the first to be revealed.
The Peace Loving Hippie Lashes Out
The New Age Hippie, who seemed so loving and peaceful before, suddenly finds herself enraged at what John Doe is saying. “How dare you!”, she retorts. Blah blah blah. You can guess the rest. All you need to know is that the hate and anger repressed from a childhood forgotten about – amnesified, has been revealed and released – the true true. The Joker has pointed with his finger, and suddenly everybody sees the mask – the Emperor with no mask. Now, everybody in the room bares witness to the hate and anger, everybody sees this spewing out from what a moment ago was the seemingly peaceful and fun loving hippie.
The Joker is tearing down buildings and laying waste what was deemed a spiritual practice by some.
The Mature Teacher Morphs into Control Freak
Another woman tries to restore a modicum of order by attempting to interrupt the full creative symphony of our Joker. She places the spiritual course text in front of him, and tells him that there is a special format that we follow using this book. She can’t finish her sentence as The Joker continues with his tirade. The woman gets forceful and again tries to bring this new student in-line with ‘the way things are done around here’. The Joker explodes:
“Everybody in the world is trying to control me and tell me what to do, and I come here for help and find that you are no different! Everybody is trying to control me!”
He’s done it again – pointed to an Emperor with no clothes. The potency of The Joker is that he is telling a truth, and unless someone was really stupid, everybody in the room could see this.
All of a sudden we see this woman wearing black leather Gestapo style boots, as she tries to bring The Joker back under lock and key, back under control, under the control of an acceptable format. She uses the strategy of control to hide her fear of something that seems totally out of control.
Alas, another mask falls.
Tea and Biscuits Anyone?
Yes, it was a safe spiritual practice until The Joker walked in. It was safe because all the Inner Children, the trauma formed sub-personalities could hide and thrive. These guys have been very happy in this regular cosy spiritual gathering. All the ego strategies to keep the true true at arms length were working wonderfully. Tea and biscuits anyone? Ooh yes please! And I’ll come next week too. A safe place indeed…until The Joker walked in.
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Conversion Through Inversion
Before I bring Part I of this story to a close, I just want to look at the juxtaposition of the apparent mad behaviour of our Joker and the masks falling away to reveal – the true true.
Looking through the lens of a conditioned reality, it may appear that everything has been turned upside down. It may look like everything has been inverted.
Actually, it’s more accurate to say that if you were to remove the lenses that only see a conditioned reality, you would then be able to appreciate the idea of things being upside down or inverted.
This is one of the paradoxes that runs through spiritual life – others I can think of? You learn through pain, enemies are your friends, and friends your enemies…
Well, I guess the main aim of this whole story is to help you see the inversion, at the very least to help you see beyond a heavily conditioned illusional reality – The Matrix.
Basic formulae might be thus:
- In order to see more of reality, a seeming chaos (Our Joker) is required to break through the illusion (masks made visible).
- A great desire to find truth, coupled with wearing a strong mask, requires or invites in, an equally great and strong chaos.
The Guru Joker
If what I have said above is true at all, then the next question may quite possibly be, “Well, what is the difference then, between a Joker and a Guru?”
As I write this question above I think of Heraclitus The Obscure (They could easily have called him Heraclitus The Joker!).
The main difference between our Joker and a Guru, a Shaman, a Saint, is one of Negative Karmic Mass.
Guru – Mask Revealer – Mask Remover – Swami Satchidanand
Until Part II …
The post The Joker! (Part I) appeared first on Journey Into Light.