Only the bravest of souls sign up to be sacred clowns. Birth is the easy part, as memories are generally wiped clean. But as the years pass and young holy fools figure out they’re that, many run as fast as they can in the opposite direction.
Their job descriptions are impossible, you see. Sure, deflating egos, mocking sexual mores, ridiculing religious practices, subverting stuffy traditions, tipping the world on its head and letting people in on the great cosmic joke sounds exciting. But would you want that for your life’s mission?
In this day and age, poking fun at sacred cows (c-o-w-s) can get you killed. Ancient reverence for wise fools be damned, they’ve been targets for a dozen millennia in some cultures and religions. Our holiest fools have been burned at the stake, lynched, stoned, and assassinated. Others are ridiculed as deviants and thrown into asylums. A few fortunate one are successful comedians and artists, forever walking the tightrope of how much to say to wake people up without raising the ire of the powerful. More often they are beloved members of their communities, because that spark of “madness” brings us to life as much as it can irritate us.
Part trickster, part shaman, all revolutionary, sacred clowns refresh and revitalize stagnant, oppressive systems. Their tools include laughter, art and music, and their costumes favor black and white. Their messages are essential for any serious transformation of the world.
Remind you of someone? A sister, a friend, a colleague? The King of Pop?
In sacred clown tradition, Michael Jackson embodied contradictions, promoted radical egalitarianism, and mocked tyranny. He was a master of metaphor, deflating the ego to highlight the soul, embracing uncertainty and revealing remarkable spiritual flexibility.
Please thank these bright souls. Support them and love them, particularly the young ones. We’d be lost (not to mention pretty-damn dull and boring) without them!
by Keely Meagan, who is not a holy fool and knows she has no right crowning anyone King of this sacred clan. She begs forgiveness, and tips her hat to their courage.