Friday, April 10, 2015

In Praise of the Holy Fool

"The soul prospers in the failure of perfection."--Thomas Moore

While we may perceive events either as immanent or as transcendent, the soul of a person knows no time but its own. When relating to others, it isn't always easy to open the soul to another, to risk opening the self, hoping that another person will be able to tolerate its sometimes rationality, and sometimes irrationality. It may also be equally difficult to be open, or receptive to the revelations of others.

The light of Oneness not withstanding, there is great temptation to separate, to judge, to make comparisons of these oddities of soul. Yet this mutual vulnerability is one of the great gifts of love. To give another sufficient space in which to live and express one's soul in its reason and unreason, and then to further risk revelations of your self, in all its potential absurdities may be perceived as quite loving.
The courage required for this process is not easy; it is infinitely more demanding than either judgment or comparisons. While most of us contain ourselves fairly well, the soul and its ways eventually surface bringing forth the unexpressed that we sense stirring inside.

We all have to some extent, a sense of the fearfulness of such an enterprise. Oneness by its nature asks that we move aside, that we move beyond with others to a place that may ask a share of soul in its completed form.
 In the story, In Praise of Folly, Erasmus says, "it is precisely in their foolishness that people can become friends and intimates. For the greatest part of mankind are fools... and friendship, you know, is seldom made, except among equals."

As modern thinkers, we may present to the world a well developed intellect, a sense of proportion, but the soul is more fertile in its own imagination, in its own earth, finding value in sometimes irrationality. Perhaps this is in part why great artists and inventive minds seem a bit eccentric or mad to the average onlooker. At times when seized by strong passions, our greatest anxieties often comprise the fear of being seen by others as foolish.
We fear in love, in Oneness that we appear irrational, foolish, but that is just the point. The soul is not the least concerned with reason or intellect. It operates more deeply, and more persuasively. So then, love in Oneness calls for acceptance of a Soul's less rational outposts, a recognition that a heart may contain both love and contempt.

We need not only to know more about ourselves, but also we need to love more of ourselves, in an unsentimental way; that is the way to oneness. Tolerance, "honoring that aspect of the self that may be irrational or extreme is the basis for intimacy," writes Thomas Moore.
We have fewer expectations of perfection, less judgement; less and less are we separated by these notions. We come to recognize that the soul, in its meanderings, tends to move into new and positive areas in spite of, and because of the oddities expressed.
In Oneness a beloved may be surprised by these developments, but not be undone by their unexpected appearance. The soul, the creative being, does prosper within the failures of perfection.


Editor said...
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Simple said...

Editor said...
If you're interested in Thomas Moore's writings, check out a blog dedicated to his work, Barque at
July 2, 2009 11:28pm

The commenter above is not affiliated nor edits site.

Simple replies:
Dear Editor: Thanks for your comment. As you know, Thomas Moore is a Roman Catholic priest.