The Fool Archetype

Published December 2, 2011 by chicok

While reading about the “Fool” archetype, I found myself thinking about how many people in our society are fools, and then I found myself wondering if I am a fool as well. The book talked about people who are fools, or express the fool archetype the most, are able to act freely, be creative and act on their curiosity without fear of judgment. “When the Fool is active in our lives, we are motivated by curiosity and want to explore and experiment with life (pg.222).” These people who allow the fool archetype to dominate, or come out, are just living their lives day by day and they do not worry about what others think, they are just creative and free. These people allow their inner child to come out, the part of them that is not worried about school, work, deadlines, or any other stressful situation in life. With myself, I do find at times I can be a fool, however, with the workload from school I find that the fool is often suppressed, and only let out when I am finally done for a semester. However, when I was younger I can remember the fool archetype being dominant, and all I wanted to do was explore and not worry about other people opinions or other worries in my life. However, our society is full of people who have a hard time letting go, and being creative because of the judgment we all place on one another. Our so society needs to allow people to express their creativity without fear of judgment so that they can relieve stress and create a more unique and creative world.

“ Fools succeed sometimes simply because they do not know any better (pg.223).” Children are all fools, but mostly because they have not had many experiences to change their outlook on the world. My younger sister expresses the fool archetype very much. She is still very young, and she just loves to create. She does not care what other people think; she just does what she wants to do in the moment. I wish that she would never grow out of this phase because she is free from the worries of judgment. I remember when I was younger I would always draw picture of the ocean, however, my fish and whales did not look like fish and whales. Yet, I never cared, I would always draw them and be pleased with my work. As I grew up and I would see the drawings that my mother kept I would look at it and think to myself, “what was I thinking?” which was sad because I had grown to judge myself. My other younger sister seems to express the fool more then I do as well. She is in high school, yet she does not seem to worry about judgment from peers, and she remains creative. I admire her for this trait. My sister lives life day by day, she does not worry about the next day, because she gets what needs to be done, done, and she just lives in the moment. Many of my peers are probably the same as me; we do not have much time for the fool to be expressed. We are all focused on school, and so we suppress our creativity in order to get things done in the quickest way possible. During this class I have been able to express my opinions and look at society, and view situations differently, and it has allowed me some creativity, and I have enjoyed it. Our society needs to allow those who do want to express the fool archetype to do so, because otherwise, we are just restricting their creativity, their views, and their dreams.

Another aspect of the Fool archetype that caught my attention was, “ The contribution of the fool to our lives is resilience, the capacity to get up and try again (pg.223).” This made me think about others and myself in the world, and how we deal with relationships. Is it the fool that allows us to move on and meet someone new? Is it the fool that gives us hope in finding “the one”? It seems to me that the fool is the part of us that gives us hope, and allows us to move forward. “The fool often emerges in our lives at the moments that seem most painful (pg.222).” In our lives we are faced with pain of different sorts, losing someone we care for, a break up, losing a job, not being accepted at something we work toward, however, we don’t just break down and stop, we move forward. Moving forward is hard, but the fool allows us to look at it from another view, and allows us to remember that there is joy and wonder in our lives. Sometimes there are people who do not find the brighter side, which can lead to something such as suicide. If people were able to express themselves, and express the fool without fear of judgment then they could move forward. I believe that it is our job as a society to help others move forward by accepting their unique ways of grieving so that they can get up and move forward in a different way.

From this reading and the video, and studying sociology as one of my disciplines, I have learned that our society could be much more creative if people were less judgmental and more accepting of others curiosity and creativity. Most things in the world are produced from creativity. Electronics such as the computer I am typing on was created by someone’s curiosity and creativity. In our society there are so many different people with different viewpoints and different ways of things that allow us to have many of the things we have today. However, in our society there are also many people who are not free to create because they fear what others will things, that causes our society to miss out on someone new and different. Our society is a whole, it is made up of many different parts, and if one part doesn’t do its “job” then the entire society losses and misses out. In our society there was a time when women were only looked at as homemakers, and not as career women. These women may have had brilliant ideas and could have helped our society, but they were looked at in one way, and they were not free to express their individuality and creativity. However, now in society young girls are allowed to express themselves, and play house without being the homemaker but instead they can be the career women. They are allowed to explore their ideas, have fun, and grow without having a preset view on the world. Our society is extremely diverse, between gender, ethnicity, thoughts and ideas, and ways of acting. It is all of these diversities that need to be accepted in order to have a unique and growing society. The fool is in all of us, some people express it more then others, some know it is there and do not act on it, and it is because of our societies way of thinking and judging the prevents others from sharing their thoughts and helping us grow as a whole. If our society was more accepting of different creative ideas and thoughts then our society could continue moving forward in a unique society.

In the video, “Creativity and Play,” with Tim Brown, he talked about children and them exploring and playing. He also talked about playing in society, even as adults. As children we love to play, we like to play dress up and act out different scenarios, but as we grow we stop doing so. As we grow we become constricted and lose the “fun” in playing, and instead we focus on work. He talked about children drawing and not caring what someone else thought and being proud of their work, where as adults will say sorry if it is not very good. As we grow into adults we become aware of other people opinions and we take the opinions and we feel that we did wrong, when that is not always the case. He also talked about children acting out different scenarios in order to try on that life and see what it is like. This made me think about my childhood. As a child I had 3 sisters around the same age, and two neighborhood friends who lived across the street. We would all play, constantly, any and every game that came to mind. I remember acting as a doctor one time, and my sisters and friends were my patients along with some teddy bears. I loved this because I felt as though I was helping them get better. This role I tried on has helped me realize what it is I want to do with my life. As children we love to explore our imagination, and we love to draw, act, and create. My younger brother loves to build things. He will get random household items and just build something that I would never have thought of. Tim Browns talk made me really think about myself and my family, and how as a child I explored roles which helped me get to where I am today, and how my brother does not stop his creative thinking because of others opinions but builds things that he finds interesting and helpful. I also found it interesting in Tim Browns talk when he talked about as adults we are in situations where our creativity is not encouraged, such as the work place. I believe that if in every situation our creativity was encouraged and embraced that we could have a better society field with much more color and diversity, and wonder for all people.

In my concentration of biology you learn about life, and cells of all types. All of our cells are different, different shapes, sizes and different jobs. None of the cells judge or state their opinions; instead they all assist one another to complete jobs to help as a whole. “The Fool often emerges in our lives at the moments that seem most painful (pg.222).” Our cells seem to come alive when we are hurt and sick; they start working overtime in order to help repair the damage. If they get hurt, or are killed, they don’t all just stop; they keep working and become stronger. The cells in our bodies seem to express the fool much of the time. Some cells can perform different tasks, which allows them to express their creativity and diversity. Other cells move forward never really knowing what will happen next. Our cells always get back up and move on, happily, working as a unit to keep the whole healthy and alive. If more people in society were able to get up, move forward and accept everyone’s different jobs, ideas, and creativity then we could work and function more efficiently, such as the cells in our bodies.

In history there have been many different “fools” or dreamers. There have been people who created cell phones, people who created computers, and people who created ways to help the medical field, many of the things we use today. These people were allowed to create, they knew what the goal was, and they opened their minds to different things so that they could find something that was best for society as a whole. Benjamin Franklin helped discover electricity by being creative, maybe a tad bit crazy, but he let his creativity out and he discovered something that helps our world today. Everyone in society has different ideas or ways of doing something, and sometimes they let their ideas be known, and sometimes they hide their thoughts. It is the times that thoughts and ideas are hidden that are the most uneventful. My mother always tells me that it is better to try and fail, and try again, then to never try at all. If creators in history never tried, were never creative, and were judged, then we may not have many of the things we use in our every day lives.

After learning about this archetype I learned that people need to express their creativity, and they need to let go and stop holding back. I also learned that in order for our society to keep moving forward the fool in all of us needs to be expressed and embraced by others and by ourselves. Society needs to stop the judgment and allow people to try different things, make mistakes, and keep trying. Because, if there is no effort then there can be no success. The fool in our lives reminds us to have fun, reminds us of what it was like to be a child and not worry about other peoples opinions. We all need to let go sometimes, let loose, and have fun. Otherwise, “When there is too little Fool in our lives, we may become priggish, repressed, uptight, anorexic, tired, bored, depressed, or lacking in curiosity (pg.222).” and this would cause the world to become a boring, and colorless place to live. We need to remember to have fun, play games, even if it just when we are drinking, that way we can let loose an enjoy the world because life should be enjoyable. “You Only Live Life Once, So Live It” a quote everyone in society should live by, so that they can enjoy every moment of every day and save the worry of tomorrow, for tomorrow. In society there are many uptight people, perhaps they are restricted from creativity, or they grew up in a different time. However, in society today we need to remember that there are times for work and times for fun, and both are equally important. If we remember to enjoy life, and be happy then our society will become a happier and more enjoyable place full of diversity and uniqueness for today and future generations.

“It is a time of being perfectly happy to appear ridiculous, to try a completely unconventional hairstyle of manner of dressing, to develop a relationship with someone others would see as totally inappropriate, to be outrageous (pg.222).”


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