The archetype of the fool in various guises has appeared since ancient times. The court jester seduces through comedy, song and story. The dummling son of fairy tales wins the treasure with well-meaning ineptitude. Shakespeare featured fools in many of his plays, the Tarot deck begins (or ends) with the fool, and comedians have built careers on playing the fool.
The fool punctures the posturings of others’ personas and egos, bests his “betters,” and transgresses social boundaries and conventional morality. The fool flaunts and taunts us with shadow, making truths about cultural norms and human complexity both pointed and palatable. We might well claim that dreams come from the inner fool, and they can shock an ego made lowly by bawdy images of shadow in bathroom dreams and sexual acts. The fool is the unconscious itself, and we recognize, if dimly, his close and paradoxical relationship with the Self, light and dark.
Here’s the dream we analyze:
“I’m not even sure what I was studying. I was wandering around a large parking structure looking for my car and I couldn’t find it. I kept using my key to lock it and then listened for the chirp, but it seemed very distant. Then I went into an elevator that seemed to move sideways before it finally started going up. I got out of the elevator and wandered into an empty classroom and sat at a table and wrote in a notebook, but it was just odd musings, like random lines of poetry. A young woman sat next to me. She put her hand on my hand and asked me what I was studying. I told her I did not know. I told her I did not know where my car was or what dorm I lived in. She said she would help me and we started to wander through the structure together. It was like an Escher painting. The woman was flirtatious and I told her she was barking up the wrong tree (I am gay) but she did not seem deterred. We went to the lobby of the building, where there were tables with computers on them and packages in a corner. There were several packages for me, wrapped Christmas gifts from my family from earlier years that I had never picked up. No one seemed to know where my room was, but I went alone back into the structure and continued to wander. Finally I met two young men who led me to my room. Then I gradually realized I was dreaming and woke up.”
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