The voice of a clown….
speaks the truth and speaks it with absolute chaotic inappropriateness.
The heart of a clown….
brings light to the absurdities of unbalanced distribution.
The role of a clown….
to hold the community center while being society’s finest critic, making a complete fool of herself in the process.
The tears of a clown……
when no body’s around…..
Only the clown could poke fun at the king and live to tell about it.
I wrote this thinking of Robin Williams. An incredible clown of our time. Such a funny man, his humor, compassion and utter brilliance for bringing light to every aspect of life. He was a man who walked the realms of both light and shadow. The public was inspired by his “good clown”, in his ability to make us laugh. We didn’t see his “bad clown”, the one who wrestles with the darker passions that live in the unspoken night of a soul.
I’ve listened to the reactions of Robin’s suicide and how his choice was a result of his mental illness. It stirred me to the need of expressing a deeper understanding of the critical role clowns play within a culture and how the suicide of a clown can not be blamed merely on the individual. Clowns can not, without tremendous awareness, distinguish between inner suffering and outer suffering. The polarities exist within them equally. They have a special gift of embodying subtle energy fields in the environment and amplifying them back in ironic ways. Clowns are highly sensitive, a “soul barometer” of community.
Clowns tend to embody the imbalances of the collective field within themselves and if they are not supported by community, they often become despondent and suicidal. It is an ego driven culture that sees a despondent clown and says “not my problem!” Such irony, since the clown is the perfect mirror for the individual and collective shadow. “Shadow Dancers”, one could say.
When a culture “kills the clown”, it loses the ability to laugh at itself and respond to conflict with compassionate reason. Current and past cultures have tried to “kill the clown” by creating a cut throat competitive struggle between “the haves and the have nots”. It’s value system does not include compassionate inclusion of all.
It is not easy, if even possible to kill an archetypal energy. It merely mutates itself to fit the current belief systems held by society. Hence, the clown archetype in today’s culture has manifested itself as the international icon of McDonald’s. The homeless person who asks for money. The 1000’s of homeless children, presently all along the border of the United States and Mexico, or the absurdly wealthy that are completely and totally insane and no one does a thing about it. The clown is a natural force of energy. We can not kill the clown without killing ourselves. We have a critical opportunity available to wake up the power of the clown within society and within the heart of every individual.
An excellent article to read: http://dreamflesh.com/essays/clownpath/
If you are a clown, you do not choose the path. It chooses you. It is not an easy road to walk. One learns to accept the power of being absurdly wrong in all of the most scandalous ways!!! It can take years to accept and embrace the sacred responsibility of being “the village idiot”, the one who reminds the emperor that he’s naked in the eyes of the beloved.
It’s an incredible moment, the day we embrace our raw, ugly, tender humanness and treat it as the precious gift that it is.
Even though some are called to this archetype in a strong and undeniable way, each one of us has a clown inside. Each one of us has the power to laugh at ourselves. Each one of us has the power of compassion that comes from a balanced heyoka nature….the nature of the clown.