what is the fools' journey?
The Fools' Journey is a chronicle of years of esoteric, spiritual and theoretical study and practice. It reflects the author's personal philosophies and contemplation over three decades.
First off, shouldn't it be Fool's Journey? You've got the apostrophe wrong haven't you?
The term Fool's Journey is most often associated with the fool or hermit of the tarot and his life experience, and that is the context in which it is most commonly used. One fool, singular, so Fool's.
In this project our journey toward enlightenment is signposted by The Scarecrow, The Auguste, The Pierrot, The Jester and The Harlequin. Five distinct fools, so Fools'.
ah, it's about the tarot, isn't it?
Depends on what you mean by the tarot, but it is absolutely not intended as a fortune telling device. There is an overlap and shared origin with the Fools' Journey and the major arcana of the tarot- it'd be dishonest to say that it wasn't a major influence at its inception- but the two diverged very early in their attribution. Fortune telling isn't something the author subscribes to, and the tabloids of The Fools' Journey won't ever appear alongside the dozens of generic tarot packs that masquerade as Mind, Body and Spirit in Waterstone's.
If what you mean by tarot is a personal contemplative tool to explore what is at play within an individual, with a myriad of visual cues and clues toward facilitating greater communication between or conscious and subconscious and opening a dialogue with our higher selves, you may be onto something.
is it a pagan thing though?
Nope. I am not a pagan. Nothing against pagans, but the Fools' Journey draws spiritual inspiration from many sources, including Buddhist philosophy, Togakure Ryu ninjutsu, eastern mysticism, Judeo Christian theology and, most importantly of all, personal life experience. These things are pulled together, dissected, considered, meditated upon and condensed into the Tabloids of The Fools' Journey and the rambles that go alongside them.
but it is a religious thing?
Nope. It's a spirituality thing, but it is my belief that religion and spirituality parted company a very long time ago.
The Fools' Journey does however encompass my spiritual beliefs, and so any reading of them will probably mean more to those who believe humans are meant to be something bigger than the dominant mammal on this big rock.
The University of Fools is more hands on, and there are practical personal development skills and wisdoms to improve everyone's human experience, regardless of faith. It's informed by my own experience with Creation, with more than a dash of pick and mix philosophy and spirituality, but it is my own unique route map to enlightenment.
is it an enlightened guru thing then?
Ah. I didn't say I was enlightened, or even that this unique route map would actually lead to anywhere. I'm not a reincarnated master, an elevated being in touch with extradimensional aliens or even a self proclaimed Life Coach. I have however led many workshops on a number of topics including Self Esteem and Body Language, Public Speaking, Detecting the Unseen Worlds, and co facilitated workshops on Spiritual Healing, Meditation and a number of personal development topics.
My belief is that the Human Being is selling itself short. As a species we sort of do ok, and we have developed so technologically that we'll be able to invent ourselves through the next evolutionary imperative. There is little chance of us having a natural or Universal upgrade on a species level, because our whole existence is structured around the immediacy of the now, and we value the instant meme of a celebrity over the earned and learned experiences. Either that is what we're to become as a species- 7 billion people chasing the lowest common denominator of a throwaway life, or we're more than that and we can refine ourselves for higher things.
I prefer to choose the latter and The Fools' Journey is my musings on that topic.