It’s always interesting to notice what happens when an icon dies. The death of the so-called “King of Pop” (and we ain’t talking Dr. Pepper here) allowed us to reflect on what such a person represents.
Michael Jackson was someone who continually reinvented himself as an artist and a human being. Yet underneath lay the tortured soul who felt the need to change his face over and over again. There was something in him that never grew up, and this problem, which manifested in his sometimes inappropriate affinity for children, put him at the unpleasant end of several investigations.
I have never been a Michael Jackson fan. However, within him was an energy that defied definition, and a sense of the eternally questing. Perhaps this was one reason why so many people followed his career. Somehow he was a representation of something that couldn’t be grasped. That train of thought got me to pondering the first card of the Tarot, the Fool.
This card is both the beginning and the end, in a sense. It is the pure representation of the questing Inner Self. This Self sets out upon a journey to return to where It started. The Fool will appear the same, seemingly unchanged to earthly eyes, even when the journey is completed. Notice how he is literally dogged by material reality yet he goes onward with the merest of possessions (but with admittedly groovy threads).
Looking up, his eyes are on the Eternal. As a result, he doesn’t seem to apprehend the cliff in front of him. Perhaps he knows it is there and is unconcerned because the Eternal is protecting him. He is, therefore, the image of simple trust.
The Fool is usually considered a fortunate card, and talks about our connection to the deepest yet loftiest parts of ourselves. When confronted with this card, we are asked to trust in the Universe and to be assured that all is unfolding as it should. This can be a fearful revelation if we are unprepared for it at any level.
Meditation on the Fool can allow us a closer connection with that inner sense of trust. It also prepares us to ride with any choppy seas or trickster influences. The Fool asks us to look beneath the surface to see the true reality beneath worldly appearances.
This is both the triumph and the tragedy that was Michael Jackson. He unwittingly urged us to see beyond the superficial changes that he continuously wrought upon himself, while he was seemingly unable to do so on his own.
In fact, we must all be fools in order to assure our inner growth. Looking about with eyes that truly see and ears that truly hear — that’s what it’s all about.