The Clown - Archetype
Something about the Clown that is mysterious, magnetic, mystical, magical, magnificent, marvelous, malevolent, maudlin,merry,and over all multidimensional.
He seems to exist in another realm of consciousness. He refuses to play by the rules. As a matter of fact he has no rules and the ones that have been established by society are not real for him. He takes nothing seriously. He makes obscene fun at what is most serious and painful. He plays pranks without conscience. He embodies the pain and suffering of humanity and at the same time the joy and ecstasy of human experience.
His energy may bring a smile, or tear. He may evoke shear terror. What is it that makes him so impacting and elusive? When I think of the clowns in the circus, I feel many different emotions. The clowns in my life are equally as noticeable. I find it near to impossible to ignore them.
There have always been clowns. The Native American Heyoka or Trickster is an example.He is known to play opposites. He is the one who puts the wrench in the soup. When all are joyful, he is sad. When others are sad, he is joyful. He keeps the balance of spiritual energy. He awakens us to the fact that no emotion is permanent. When we wallow in our misery, he awakens our spirit. When we cling to our joy, he reminds us. "This too shall pass!!!!" If we are too much at peace, he does something to mess it up.
With one foot in our world of duality and the other foot in the world of infinity, the clown transcends our experience by showing the way to transmute, and transform our point of view.He wears a transparent mask. A mask not designed for hiding emotion, but rather one to reveal emotions. Because he displays with intensity the bare essentials of human emotions, he becomes a catalyst that dissolves the masks we wear. For the clown is wise, he is no fool. Those who do not hear the message are the fools.
Not All Clowns Are Funny, Yet They All Make Us Laugh
Whether sinister or benign, he makes impact. The Joker or Beetlejuice are sinister clowns who are make us laugh by default. We really need to laugh sometimes about experiences that are so deeply disturbing in order to heal our own emotional wounds. That is not to say, that some clowns are malevolent. They just portray that shadow side of human nature. Which, when viewed from a transcended perceptive becomes hilarious.
Some Comedians Are Clowns, Others Are Just Showmen
Some many comedians try to be funny. In that very act of trying they are simply showing off. These, in my opinion are not really clowns. Their intention is what makes the difference. A clown intends to uplift the spirit whereas a showman wants to impress. The showman clown is usually trying too hard and is hiding his own feelings.Very often he belittles others or makes fun at the expense of others. The genuine clown has no agenda and is simply shape shifting energy.
My Personal Experience
Most of my life I have been a serious person or at least a bleeding heart. During the 1970ls, I was experiencing many upheavals in my personal life. My mother had a stroke,my marriage was ending,my four sons were rapidly becoming teenagers.a lover pushed me across the lobby of a hotel and I had a fire in my house. I was devastated and a mess. I did 't know how I was going to raise my children on my own, how I was going to care for my paralyzed mother, how I was going to make money, how I was going to heal the wound in my heart, etc, etc, etc. One day as I was driving around town from one place to another, I burst out laughing and I continued to laugh so hard and for so long, I had no idea if I would stop. Now this reaction, in psychology is called "inappropriate affect" and, I had it bad. When I finally stopped laughing, I felt so much better. It was as if the clouds had cleared and I could see myself through another day. I am sure that the cathartic experience helped me heal the trauma and tension inside of me.
The Healing Power of Laughter
I know that the last thing most people want to do when they are feeling miserable, is to laugh. As a matter of fact, I know how angry I feel if someone else is laughing when I am feeling down. I am told that the body does not know the difference between laughing and crying, that each has the same physiological effect on the body's immune system. After my laughing bout, I felt high, as if drugged. The best part was that there were no drugs, just laughter.This was the best medicine for me. It helped me get through and beyond those trying years. Now, I am a Laughaholic and loving life more than ever. When life gets me down, and it does, I know what to take. I have been happy and free over 30 years.The magical clown in my allows me to view any experience from a different point of view.It gets me out of self pity and blame and keeps me grounded and whole in my being.
I still can't tell a joke, or even remember them. What I do know is that I see things in a funny way, like wearing two color socks. It just makes me feel funny. You know what I mean?
Recently I found out about Laughter Yoga - http://www.laughteryoga.com
I am now a Laughter Yoga Leader.