Fool in School

From The SpiritWiki

The Fool in School is an Old Energy Archetype Constellation in the Old Energy Creation Template. It answers the Big Questions "Who am I" and "What is my purpose here?" The answer that is provided is that you are a fool in a school incarnated on this Earth to learn (sometimes quite challenging) lessons as part of a karmic, redemptive, or evolutionary pathway.

Big Questions

Big Questions > What is My Purpose, Who Am I, Why am I Suffering

Old Energy Archetypes

Chariot, Death (archetype), Duality, Hermit, Hierophant, High Priestess, Judgement, Justice, Star, Strength, Sun (archetype), Temperance, The Devil, The Emperor, The Empress, The Fool, The Hanged Man, The Lovers, The Magician, The Moon, The Tower, The Wheel of Fortune, The World (old energy)

List of Old Energy Archetypal Constellations

Archetype Constellation > Binary Gender, Chosen One, Compliance and Submission, Excuse and Justification, Fool in School, Good versus Evil, Isolated Individuality, Judge and Punish/Reward, Only the Chosen, Secrets

List of Archetypes related to the Fool in School

Fool in School > Chariot, Judgement, Star, Sun (archetype), Temperance, The Fool, The Magician, The Tower, The Wheel of Fortune, The World (old energy)

Syncretic Terms

Fool in School >

Related LP Terms

Fool in School > Archetype Constellation, Fool's Narrative, Fool's Tarot, Why am I Suffering

Non-LP Related Terms

Fool in School >


The fool in school archetype is often expressed in a way that suggests that the suffering and struggle we face is part of the "lesson plan," that struggle and strife makes us "stronger," and that pain and suffering makes us who are are.

By suggesting you are a fool in school and that suffering and struggle are part of what here to learn a cosmic/evolutionary lesson, and by suggesting that these "lessons" often involve pain and suffering, the Fool in school constellation encourages servitude, passivity and the acceptance of the violence and toxicity that damages, diminishes, and disconnects you.

It also blames the victim and shift blame from the actual culprits, elites. "...the level of stress, violence, fear, and disconnect with Nature in the global society rises in direct proportion to a fall in the collective level of awareness. As the displaced spiritual hunger seeks satisfaction in the lesser gods of a materialist, consumer culture the movement away from self-discovery—the source of true happiness—causes negative vibrations to invade the social, economic and planetary networks of relationships."[1]

In some cases, it is explicitly stated that trauma contains spiritual lessons. "The spiritual lessons held within such traumatic experiences are not always easy to accept; but if we are fortunate enough to wake up to the lesson that a trauma teaches, and heed its wisdom, we are blessed. By assenting to the event we open ourselves to the support of the universe. "[2] I gotta say, this is fucking stupid and incredibly ignorant of the actual deleterious impact of various forms of trauma of the individual.

Why must you learn lessons? Because you are broken and bad. "He has been healed of the disorders of the soul which are called covetousness, envy, vanity and thirst for power. "[3]

The Fool in School archetypal constellation is implemented most precisely in the Masonic Tarot, which has a literal fool in school card.

The western Tarot is often presented as a tool that can help the "fool" successfully navigate life's lessons. For example, Rachel Pollack says "Today, we see the Tarot as a kind of path, a way to personal growth through understanding of ourselves and life. To some the Tarot's origin remains a vital question; for others it only matters that meanings have accrued to the cards over the years."[4]

"A God" is not the universal deity, but only a spark from the one ocean of Divine Fire. Our God within us, or "our Father in Secret" is what we call the "HIGHER SELF," Atma. Our incarnating Ego was a God in its origin, as were all the primeval emanations of the One Unknown Principle.But since its "fall into Matter," having to incarnate throughout the cycle, in succession, from first to last, it is no longer a free and happy god, but a poor pilgrim on his way to regain that which he has lost. "[5]"




Sadhguru [6] provides a subtle twist. In his conceptualization, the horrors we experience, are entirely the result of our karma, which we must learn to control and clear. For Sadguru, karma is the accretion of actions at the level of body, mind, and energy. Our actions determine our karma. Note, he explicitly answers several key Big Questions with the ideology of karma, suggesting that it is the "only logic that explains the seeming arbitrariness of the world we live in."

How else do we understand the pervasiveness of human anguish? How do we explain the horrors of war and terminal illness, the mute agony on the faces of starving children and traumatized prisoners? Moreover, how do we answer these ancient questions: Why do terrible things happen to good people? Why does fortune so often favor those who seem cruel or unkind or the morally compromised? Why do life circumstances seem so random and capricious? Why does it feel sometimes that God—if one exists—must be playing marbles with the world? Why does the universe so often seem such a hostile, lawless, ungoverned place? Perhaps no other word answers that bewildered human Why? as well as karma has. [7]

The ideological character of this answer can be clearly exposed of we offer a different explanation, which is that war, human anguish, starving children, traumatized prisoners are the actions of Accumulating Class as they work to preserve, reproduce, and enhance their power and privilege.


As quoted in [8], Antoine Faivre points out that western Esotericists "conceive themselves as being on a pilgrimage to a higher plane of  existence and an illuminated knowledge that can only be gained if  the whole person is transformed." This is a classic "Fool in School" formation.

Hanegraaff points out that Platonism has two streams, one rooted in traditional Greek philosophy and other Platonic Orientalism which was grounded in Persian (think Zoroastrianism[9]) and Egyptian traditions. [10] The oriental frame has a concern with salvational gnōsis [11]

Western Hermeticism, a product of pagan Egyptian Hellenism, is also steeped in notions of salvational gnosis which have as a goal religious salvation. "The Hermetic devotee must transcend mere rational understanding and worldly attachments, to find salvation and ultimate release through being reborn – quite literally – in a spiritual body of immaterial light. This process of liberation and transformation culminates in spiritual ascent and, finally, blissful unity with the supreme powers of divine Light. "[12]

Greek Mythology - The Odyssey: Odysseus embarks on a long and perilous journey back home after the fall of Troy. On this journey, he faces numerous tests and trials, each teaching him something new or reaffirming his faith and determination.[13]

Hindu Mythology - The Ramayana: Prince Rama is exiled from his kingdom and goes through a series of adventures, meeting allies, facing enemies, and learning important life lessons, before he returns to reclaim his throne.[14]

Norse Mythology - Thor's Journeys: Thor, the thunder god, often sets out on journeys where he must prove himself, learn lessons, and often return with a new understanding or piece of wisdom.[15]


"We are told by the wise that the earth plane, our home, is a kind of school where human beings are invited to learn that they are spiritual beings with an inherited propensity for enlightenment as strong as the urge of plant leaves to seek the sun. Here, in the spiritual school of the material world, humans have the opportunity to realize the sun of their true self. The world provides a learning space, a playground, wherein the seeker is guided through stages of an interior reconfiguration of energy."[16]

"All suffering prepares the soul for vision." Martin Buber [17]

A "journey" through life. A journey to enlightenment. The key figure in a "deep spiritual journey" [18] A "journey in consciousness." (p. x). Through "experience" ... "we and the universe become one." (p. 110).

"He continues his inner struggle and climbs ever higher in his consciousness on the great Jacob's ladder. Fate helps him by giving him experiences and trials which bring him increasingly closer to himself, no matter how much these trials may cause him suffering and pain. " [19]

The notion that we are here to learn life lessons is a prevalent archetype in Western esotericism. "...perfection is indeed the goal of every human life but that it may take many lifetimes to achieve...Failing to reach full realization in this life doesn't damn you to perdition; it simply means you'll have to come back again and again until you get it right."[20]

In the Orphic Mysteries, the "soul is therefore a fallen angel doing penance for her sins. Her ultimate aim is to be released from her chains, and recover the inheritance she has lost. How are the prison-bars to be removed? As we lost our freedom through sin, so we cannot hope to regain it until the stain is purged away. In Orphic language, the soul must be made pure."[21]. See also Purification

In the cartoon series, The Last Airbender, season one episode 20 (5:35), the fire bender Zuko expresses the Hero's archetype/fool in school mythology when he says, "I've always had to struggle and fight and that's made me strong. It's made me who I am." With this turn of phrase, he justifies conflict and struggle, pain and suffering, as beneficial.

The song "Bruises" by Train suggests that the "bruises" that result from damage and assault "Make for better conversation," and that we should embrace this damage and "not change a thing."

Many sci-fi narratives revolve around characters who are thrown into new, unfamiliar settings (think of characters like Arthur Dent in "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"). Their initial cluelessness and subsequent journey of understanding and exploration resemble the fool's journey.

M. Night Shyamalan's 2016 movie "Split" is a subtle and sophisticated representation of the Fool in School archetype. In Shyamalan's movie, to gain your full evolutionary potential, you need to suffer and be "broken." The "broken" (i.e. those damaged by Toxic Socialization to the point of beastly violence) are the ones who are pure of heart. They have special powers that allow them to "be whatever they think themselves to be." The rest will "never realize their full potential" and are consequently "sacred food" for the more evolved ones. In this movie, Shylaman encourages acceptance of the notion that violence and hardship are the "lessons" that create better humans, not to mention the subtle justification for predatory behaviour.

You find statements supportive of this theme in places in the Christian Bible. "Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." — St. Paul, Romans 5:3-4 (NIV)

"Misery Builds Character,' a common tv trope (

Israel Regardie notes that his "middle way" is all about the development of the self. "It is the pursuit of this middle path which leads to self-conquest and the steady growth of the Golden Flower, the wakening of the imprisoned soul within." [22]

The movie below is entitled The Sphere. This film is a 1988 Spiritual Propaganda film that brilliantly conveys this old energy message to the comatose masses. In this movie, humans are portrayed as incapable of handling spiritual power because they are simply too confused and violent. They end up wishing themselves back to sleep. Pathetic. I spit in the general direction of the writers and directors and actors who signed up for this trash.

Zen Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh: "My definition of the Pure Land, or the Kingdom of God, is not a place where there is no suffering. So we need suffering in order to recognize happiness....Imagine a place where there is no suffering. Our children would have no chance to develop their understanding, to learn how to be compassionate. It is by touching suffering that one learns to understand and to be compassionate."[23]

Islam: The day of judgment "is a day on which Almighty God will judge His creatures according to their actions done in this life."[24] There are lots of passages in the Qu'ran referring, in a rather judgmental way to the day of Judgment.

Theosophy: "It is only through these births that the perpetual progress of the countless millions of Egos toward final perfection and final rest (as long as was the period of activity) can be achieved." [25]"

Buddhism: Buddhism is wrapped around the principle that the goal of life is to reach a point where one is "liberated" from the karmic school house and thus no longer be reborn. In one discourse Buddha speaks about having understand the dangers of of aging, sickness, and death, finally achieved "liberation" and was thus no more subject to rebirth.[26]


  1. Yastion, Lyla. Pause Now: Handbook for a Spiritual Revolution. Lanham, Maryland: Hamilton Books, 2009. p. 3.
  2. Yastion, Lyla. Pause Now: Handbook for a Spiritual Revolution. Lanham, Maryland: Hamilton Books, 2009. p. xv.
  3. Haich, Elisabeth. The Wisdom of Tarot. London: Unwin Paperbacks, 1985. p. 165.
  4. Pollack, Rachel. Seventy Eight Degrees of Wisdom. Harper Collins, 1980. p. 6.
  5. Blavatsky, H. P. The Key to Theosophy: A Clear Exposition Based on the Wisdom Religion of All Ages. Theosophical University Press, 1889.
  6. Sadhguru. Karma: A Yogi’s Guide to Crafting Your Destiny. New York: Harmony, 2021.
  7. Sadhguru. Karma: A Yogi’s Guide to Crafting Your Destiny. New York: Harmony, 2021.
  8. Baier, Karl. “Esotericism.” In Blackwell Companion to the Study of Religion, edited by Robert A Segal and Nickolas P. Roubekas. Blackwell, 2021. p. 234.
  9. Sosteric, Mike. “From Zoroaster to Star Wars, Jesus to Marx: The Art, Science, and Technology of Human Manipulation,” Unpublished.
  10. Hanegraaff, Wouter J. Western Esotericism: A Guide for the Perplexed. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2013.
  11. Hanegraaff, Wouter J. Western Esotericism: A Guide for the Perplexed. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2013. p. 18.
  12. Hanegraaff, Wouter J. Western Esotericism: A Guide for the Perplexed. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2013. p. 18.
  13. The Odyssey: Homer, The Odyssey, trans. Robert Fagles (London: Penguin Classics, 2003).
  14. Valmiki, The Ramayana, trans. Arshia Sattar (London: Penguin Classics, 1996).
  15. Snorri Sturluson, The Prose Edda, trans. Jesse L. Byock (London: Penguin Classics, 1997)
  16. Yastion, Lyla. Pause Now: Handbook for a Spiritual Revolution. Lanham, Maryland: Hamilton Books, 2009.
  17. In Dossey. Recovering the Soul: A Scientific and Spiritual Search. Toronto: Bantam Books, 1989. p. 17
  18. Pollack, Rachel. Seventy Eight Degrees of Wisdom. Harper Collins, 1980. p. 155.
  19. Haich, Elisabeth. The Wisdom of Tarot. London: Unwin Paperbacks, 1985. p. 165.
  20. Smoley, Richard, and Jay Kinney. Hidden Wisdom: A Guide to Western Inner Traditions. Illinois: Quest Books, 2006.
  21. Adam, James. The Religious Teachers of Greece. Gifford Lectures. New Jersey: Reference Book Publishers, 1965. p. 101.
  22. Regardie, Israel. The Middle Pillar: The Balance Between Mind and Magic. St Paul, Minnesota: Llewellyn, 2004. p. 9.
  23. McLeod, Melvin. The Pocket Thich Nhat Hanh. Boulder, CO: Shambhala, 2012.
  24. Ali Shah Ikbal, Islamic Sufism (Tractus Books, 2000). p. 74.
  25. Blavatsky, H. P. The Key to Theosophy: A Clear Exposition Based on the Wisdom Religion of All Ages. Theosophical University Press, 1889.
  26. Bodhi, Bhikkhu, ed. In the Buddha’s Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon. Wisdom Publications, 2005. p. 57.