Sabian Symbols: Clown making grimaces
This universal idea is best expressed through planets in
Cancer 11 (10° - 11°)
EMPLOYING THE SUBTLE POWER OF LAUGHTER
There is much more to laughing than appears on the surface; it is a tool that diminishes self-importance
Laughter is a very particular activity that serves the physical body's need to release tension. More than that however is when the humour takes the form of ridicule and satire, where we see that overblown authority, in other words pomposity, is seriously challenged by it. We need to learn not to take ourselves too seriously and, perhaps more importantly, not to lose ourselves in the false authority of those who would try to rob us of our freedom of thought.
A CLOWN CARICATURING WELL-KNOWN PERSONALITIES
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A clown caricaturing well-known personalities
Life is a continuing self-rehearsal
People try to conceal self-doubts, frequently using misguided humour to do so, and the exaggeration of some qualities and inhibition of others shows in everyone. This is normal, though often ridiculous, behaviour. There is great yet subtle pressure put upon us to shape our personality so that others do not feel threatened and are spared the inconvenience of having to adjust to our true, inimitable nature. This often brings to us a loss of dignity, which amounts to a kind of self-abuse, and this always leads to some misfortune. If we make clowns of ourselves to gain popularity or get a cheap laugh, then we must expect to pay a price, since in any disguise self-exploitation is certain to cost us.
Why do we do it? Perhaps we lack the inner conviction or strength of self-confidence to affirm who we are, and so put on the mask of a clown to entertain others. Yet for many people it is often because we don’t actually know who we really are. In such a case, perhaps we find it stimulating to act in a way to provoke a comeback in others, and then find our reaction to their responses a useful experience to help us learn some lesson about ourselves.
This is much safer in friendly company, since our tentative attempts to try out new ways and wisdoms in order to improve ourselves are much less likely to be measured or rejected willy-nilly when in the company of supportive friends.
Life is a continuing self-rehearsal; no one has managed to perfect their own personality, so why should we feel embarrassed during our own trial-and-error attempts towards perfecting our authenticity of being? Yet in society we are often subjected to the risk of embarrassment, beginning in infancy and the first years at school then continuing throughout all of our lives. This is possibly the major device used to control us all to behave according to conventional, common standards.
As we become clearer in defining who we are, the need to hide and disguise ourselves diminishes. In fact then the impact we have on others becomes rather sharper and more dominant; persuading another to our point of view helps refine and define us.
Perhaps we should see society’s cultural requirements as the grit we need so as to be able to go through a polishing process, since without being squeezed into shape to fit expectations we would have nothing to resist and so would not be able rebelliously to affirm quite so strongly the idiosyncrasies of our uniqueness.
Of course we are wise to take off the mask when we are ready. Then, without prostituting ourselves in caricature, we will find that our own inimitable individuality is enough to earn the attention we desire and need.