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The Fool by Silvia Hartmann 1996

Fighting The Fool

One of the most useful personal development patterns I have found over the years is something that like so many other useful things originated from In Serein.

So let us begin with a quote.

"Fools, all of them.

And me, of course. I couldn’t help but laugh then. Lord of Darkness, indeed. Lord of Fools would be a far more fitting description. Perhaps I could find a suitable translation in the ancient language and use it for my title, and as a new family motto.

Now I should not have thought that.

Indeed, I should not think at all, for what could a fool be thinking of but further foolishness?

Get a hold of yourself, I commanded then, shook myself like a dog and entered the house."

 Lord Lucian Tremain, IS 2-7-1

That quote, "I should not think at all, for what could a fool be thinking of but further foolishness?" is the key to so many things, so many situations, so many times when we "lose it" and enter into what we now call "fool states" - disturbed states of mind that do NOTHING but create more and more foolishness.

The longer it goes on, the more foolish the thoughts become, in a direct cause-and-effect relationship.

Indeed, fool's thoughts are your first warning that you are about to enter a spiral of foolishness from which there won't be a return for quite some time.

The outcome might be anger. Or it might be a deep depression. It might become a migraine, or it might be you doing something very, very foolish that you will live to regret another day and which you then will use again to add to the evidence of your own foolishness.

What is a fool thought?

Clearly, it is something you would NEVER think if you were well, healthy, happy and content with what was going on in your life.

Examples are:

  • God hates me.

  • No-one loves me.

  • I can't do anything right.

  • This will never work.

  • I'm useless.

  • It's all my/their/her fault.

  • There's no point to any of this.

  • I can't stand it anymore.

  • I'm such an idiot ...

... and all the others of the same ilk.

All of these sort of fool thoughts ONLY occur when we are stressed out and our thinking becomes progressively more disturbed.

In happier and healthier states of mind, these thoughts would not occur; and even if they did, you would just laugh them off as a meta-model violation or a Korzybskian insanity.

The dangerous thing about these thoughts which are GENERATED BY the fool states of disruption and disturbance is to take them as ordinary thoughts or to try and apply logic to them, try and talk your way out of it.

You can't talk with a fool, don't you know.

You can try, but only nonsense will spout forth and it just gets worse. It starts with "I'm an idiot, I can't get anything right ..." and if you let that run, you might end up with, "The world's a better place without me. I'm going to kill myself."

The only way to deal with fool thoughts is to catch them before they become a raging river of insanity and all control is lost.

The first incidence of fool thinking, if you can spot it, should be like a bright red alarm light that you must now STOP and do something else, calm down, take a step back, shake yourself like a dog like Lord Tremain did, or get a drink of water.

This first incidence shows you that somehow you got stressed during what you were doing, and you are starting to lose control of common reason, yourself and the situation at hand.


Life Repercussions Of Fighting The Fool

If you sit back for a moment and consider some of the worst decisions you've ever made, and it really matters not if you want to think about personal issues, or professional things, you will find without a shadow of a doubt that these were made from fool states of high stress when reason and logic had abandoned the building.

It is a fact that the reason people are getting consecutively more stressed out, the older they get, and that's because as they are around for longer, they are fire-fighting more and more foolish decisions which have caused chaos and havoc in their lives. Some people end up fire fighting the whole time in the end, with never a moment's respite, because of past decisions that have landed them in totally untenable situations.

Really, our lives should become easier and more elegant the older we get, as we have now so much more experience and wisdom to draw upon, to make much better decisions - but it is the fool that scuppers that, time and time again.

If you haven't tried this pattern before, you won't know just how USEFUL this is.

When I get into a fool's state these days and I notice this pretty much right away, and I step away from the situation for a time out in order to restore my powers of reasoning, as well as my perspective forward and backward in time which collapses entirely during a fool state, I am often terrified what might have happened if I hadn't stepped away.

The DREADFUL decisions I would have made!

The cost in fire fighting these, the time spent trying to recover the situation, the added stress of that - it is literally scary.

This simple pattern, of spotting your own versions of foolish thoughts, that, on a good day, you absolutely KNOW are just nonsense of the highest order, and stepping away for a moment to regain your equilibrium, taking a deep breath, and making sure you de-stress FIRST and before taking any further action, or even thinking anything else (for what would a fool be thinking than further foolishness, right?), can turn your life around.

That is because every single time you catch that, and just stop, you are not making bad decisions that are going to haunt your future from that instant forth.

You are giving your future a breathing space, if you will.

That breathing space where we are for once, not fire fighting, but things are working out the way they should, and actually do, is the springboard to any form of success which might follow later.

It is also a huge sigh of relief in and of itself, and may well open the doors to bigger and brighter futures than you could conceive of right now.


The Anti-Fool Pattern

So remember these basic ideas.

A fool cannot think anything else but further foolishness: you CAN'T think your way or argue your way out of a fool state. It'll only get worse if you try.

As soon as you find yourself thinking like a fool, STOP. Step away from that console, that person, that room, that project, that object, that situation. You are in no position to know what would be for the best at this point.

Calm yourself down. Do EFT, breathe deeply, get a glass of water, switch on your Ipod and listen to that or do whatever you know will work for you and do NOT allow yourself to think about anything other than your next holiday in the sun or happy kittens for at least one minute.

Do NOT return to the console, the situation, object, person, etc. until you are yourself again - reasonable, rational and centered within and without.

If it happens again, proceed as above EVERY TIME. Don't let yourself become a fool. There's no merit in it, and it isn't necessary.


In Conclusion

This is a very simple and basic thing to understand about ourselves, namely that once we starting thinking foolish thoughts, we can't save ourselves with thinking any longer from that moment forth.

I have found when testing this pattern with all sorts of people that they were readily able to spot their own favourite fool thoughts, because they were usually triggered in the same situation, and quite predictable, actually.

The people who tested this pattern found it remarkably easy to spot the entrance to the kingdom of the fools, and to put in a sharp reverse thrust from the start two out of three times, and right away.

They have reported that this has affected both their work as well as their relationships very positively, and that some outbursts have ceased to occur at all. It becomes easier with practise as well.

Something that excited me very much was the general consensus that using the Anti-Fool pattern PREVENTED all manner of unpleasant things apart from bad decisions - including full blown anger tantrums, domestic violence, depression setting in and lasting for days, and even stomach upsets.

Finally, and this what I like the best, the people who have tried this pattern have found that their self beliefs began to change quite significantly.

Once ideas such as "I'm such an idiot" or "No-one can love a man who has no hair" are no longer dealt with as some form of important "truth" about oneself, but relegated strictly to disturbed thinking due to stress AND then even used to set a de-stressing sequence of events into motion, they quite profoundly lose their hold on the person in question.

Which is excellent news for any person's unfolding future, indeed.

Silvia Hartmann

March 2007

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