On “Surrender” And Being A Fool

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“Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself.”
–Charlie Chaplin

As I do my meditations, I sometimes wonder/ask: “what could I be doing more of?” Always wondering: how can I strategically be more sharp, more savvy, more anticipatory of trends, more productive, and so on.

And the answer I get is: “just surrender to it.” Stop “fighting it,” stop trying to “fit in,” stop trying to be strategic. Be normal—in terms of whatever “normal” is for me. Be organic. Be relaxed.

Just be.

This reminds me of the central premise of the Fool card of the Tarot—the happy simpleton who seemingly strolls off the cliff, doggie in tow.

And then I remember that scene from the 1998 Godzilla, where the Matthew Broderick character—our guileless Fool—just looks into the face of the title monster. He could be easily eaten. He even digs out his cheap Kodak disposable camera and takes a snapshot of the creature, up close, with the flash going off. Guileless, innocent…a Fool, basically. And there is a sense of “surrender”—he doesn’t face Godzilla with any weapons. He knows he could just as easily die.

But Godzilla chooses not to eat this character. Instead, he just roars in front of him, sending this spray of fish (or: fish-guts) all over him like a weird type of baptismal.

If Godzilla represents the “old ones,” the primal gods (in the Cthulhu/Dagon sense), then Broderick’s character is the New Religion—the fish-flesh he’s being pelted with (as well as the big mountain of them he uses to feed the giant lizard later in the scene) tipping you off that he’s some sort of Christ-like resonator. Godzilla chooses not to kill him for a very specific reason; they are almost equals, in a way, but of course the Fool does not realize this.

And we have resonances from this scene in 2013’s Pacific Rim, now with Charlie Day’s character Newt attempting to “surrender” to the Beast that everyone else is fighting:

And surrender is a big key to this. The Fool is #0 in the tarot deck, but next # up is 1, The Magician. The Fool just needs to hang in there just a little bit longer.

This is all not to say that one shouldn’t rise to the challenge when things come up. This is not an argument for passivity, and against proactivity.

But I’m just saying, if you ever find yourself face-to-face with like…Godzilla. You know, maybe then try the Fool gambit and just surrender to the rhythm of the Universe.