EDITORS PREFATORY NOTE
Cultures across time have embraced the archetype of the “fool” or “holy fool.” These cultural characters play many roles, but there is an underlying edge to them, for they force a kind of introspection; a sharp edged examination of the issue at hand; through the use of distraction and misdirection they can defuse situations and allow us to laugh at ourselves. Even in religious contexts these “fools” have an edge and oft times they can trick the gods as well as mere humans. Sometimes they are thought to deliver the message of the gods, or run messages between the gods and humans. There are times when even the secular fool is transmuted into a holy fool and back again, but secular or religious, they have protection to fulfill their role.