What a Fool Believes: On the Unnumbered Card in the Tarot

Episode 77 · July 8th, 2020 · 1 hr 8 mins

About this Episode

"What a fool believes he sees, no wise man can reason away." This line from a Doobie Brothers song is probably one of the most profound in the history of rock-'n'-roll. It is profound for all the reasons (or unreasons) explored in this discussion, which lasers in on just one of the major trumps of the traditional tarot deck, that of the Fool. The Fool is integral to the world, yet stands outside it. The Fool is an idiot but also a sage. The Fool does not know; s/he intuits, improvises a path through the brambles of existence. We intend this episode on the Fool to be the first in an occasional series covering all twenty-two of the major trumps of the Tarot of Marseilles.


The Fool in the tarot
St. Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians
Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey Into Christian Hermeticism
Aleister Crowley, The Book of Thoth
Plato, Phaedrus
Weird Studies episode 60 - Space is the Place: On Sun Ra, Gnosticism, and the Tarot
Till Eulenspiegel, folk figure
Aleister Crowley, Magick Without Tears
Weird Studies episode 75 - Our Old Friend the Monolith: On Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey
Weird Studies episode 76 - Below the Abyss: On Bergson's Metaphysics
Rider-Waite Tarot Deck
Richard Wagner, Parsifal
G. W. F. Hegel, German philosopher
Ramsey Dukes, Words Made Flesh: Information in Formation
George Spencer Brown, Laws of Form
Alain Badiou, Deleuze: The Clamor of Being
Punch and Judy, British puppet show
George P. Hansen, The Trickster and the Paranormal
Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living
Thomas Mann, Death in Venice
Phil Ford's lecture on Death in Venice (Patreon exclusive!)
Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Idiot
Hal Ashby (dir.), Being There
Alejandro Jodorowsky and Marianne Costa, The Way of the Tarot
Frank Pavich (dir.), Jodorowsky’s Dune
Tarot of Marseilles
André Breton, French surrealist artist