Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
4Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
The Wise Fool as a Teacher. Mastering the Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Intelligence

The Wise Fool as a Teacher. Mastering the Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Intelligence

Ratings: (0)|Views: 52|Likes:

More info:

Published by: Στελιος Πελασγός on Mar 14, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as DOC, PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

08/20/2013

pdf

text

original

 
THE UNIVERSITY OF MALTA G. F. ABELA JUNIOR COLLEGETHE FIRST WISE FOOL INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCEANDTHE FIRST INTERNATIONAL STORY TELLING FESTIVALINMALTAUniversity of Malta
(founded 1592)
THE FIRST I
NTERNATIONAL CONFERENCEONTHE WISE FOOL
DECEMBER 07-10, 2006
ANDTHE FIRST INTERNATIONAL STORY TELLING FESTIVALIN MALTA
DECEMBER 11-13, 2006IN ASSOCIATION WITHTHE ENZYKLOPÄDIE DES MÄRCHENS
 
ATTHE ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, GÖTTINGEN,THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION REPRESENTATION IN MALTA,THE AUSTRIAN EMBASSY IN MALTA, CASA ROCCA LTD,THE EMBASSY OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY IN MALTA,THE ITALIAN EMBASSYISTITUTO ITALIANO DI CULTURA IN MALTAANDUNIVERSITY OF MALTA JUNIOR COLLEGE
 
The Wise Fool: The storyteller’s wayof mastering and educating the interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligenceStelios Pelasgos, Ph.D.
“The folk story is a Wise personwho has reached the end of his road.The storyteller is the fool that does his best in order to serve this Wise person.”Katherine Zarkate
i
Dear friends,I prepared my talk having in mind the challenges a teacher faces in his work. I shall use the wordteacher, referring to all levels of formal and informal education and to every age group. TheWise Fool is a folk hero, an archetype encountered in every culture, which is very useful toteachers. The Wise Fool is a great teacher and his lessons have been repeated innumerable timesby mouths speaking different languages. I follow his teachings both as a professional storyteller and as a teacher- storyteller, yet it has took me years to appreciate the subtlety and theeffectiveness of his “teaching method’’ and to interpret it according to the scientific language of developmental psychology.In ancient Greece “paidagogos”, the guardian and teacher of children, was occasionally depictedwith the Wise Fool’s characteristic ugliness and deformity, reminding of “Paposilenos” (theguardian of child Dionysus) but also of the philosopher Socrates
.A strange kind of teacher Unfortunately the Wise Fool is a very elusive character due to his contradictory nature,gravitating sometimes towards the fool and sometimes towards the wise but always aspiring toform in our mind a unity, the desired “harmonia oppositorum”, the harmony reached through themeeting of the opposites. This elusiveness is quite entertaining and salutary for the audience of astorytelling gathering but poses certain problems to the scholars who would attempt to definehim and his function. Therefore following his teachings we will try to meet him and acquaintourselves with his behavior, ‘riding backwards on the donkey” as Nashrettin Hodja, taking thepath that will distance us from him and not the obvious path that approaches him. We will try toreach the opposite direction and meet his opposite. His direct opposite in the Mediterranean andEuropean folklore would be the Wise, the absolute teacher and judge, one of the rare figuresaccorded the title of “Wise”, the Wise Solomon. Solomon is able to intervene in all human
 
disputes and deliver a wise judgment accepted by every person concerned without raising anydispute or rancor. Nobody laughs at Solomon, nobody questions him and his wisdom seemssupernatural. Every word he says is well thought, a wise teaching to comprehend and meditateupon. He inspires awe, as he is elevated beyond the human limits.His exact opposite is the Wise Fool, whatever name the local folklore of each people hasattributed to him. He is only human, cannot realize the obvious and is always derided. Yeteverybody adores him, he is approachable, a neighbor or a friend. He deals with small everydayproblems, all kinds of bothersome details and trivia of human life. Nobody would imagineapproaching Wise King Solomon casually; nobody would dare to bother him with our daily fightwith our instincts, our passions, our family and our neighbors. Therefore we need the Wise Fooldaily, much more often than we need the Wise King, the Wise Judge or the Wise Teacher.A strange way of teachingThe Wise Fool doesn’t teach directly, yet he is a great teacher. He cannot say wise words nor give wise counsels yet the essence of his stories permeates the folk proverbs and sayings. Theold Pomaks (an ethnic minority in Northern Greece) say
"Za kirk déne akú ne spominéshNasradíne sha se izlézi pak”
(If you do not evoke Nasrettin’s name within forty days, he will riseagain)
. If we don’t evoke his name, if we do not use his tales in order to solve our dailyproblems and disputes, this means that we have learned nothing, we are more foolish than thefool; this means that we do not trust his foolish wisdom and we are doomed to repeat hismistakes and suffer the consequences. But he will not let us suffer he will rise again (as a menaceor as a savior?) to make us laugh and be merry.The Wise Fool is wise therefore he employs the most effective method of teaching: laughter, theunique human trait that many believe is what differentiates us from the animals. Although thisfoolish teacher initiates the learning process from the basest kind of laugh (laugh at themisfortunes of others), he enters a reflective quality in certain stories thus transmuting it into anobler kind of laugh (laugh at our own shortcomings, faults and sins) till it reaches atranscendental kind of laugh (laugh at our own misfortunes, our Fate, “God’s pleasantries” as thegreat storyteller Karen Blixen used to call them
).The Wise Fool is humble therefore he employs the humblest way of teaching, suitable even for animals . He employs the method of trial and error therefore he usually learns after suffering theconsequences of his mistakes. “The things I suffered, became a lesson”
v
as goes the Greek proverb still in use. Nashrettin Hodja falls and hurts himself in order to caution us not to saw thebranch we’re standing on. Yet we our continuing to waste Nature’s resources, changing theplanet’s climate and poisoning air, earth and sea.

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->