These fools possess a wisdom so corrosive that it strips them of their ability to behave appropriately or to be members of the status quo. Yeats’s fools are always outsiders, observing circumstances and belief systems with such a degree of objectivity that they become totally subjective and self-absorbed.
Susan Johnston Graf, W B Yeats Twentieth Century Magus: An In-Depth Study of Yeat’s Esoteric Practices and Beliefs, Including Excerpts from His Magical Diaries [Amazon, Bookshop, Abebooks, Local Library]
“The other self, the anti-self or the antithetical self, as one may choose to name it, comes but to those who are no longer deceived, whose passion is reality”
Susan Johnston Graf, W.B. Yeats Twentieth Century Magus: An In-Depth Study of Yeat’s Esoteric Practices and Beliefs, Including Excerpts from His Magical Diaries [Bookshop, Amazon]
“Yeats explains what he meant by ‘passion is reality’: ‘… for the awakening, for the vision, for the revelation of reality, tradition offers us a different word-ecstasy’ … Immersion in the anti-self brought about a ‘revelation of reality,’ an ecstatic state that enabled the artist to create works of genius. … Only when he became the anti-self could he become a totally subjective individual, overcome the illusion of duality, and find a ‘revelation of reality.'”