also known as "fools for Christ" this concept is very prevelant in Russian, Greek, Egyptian and Middle Eastern Christianity. Sufism also makes use of this concept.

the basic idea seems to be that once someone has caught a glimpse of the other realm it is often times not possible or desirable for that person to return to the strictures of day to day propriety.

some of my favorite fools were:

saint john the baptist
saint basil the fool
saint seraphim of sarov
blessed xenia of st. petersburg
saint john of san francisco

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