The Tarot of Everything

05 Jan 2010

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Ever have mystical experiences absolutely unexpectedly? I'll try to recapture something here, although I'm not sure if I'll be able to do so perfectly now that I've been out and about in the world after the experience (thus removing my thoughts and presence from the spirit of the moment in which it happened). I mean, I'm sitting behind my desk at an accounting firm at the moment. People are milling about filing things and arguing, so it's tough to focus. But, for what it's worth ...

This morning, as I was showering, I was thinking about the Tarot -- but, not very intently, nor very specifically; for example, I had no particular card, suit, number, or archetypal image in mind from the Arcana. Rather, I was thinking of it in a much more passively pensive way, in terms of it being a system of divination.

I also considered other systems of divination (runes, I-ching, etc.) at the time. What's the common denominator?, I thought. Why do they all seem to provide us with answers or directions? Why do some of these methods work for some people and not for others? Does each individual have a mode of divination that resonates with him/her more than others? Why? Where do the answers or directions come from? Those were the sorts of questions I was just innocently pondering as the warm water washed over me.

From there, I guess I honed in on that question of a common denominator. My perspective broadened in a way, and I asked myself what a system of divination might really be at its essence. Not surprisingly, I came upon the thought that these pursuits are nothing more than seeking knowledge of one sort or another. In this extremely broad description, divination is not unlike other more every-day pursuits of knowledge such as science and mathematics. All of it is seeking...

What if there really is no difference between math and astrology, tarot, Rorschach blots, etc.? What if mathematics and engineering are simply more accessible to us as humans, and therefore we deem these things rational while we deem the "woo-woo" stuff (as my wife's friend says) irrational?

Around mid-shower, the notion struck me that, maybe all of these signs, these runes, these numbers and equations, aren't really answers, directions, and messages from some other unknown realm, accessible or inaccessible as it may be. Maybe they're simply tools. Maybe (and, this was an important leap for me) they're tools that humans use to put us in touch with knowledge that we already know -- which explains why so many different paths lead to the same conclusion. For larger questions beyond those solvable via mathematics, maybe you lay out a tarot deck, cast runes, meditate, read tea leaves -- it doesn't matter. What if they're all just tools to put us in touch with what we already know?

And, if that's true, then what might the implications be? One that came to me was that, if we already know this sought-after knowledge (whether it's something simple like the answer to a mathematical problem, or something more complex like what might occur in the future), then maybe we already know everything. And, if that's true, then just maybe the default state of whatever our deepest essence is, is omniscience. Maybe these are all tools, of varying degrees, to put us all more in touch with our true nature, which is onmiscience, omnipotence, omnipresence; in other words, divinity.

From here the exercise became markedly more spiritual. I can't explain it well now, as I'm removed from the time at which this happened. But, thinking these particular thoughts was like a bunch of tumblers in a lock magically aligning, and a door swinging open. There was a threshold there, and I entered that welcoming space ...

You see, for, oh, a year or more, I'd been striving to experience and understand the connectedness of all things in the universe. For many reasons I won't go into now, I honestly believed it to be representative of truth; I had simply yet to experience it on any profound level. The more I sought that experience, the more it eluded me. I don't know ... maybe the form I'm in now is a little thick from time to time, but it just never hit me so powerfully before. I realized this morning in the shower that, for me, the word "connectedness" was the in fact the very barrier to understanding "connectedness."

Somewhere in my mind, I suppose I had previously envisioned that only that which is separated or distinct can ever be connected. This makes sense on some level, right? You and I can only be "connected" if we're separate. That was my line of thinking.

But, across the threshold I mentioned above, this is not the truest, deepest nature of the universe. Whether profoundly true or some kind of imagined experience, I cannot say, but in this totality, the truest, deepest nature has no separation at all. I'm not sure I can trace the leap this represents to me, but it stemmed directly from that notion of considering our divinity, which I can't intuitively suppose represents a concept of separateness.

So, I understood that we -- you and I, you and the rocks, you and those you hate -- are not "connected." That is to say, I see now what connection means, but also see that it's an incomplete description. This was my big experiential realization. So, here it is: In fact, everything is really just *one thing*!! We are never really separated to begin with. In fact, the word "we" only furthers the notion of separation. The deepest truth is I, a kind of universal, energetic singularity. I am me, I am you, I am genius, idiot, victim, savior, loser, winner, pauper, king, stone, flower, insect, aether, cosmos, nothingness.

For a good half-hour thereafter, the world glistened for me. There's no other way to describe it. I felt as though I could walk up to another person (laughing, of course, because there really is no such thing as an "other" person) and say, "Ask me any question at all," and, when "they" did, I could have answered. Nothing mattered. Everything I looked at -- the walls, myself, my wife -- was all just myself (or, really, not even me, but the "one" energy), just wonderful, playful, awake energy. It was tough to see the shallow level of form for some time. Mostly, my perceptions were energetic, almost extra-sensory. I felt peaceful, too. Very peaceful.

Original Comments

Below, are the original comments on this post. Additional comments may be made via Facebook, below.

On January 5, 2010, Janine@Shelf Life wrote:

OH yeah. It's the thing we become (whether it be rock or human) that seems to keep us separate - but of course, not really because our shape, bodies, etc, are not who we are.

As for Tarot and divination - we do already know the answers, but most of us don't trust our "knowing," so these systems are mostly useful for confirmation. People who use various forms of divination eventually realize this and put the cards away.

On January 7, 2010, Jim Dee wrote:

Thanks, Janine. I'm actually still trying to wrap my mind around this. I never thought I'd experience something like this outside of, say, meditation or some other more sacred / profound kind of pursuit. I know I was open to it (and that in and of itself was a year-long process that I've documented here), but in the end I grasped this totally accidentally by simply thinking about a string of philosophical concepts. Hence, this post; I hoped to document / capture it in order to relive it and share it. But, I really haven't yet conveyed the profundity of the whole thing here. Seeing the world like this cleared up many things for me, not the least of which was an instantaneously deeper understanding of my wife, who seems to have a broadband connection to this energy.

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