In the essay Divine Mechanics it was suggested that a tarot deck acts as a translator between worlds - one chaotic, the other ordered. It was suggested that by using an ordered system (like a tarot deck) in a random way (like shuffling) we open a link between opposite worlds, allowing a message to pass through. But who crafts that message? And will all tarot decks yield a consistently identical response? Or are some decks "better" translators than others? To answer this question, consider the following possibility...
The cards that someone might pull off the top of the deck are arranged in a certain order, to speak a certain message about something they have on their mind at the time of shuffling. The cards are put into this order by an unseen force. What is that force? Perhaps... it is a sort of ghostly version of the person seeking answers, speaking from "the other side" as it were, or "another" side... a side that is opposite to our Conscious Self in a binary way... making it a kind of Binary Buddy! or... if preferred, a Binary Buddha!! Like a guardian angel (with a direct line of communication to the archetypes of our Universal Consciousness) this "other person" would always be there, looking over everything we do. So, one day it sees that we have a deck of cards in our hand, and that we are asking the cards to answer questions about our life. This "other person" finds this amusing and so... obliges by looking (with its impossibly remote vision) at the entire deck of images stacked one on top of the other in our hand. Then, in spite of, or perhaps with the aid of and the necessary inclusion of our attempts to be as random with the cards as possible, this "other person" picks out images that it thinks will visually, symbolically, metaphorically or allegorically answer our otherwise unanswerable questions about the future, or our hidden UnConscious Self, and other things that only a ghostly version of us from another side of consciousness, with a direct line of communication to the archetypes of our Universal Consciousness, could possibly know.
The Binary Mind
Lots of philosophers, and scientists have postulated the notion that what we call our mind is actually two minds, or... one mind split into two. The study of consciousness being presented everywhere on this site agrees with this notion. But why? How is it that our minds should be so binary? Aside from the obvious binary nature of almost everything we see around us in the physical world, why would this idea of being binary extend even into the design of our minds? In the study of consciousness being presented everywhere on this site, this question is answered by acknowledging the design of the theoretical model of existence that this study of consciousness uses to explain every aspect of our being. In this model, our universe is born from a concept of paradox expressed as a beginningless beginning. From there it evolves into the nothingness of empty space that surrounds all manifest beings. From there, manifest beings are formed as coagulating, spiraling masses of nothingness becoming something. At the center of every "thing" is an infinitesimally small point (a black hole?) that has the same essential nature as the black empty space of nothingness that lies outside that "thing." In being essentially the same, this study of consciousness theorizes a connection between these two locations of nothingness - one inside a form and the other outside that form. As this might seem impossible... a simple twist of paradox is all that is needed to bring the two together, and create an endless, fractal design of repeating iterations of existence, as entering into one point of paradox transports us instantaneously (like a wormhole in space) to the other location, causing us to alter our perspective from inside looking out to outside looking in... or vice versa.
In this grand cosmic design, paradox is a limiting factor. In that way, it becomes a model for establishing notions of an ineffable God. But... because that concept of paradox lies beyond the infinitely large expanse of the outer reaches of nothingness, as well as beyond the infinitely small reaches of inner space, we end up with a concept of The Divine that is split into two. Because this concept of God lies beyond the infinite reaches of our universe, we identify it as a non-universe... a logical opposite to our existing universe... which fulfills a proposed law of opposites that is believed to influence everything within and without our scope of knowledge. Because this paradoxical concept of God is considered a non-universe, we give it the name of Absentia, because of how, by necessity, and by design, it remains absent from whatever universe it creates (see Verse 82 elsewhere on this site). In other words, as a binary pair of opposites, we are here only because The Absentia isn't. Thus...
2 as 1,
because we are a
1 that is 2,
We, or... our minds, are two as one, or binary, because we are a complementary manifestation one that is two - The Absentia. We are what it isn't, it is what we aren't. As portrayed in the book All Things Are Numbers, found elsewhere on this site, we exist as the conductors or conduits of Divine energy, moving from an outer to an inner Absentia, or... points of paradox that limit, enclose and contain our consciousness and universe. In other words... because it lies beyond the infinite reaches of both our outer and inner existence, The Absentia is in fact... a singularity... in two parts... separated by our very existence, and... in need of reunion. It is by virtue of this paradoxically "dual singularity" that we have both an inner and outer Self in constant need of reunion (see the concept of Paradox elsewhere on this site). One self is closer to the Absentia beyond the darker side of nothingness or UnConsciousness. The other self is closer to the Absentia beyond the lighter side of somethingness or Consciousness. When these extreme points of opposition meet in the forming of a mind, a binary result seems inevitable, inasmuch as we might theorize our consciousness to be made in the image of what we now theorize to be God... at least... inasmuch as: "I am the Alpha and the Omega" [REV 1:8] means... the Unity of God is Binary, or, one that is two!
The stages of the theoretical model of existence being but forth everywhere on this site, connects the two points of paradoxical unity that is binary in form, because of how it is found outside as well as inside any manifest entity. It is an unknowable, un-namable element of consciousness that we know and name The Absentia because of its position outside the realm of any unverse or consciousness contained by it.
In reciprocal fashion, The Absentia unites the opposites of the theoretical model of existence being but forth everywhere on this site like the binding of a sacred book.
Ultimately... it's good to be binary! In this way, our mind is like a muscle; if it flexes to be too rigid we can't walk... if it relaxes to be loose we can't walk. Only when it flexes and releases to a perfect amount can we walk. Thus, as healthy humans, we should not be so rigid as to only use our rational conscious mind, nor be so loose as to rely only on our irrational unconscious mind. We need both, working together to imagine the potentiality and reckon the actuality of any situation.
Survival isn't only about what the conscious mind can see or know. Before things can be figured our for what they are, they need to also be figured out for what they might be. That takes the flexibility of our imagination. An animal that takes a strictly linear approach looses its prey. An animal that uses its imagination can anticipate what might happen. In the same way, life is not just about what is in front of us, it's also about what could be. Hence we think in binary ways... to survive.
The Conscious Self Bias
Because of the concept of "spirit entering matter" and all the focus most mortals place on mundane existence, many never really get to know that "other self" that exists adjacent to the Outer Absentia of our consciousness. But if this theory fits, that other self is there... it exists at the end of a spectrum of consciousness adjacent to the dark and negative outer reaches of our theoretical model of existence - i.e. the SubConscious and UnConscious of our minds (see the essay Dreams and Dreaming elsewhere on this site). Of course... if our dominant mode of thought were from those UnConscious states, our Conscious mind would be the stranger to us. But... because of a seemingly hardwired notion that most of us have to preserve life, most of us spend a great deal of our mind's energy utilizing our Conscious mind as a tool of survival amid other Conscious, manifest entities that might bump into us in threatening ways. Thus... to many, our passive, UnConscious mind remains a silent partner that many don't even acknowledge to be there. Hence, when it sends us messages - either with or without the use of a tarot deck - we are often surprised and mystified as to how such communications can take place. This becomes especially so if the people asking how such communications take place believe them to be coming from sources other than the "other self" they don't believe in. For those who are extremely locked into their Conscious mind, and are not prepared to theorize that their mind is in fact split into two, they are left with no other logical answer to their experiences of mysterious communications than to suggest influences from other, detached sources beyond their own mind. But... for those who acknowledge the binary nature of nature and the universe... and the binary nature of the universe and its logical opposite the non-universe of The Absentia in its two locations, having an "other self" or "Binary Buddy... or Buddha!" who represents the SubConscious and UnConscious realms of existence seems plainly obvious.
Lots of people are locked into the fixed and finite world of their Left-Brained mind. Some are locked into the fluid and flexible world of their Right-Brained mind. In many cases - too many in my personal opinion - people of one world fear or loath the world they oppose. Because so many people are dominantly Left-Brained, experiences that draw curious people into their Right Brain are often seen or believed to be spiritual excursions toward a notion of God. For some, the liberation from finite thinking, into a world of endlessly expansive freedom of thought, where anything goes, can be overwhelming. Some come away thinking they've experienced unity with the universe. While others come away thinking they've experienced a bunch of nonsense. Both are correct!!
Above is a diagram to use in visualizing the difference between Left-Brained thinking and Righ-Brained thinking, or... Consious thought versus UnConscious thought. Notice that the sideways pyramid shape being used to represent the mind of a brain has its own "Corpus Callosum" type of connector. People might fear or loath their opposite mind, but as long as that connection is there, they will never completely sever their tether to each other. Thus, even the most fixed and finite mind will occasionally find itself being influenced by the fluid and flexible ways of its dreaded opposite... while the fluid and flexible mind will occasionally look for fixed and finite ways to express itself publicly, with language, and tangible, finite forms of art. One side is about Speculation (?). The other side is about Realization (!).
In this diagram, the finite thinking of the Left-Brained mind is represented with bricks or stones that are solid and knowable, while the Right-Brained mind is represented by wavy lines, bubbles, planets and stars reaching to unknowable infinity. Some think that life is a one way path of turning imagination into solid blocks of reality that can then be stacked one upon another to know more and more stuff about the word... until a bolt of lightning from the skies comes along and blows everything up - like the tower card of traditional tarot. Actually, like our brains, passage between sides goes both ways.
Apply this diagram to the essay The Pentacle Person, for more on The Binary Mind of humans. Then, turn this diagram 90 degrees, so that the base of the pyramid is grounded and duplicate The Died on His Side mandala.
When people who are locked into their Conscious mind have experiences of communication with their "other self" and believe it to be communication from other sources, we are lead to notions of talking to God, or channeling dead souls, or being possessed by demons, or multiple personalities. And while this study of consciousness doesn't rule out the possibility of detached, external communications entering into another mind (see Knowing vs. Psychic Knowing elsewhere on this site), it is being suggested here that many such experiences of a detached consciousness influencing another detached consciousness might also be experiences of a single consciousness materializing in different forms, with the help of various "recipes" that either seem separate, or... seem similar to past manifestations who are dead and gone. With the help of The Dream Analysis Calculator and the idea of Quintagrams that result from exploring the binary nature of our consciousness, we can indeed suggest the possibility of many such "recipes" or "constellations of consciousness" being illustrated across the cards of The Numerical Tarot deck and all its brethren - seen elsewhere on this site. Because of this possibility, it is being suggested that a full and complete exposure to our "other self" or "Binary Buddy... or Buddha!" be sought out before other conclusions are reached, or at least in tandem with other such conclusions of external sources.
If our minds are binary, and there is another self with which we can communicate, how does tarot help with this communication. And... are some decks better equipped than others when it comes to providing vocabulary for said communications? Here is a diagram from the essay The Way, that suggest the possibility of this "other self" sending a message across a threshold of consciousness. Arrows in the diagram suggest that one form of "knowing" comes from a perfect merging of Conscious and UnConscious minds. Another set of arrows suggests that such balance is healthy for both minds. Another arrow suggests the bubbling up of information from the depths of the UnConscious to the Conscious, while another arrow suggest the idea that sensory information about the tangible reality we believe to exist "out there" trickles back down to the UnConscious from the Conscious.
On the LIGHT side is the Self - awake in a realworld. On the DARK side is the Ghost - alseep in a dreamworld. That Ghost is our Binary Buddy, sending us messages from our UnConscious. For an expanded version of this consciousness chart, consult the essay Dreams and Dreaming found elsewhere on this site.
If these paths of communication between our split minds are what is happening, then... for a Conscious-biased mind trying to communicate with an "other self" that is of our UnConscious, differences in results between different decks would occur because of the limitations imposed upon this "other self" by the visual content of each physically manifest deck. In other words one deck might have a more complete "visual vocabulary" from which the "other self" can pick and choose in its attempt to symbolically, metaphorically or allegorically speak to us. Thus, if we hand it a deck with imagery that doesn't contain images that are able to say what it thinks we need to hear, it will struggle to pick an image that seems "close enough" but might not be as close as it would have liked - thus making the final message not only not the same as another deck, but possibly not as clear either.
Of course, for those who inhabit "this side" - the Conscious side of our Binary Self all communications might be theorized to be happening on some "psychic" level of consciousness, and be taken as evidence of psychic abilities at work (see the essay Knowing vs. Psychic Knowing elsewhere on this site). But, if this Binary Buddy idea is good, it might be interesting to test it on a not-so-psychic level. What if you were to ask someone who knows you very well (like a spouse who is almost as attached to you as a guardian angel) to stand in as a substitute for the binary "other you" and ask that person to arrange the cards of various decks in the best way they can, to answer a particular question? This test would probably work best if that other person doesn't know anything about intended meanings of the cards, and only uses the visual content of each deck. If you pick decks that are very different, so different that we can hardly tell they are illustrating the same template of Trumps, would that person pick the same Trumps every time to say the same thing in answer to the same question? My guess would be that, depending on just how vastly different the decks are, they might very well pick different Trumps, and probably more so for Minors, in their attempt to give the same answer to a single question.
Of course, if all one ever uses are decks that have had all the contrast of light and dark concepts removed or watered down... and we ask a question about dark things of life... the limited number of "dark" cards found in a "fluffy" watered down deck might cause the other person, or our "other self," to pick the same few cards every time when conveying dark ideas (see the essay Fluffy Bunny vs. Bind Oracle elsewhere on this site). But... with a deck like The Numerical Tarot, that employs balance, symmetry, contrast and consistency in its design, a more complete visual vocabulary might enable our "other self" to be more precise in how it speaks to us. That's the purpose of the system of analysis being presented everywhere on this site.
A byproduct of this Binary Buddy idea might be in how it supports the idea that we don't really need to study intended meanings at all, but only need to visually interpret what we see. But... in reality, there is nothing to imply that our "other self" who is always with us like a guardian angel, isn't also reading everything we read... or... hasn't impossibly read everything ever written about tarot... and everything else in the whole wide world! Thus, it is also possible that this "other self" picks cards out and arranges them NOT by visual content alone, but ALSO by the intended meanings given to them by their authors (see The Reasoned Response elsewhere on this site). It may do this in a completely balanced way, trying to only pick cards that say what it wants to say visually and verbally. Or, it might have a bias toward symbolic imagery, and only include a card for its verbal content when it can't find one with an adequate visual content.
If tested in a not-so-psychic way with a spouse - this time one who knows as much as anyone about the intended meanings of each card found within each deck - they might do the same thing... choose a card for what they know its intended meaning to be, even though the visual imagery might be a bit off from what they want to say. Give them another deck, like a deck that uses balance, symmetry, contrast and consistency, and the verbal and the visual content of each card might prove to be more focused and harmonious, thus allowing them to pick cards that say, BOTH verbally and visually, what they want to communicate in the most complete way possible.
So many of the stories and mythologies of our ancestors include heroes AND villains. They include spiritual highs AND dismal lows of life experience. Life today is not much different. So why use a psychically watered down "fluffy" deck to converse with "the other side" about the heroes and villains and highs and lows of life? Why tie one hand of our psychic self, behind its back? Just because we don't want our feelings hurt, and want every message to be one of healing and reassurance? I think those sentiments should be reserved for the interpretation process (see the essay Fluffy Bunny vs. Bind Oracle elsewhere on this site). While the acquisition of the psychic "answer" ... from the marriage of our Conscious and PreConscious Self with our SubConscious and UnConscious Binary Buddy, should be allowed to speak in more frank and open (and most importantly... complete) terms about what it "sees" happening at any given moment... before we put our "good" spin on it, or, as many might be inclined to do... retreat into denial (see The Reasoned Response or The Not-You Factor elsewhere on this site). A deck with balance, symmetry, contrast and consistency allows our "other self" to "tell it like it is" whether we like it or not, making tarot a blind oracle, free from bias. We can then impose our own bias or acts of denial upon the results to do what we want with that information, to suit our personal sensibilities
If we lived as much of our lives in a SubConscious and UnConscious state as most of us do in our Conscious and PreConscious state, our Binary Buddy would be our Conscious and PreConscious mind. But because so much of our life is spent in our Conscious and PreConscious mind, the idea of a Binary Buddy is mostly about the Self of our mind connected to the SubConscious and UnConscious. For an interesting, and slightly more in depth look at this "other side" that we only know through our SubConscious and UnConscious Binary Buddy, consult the essay The Pentacle Person, where the nature of our Binary Buddy is described using both the Major Trumps and Minor Suits of The Numerical Tarot deck. For more on how our Conscious and PreConscious merge with the SubConscious and UnConscious of our Binary Buddy to achieve true Psychic Knowing, consult the essays Knowing vs. Psychic Knowing and Signs of Knowing. Our Binary Buddy is not psychic alone... it takes two.