Having made a case (with the essays Stuck in the Mudaphor and The Vortex of Knowing, as well as essays like Imagine a Reason to Believe) in favor of balance in our perceptions of consciousness, let's examine further the case that many people make in favor of imbalance and adopting a lopsided perspective that is biased toward the subconscious, unconscious side of consciousness.
The Off Center Bias of Life
In order to live, we need to eat. That's survivalistic. Because of survivalistic needs, we act. Being active, in a world where we need to eat to survive, tends to engage our conscious minds, and the ways in which our intellect figures out what is going on around us in tangible, capture-able, edible, survivalistic ways. Beyond survivalistic needs to eat, there are also many other needs that we encounter, by virtue of being manifest entities amid other manifest entities, that cause us to utilize our intellect to figure stuff out. The simple need to not bump into each other in destructive, harmful ways that might terminate each others existence leads to the figuring out of traffic patterns, and the imposing of rules and regulations of behavior along the tangible pathways we create just to transport our manifest forms from point A to point B in spacetime (see the essay Rules are for Suckers elsewhere on this site).
Our minds span from conscious to unconscious. But our physical form represents an unavoidable bias toward one end of this spectrum - the end that deals with manifestation. By isomorphic translation, manifestation equates with being conscious, while being non-manifest equates with being unconscious. Thus... as manifest beings, we have a natural bias toward the conscious. We may have experiences that come close to being non-manifest when we sleep or meditate. But... unless we actually terminate our manifest form, we never fully and completely "know" the realm of the non-manifest - and hence the unconscious, as well as we could if we were actually non-manifest, or dead. Thus, our genetically programmed desires to live, lead to a natural bias toward conscious actions and other conscious and preconscious thoughts and instincts of a manifest entity surviving and being.
Because of this natural bias toward conscious survival and the living of a waking life, books on spirituality serve the need of reminding us of what we also are. Observing the natural bias that many of us have toward the conscious, survivalistic aspects of life, and further observing how locked into this mode of thinking many of us become... books on spirituality attempt to pull us away from this bias and bring us closer to this neglected or forgotten realm - the subconscious and unconscious of consciousness. Religion means re + ligare: to bind, tie us back to this realm. In this way, promoting a bias toward the subconscious and unconscious is justified. Thus making all the essays that are to be found around this site, which are devoted to developing a balanced perspective, more about the avoidance of spiritual fanaticism and the intoxication of imagination that befalls so many people when they finally let go of their survivalistic, conscious bias and allow the efforts of spiritually minded people to influence them.
One thing that is very common among spiritual belief systems is their observations about how survivalistic tendencies tend to promote dependencies and subsequent addictions in people who cling to life with insecurities about death, and how such addictive tendencies must be broken in order to venture out of comfort zones and explore these other realms of consciousness. But what many of these spiritual philosophies gloss over is just how addictive their spiritual ideas can be to those who have an inbred tendency toward addiction (see Consider the Source elsewhere on this site). For an addict to replace one addiction with another is not uncommon. Thus, essays on this site devoted to balance in consciousness are not designed to vilify spirituality in favor of the conscious realm, but to warn against this shifting of addiction from one realm to another. Leaders of spiritual cults and mainstream religions often don't care about rectifying someone's addiction to their spiritual ideas, because to them a member is a member - a saved soul, or paying customer - a soldier in the army of their ego. But the ideas on this site are not seeking prostrate devotees before an altar or collection plate, thus essays about avoiding spiritual addiction and the intoxication of imagination are put forth as a means of promoting good mental health, by avoiding addiction to either realm.
The essay Consider the Source attempts to address this issue of addiction, or dependence. It suggest that in fact a clear majority of people are addictive in one way or another. For some it is drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling or food. For others it manifests in their psychological need to cling to something they can believe in. Hence, the concept known to many spiritual advisors attempting to get people to let go - that of clinging to non-clinging, or clinging... to the idea of letting go... and subsequently overdoing it to an unhealthy extreme. This kind of replacement of one addiction with another is considered unhealthy. Hence, the essays on this site about balance. But... for those who are able to really and truly let go, and explore the forgotten realm of the non-manifest and unconscious in ways that also allow them to return to the conscious and integrate what they find with their conscious mind, the subconscious and unconscious can tell us a lot about who we are and why we do what we do. In this way, an occasional lopsided journey into this realm of thinking is beneficial.
Assuming the Worst
Many of those who write books on spirituality assume the worst of their reader. If we assume the worst about everyone, we would probably want to assume that everyone we are addressing is wrapped up in their survivalistic ways and conscious minds. We might additionally assume that they are addictive... and maybe even materialistic. We would assume that they base all they believe upon empirical evidence and logical conclusions born of rational thought processes of the conscious mind. We might also assume that they lack imagination, and are not subtle in their thinking of things. We would assume that they rely on facts and evidence to establish a concrete view of existence - a mechanical, clockwork universe. We might assume that they focus on tangible things, and miss the underlying, unifying patterns... that they focus on details and miss the big picture... that they collect a lot of dots, but never connect the dots. This would indeed be a good starting point for anyone trying to sell someone on the idea of another realm - a spiritual realm - that is being missed.
But... once we have identified the condition of our patient, we need to establish ways with which we can communicate the nature of this other realm. We could just instruct them to be the opposite of whatever they are, and hope for the best. Or... we could invent a theoretical, metaphorical, allegorical, analogical "map of consciousness" for them to use, in order to show them where on that map they are, and where on that map they may find this other realm. This is, in essence, the purpose of things like the Kabbalistic Tree of Life diagram, used by many to give structure to the tarot. It is also the purpose of the many diagrams being offered everywhere on this site, giving tarot a slightly different structure.
On this site, one will find many such diagrams and "maps of consciousness" that attempt to visually represent the terrain of consciousness. In fact, the very construction of the Numerical Tarot deck rests upon these many inventions. In the essay The Spine of Tarot, two realms of consciousness are clearly defined by the Major Trumps of The Numerical Tarot deck. In the essay Evolution of a Deck Design: The Matrix, this binary relationship is expanded to include the Minor Suits. In the essay The Accordionistic Dovetail Joint the relationship between the various suits is further clarified. In the essay A Spectrum of Possibilities and the charts on Deck Names, that describe the archetypal roots of each card/number this relationship between suits is further clarified. In the essay Content + Context = Meaning, the relativity of consciousness, and our ability to slip back and forth between sign and symbol, or conscious and unconscious, is also made visual with the use of a helpful diagram. In the essay Dreams and Dreaming, the idea of consciousness being a spectrum is made abundantly clear with the help of another diagram. And in the essays Stuck in the Mudaphor and The Vortex of Knowing, the benefits of balance between states of consciousness is put forth. Finally, the Shake the Trees game, and the Numbers in Space chart, Binary Influence Calculator, and Dream Analysis Calculator - and the Quintagrams they lead us to - give us a workable device for determining exactly where we are in our state of consciousness at any given moment in time.
All of these "maps of consciousness" (especially the Numbers in Space chart and its related calculators of influence) should serve well in pointing out to someone where they are on a theoretical map of consciousness, and where the other realm of the subconscious and unconscious resides, relative to their current state. Unlike most tarot decks, which do not organize the cards in a binary fashion where one suit describes one form of consciousness and a corresponding suit can then describe its opposite, the Numerical Tarot is well equipped to describe to someone both realms of consciousness, as well as identify - with Quintagrams - exactly how far they are into one realm or another at any given moment in time.
Unfortunately, the popularity of The Numerical Tarot is minimal, because it does not committ this act of assuming the worst about everyone. In that way, The Numerical Tarot fails, in that it does not assume everyone who looks at it to be locked into their conscious, survivalistic ways, and in great need to be pushed or dragged into their subconscious or unconscious mind. Thus it will be observed how the ideas on this site are devoted more toward the neutral, unbiased mapping of consciousness in all its binary glory, and not the elevating of one side of consciousness over another as naturally superior to the other. The ideas on this site actually assume that everyone is capable of a balanced perspective, once they understand the terrain, and that neither realm alone is superior to the other, nor should it ever become the exclusive habitat of any mind, to the vilification of the other. An unpopular view, yes. In this way The Numerical Tarot is indeed "The nail that sticks up."
Every Side Has Another Side
We have a natural bias toward life, living and the maintenance of our manifest form through conscious actions. But... with Numerical Tarot deck in hand, one can easily set about describing to someone the various forms of consciousness, both life giving and life ending, or conscious and unconscious... as well as how they work together in the balanced mind of a nearly balanced entity. Thus, in the Numerical Tarot, we see the suits of Addition/Diamond/Coin and Subtraction/Club/Stave as describing actions and thoughts of the conscious and preconscious mind. While Multiplication/Heart/Cup and Division/Spade/Sword describe the feelings and emotions of the subconscious and unconscious mind. In addition to that, the suits of Addition/Diamond/Coin and Multiplication/Heart/Cup describe ascending concepts of the lighter side of life and the maintaining of a manifest entity. While Subtraction/Club/Stave and Division/Spade/Sword describe descending concepts of the darker side of death and the letting go of our manifest state... or egos.
By organizing a deck of cards around the binary nature of the universe, each numerical position is shown to have a part in both the life and death of an entity, as well as the conscious, preconscious, subconscious and unconscious states of that entity (see Evolution of a Deck Design: The Matrix elsewhere on this site). The essay An Alchemistic Recipe addresses this idea, giving each number a purpose in the Solve et Coagula of life and death, or... amid the one sided existence of life itself, the periodic destruction of our ego. But... interestingly enough... a great majority of people in the world of tarot do not like the idea of including a path of death or destruction in the design of a tarot deck.
The essays Fluffy Bunny Tarot vs. Blind Oracle, and Good and Bad, Right and Wrong, Smile and Frown address this conflict of desires... which, of course, seem ironically contradictory to the other popular goal of... letting go, in order to understand the other realms of consciousness that are not directly associated with our positive, conscious, waking survivalistic needs. But that is the dysfunctional nature of tarot today. The Numerical Tarot is an attempt to rise above the denial and delusions of modern tarot and address all aspect of life and death with as much balance as can be conceived. The Numerical Tarot is not an enabler of those who want to live their life in a magic fairy garden of heavenly delights, expecting tarot to reassure them at every turn that everything is going to be alright. In the Numerical Tarot, every side has another side. What is that other realm? Let's explore it, FULLY, and COMPLETELY... to our death, or as close as we can come to understanding that realm while still being able to write and read these type-written words traversing between us.
The Pentacle Person vs. the Binary Buddy
In The Numerical Tarot, the suit that is identified as Addition/Diamond/Coin (which would correspond in the Rider/Waite/Smith tarot to the suit of Pentacles) is the suit that would probably best describe the person who is locked into their positive, conscious, survivalistic, materialistic, action oriented ways. Thus, as an arbitrary exercise, we could establish this as a Home Base, and from there examine how the other suits that oppose this one, in various binary ways, describe other realms that this "Pentacle Person" might be missing.
To review, there are two different ways we can oppose the suit of Addition/Diamond/Coin... (or Pentacles), in order to visit the realm of our Binary Buddy (see the essay A Binary Buddy elsewhere on this site). One is to look at the emotional equivalent of every action we find among our "Home Suit" of Addition/Diamond/Coin - i.e. the qualitative vs. the quantitative. The other is to look at the negative path that opposes the positive path described by Addition/Diamond/Coin. Let's begin with the positive negative split, using the Major Trumps of The Numerical Tarot (and their roughly equivalent representations in the Rider/Waite/Smith deck).
NOTE: For the most part, I'll be referencing my Numerical Tarot. Some ideas might fit with the ever-popular images of Rider/Waite/Smith, but not all. Also, I will give the card names of the illustrated card first, followed by its reverse name. When reading it will be noticed that many of the ideas will be seen to come more from these reverse meanings. Thus, it is advisable that the reader fully and completely acquaint themselves with the totality of this deck design before making judgments about the efficacy of this analysis in describing these various realms of consciousness.
Positive vs. Negative
1) The Jinni vs. The Jinx or Goad vs. Stoic or The Genius vs. The Idiot or Witling vs. Virgin
or... Magician vs. Wheel of Fate
The lesson to be taught here is to educate our Pentacle Person, locked into the positive realm as they are, about the nature of fate vs. will. In our waking minds we tend to think that force of will can make things so, then... the wheel of fate turns. Thus, to be more into our negative side we need to be more random and fatalistic in accepting whatever fate is coming our way. We need to be more of a naive fool. Don't think. Have no purpose in mind. Don't try to make things happen, let them happen. Any way the wind blows. Our Binary Buddy speaks the language of random. Thus shuffling is how cards are arranged.
Cerebral: Turn off your mind
Air: Just be
2) The Muse vs. The Haunt or Siren vs. Mystic or The Visionary vs. The Waif or Stalker vs. Wanderer
or... (No equivalent) vs. High Priestess (moved to the negative path)*
A Muse gives our Pentacle Person direction, thus reaffirming their notion that force of will can blaze a trail, then... the fog rolls in and we loose our way. Thus, to be more into our negative side, we would want to be more spontaneous. Take random fate, and apply no direction to it. Let those random feelings wander and get lost. Explore. Put on a blindfold, and only "see" what's in the mind. Our Binary Buddy has no eyes, and thus does not focus on a goal or path. Move toward the foggy depths of the mystical. Be more ambiguous. Or don't move at all. A mind that moves is a mind perceiving illusion.
Perceptual: Close your eyes
Water: Relax and float downstream
3) The Beauty vs. The Beast or Diva vs. Primitive or The Artist vs. The Slob or Snob vs. Peasant
or... Empress vs. Hanged Man
The Beauty seeks impossible perfection, proportion and symmetry, then... we find a flaw. The Primitive lives with nature and all its imperfect ways. To those who live with nature, nature is perfect just the way it is. In seeking perfection, the Pentacle Person is afraid to get their hands dirty. Our Binary Buddy is not so afraid. Crude, primitive expressions and sloppy results are par... for a course that begins with randomness and blind exploration. The Pentacle Person seeks to rise above the wild, brutish ways of nature. To be more negative the Pentacle Person should paint with a broader brush, like palm prints on a cave wall. Be wild, like an animal. To be more negative, build the callouses of a musician. Live the ascetic life.
Sensorial: Be sloppy, care less
Earth: Get your hands dirty
4) The Hero vs. The Villain or Bully vs. Catalyst or The Valiant vs. The Victim or Goon vs. Malleant
or... Emperor vs. Death
The strong think that they can build permanent structures that will never change, then... death comes along and changes everything. The lesson here is to not invest so much in tangible things and ideas of permanence. The building of great things tends toward the building of great egos. This is the card of the ego that must be destroyed. Our Binary Buddy has no ego. So... the Villain destroys our ego against our will. Or... the Catalyst reforms us with our will and permission. The Pentacle Person tries to define things, and develops strong opinions about the way things are, or should be. They bully others into agreeing. To be more into the negative realm of our Binary Buddy we need to tear down this wall! Be flexible. Let your mind be bent.
Visceral: Go with your gut
Fire: Burn all textbooks of learning
5) The Wizard vs. The Witch or Dictator vs. Radical or The Medium vs. The Misfit or Puppet vs. Eccentric
or... Hierophant vs. Temperance**
People locked into their positive, conscious side are often obsessed with control and the controlling of everything around them. They manipulate and dominate like a dictator, then... something goes wrong. Something doesn't fit, and they have a fit. Thus, like the idea of randomness found at the beginning of this path, the lesson here is to take our hands off the wheel and loose control. Our Binary Buddy is an eccentric maverick, so shake things up. Don't be rational. Break the rules. Cause trouble. Be a disruptive influence. Go the other way, just to see where it goes. Zig, when the others zag. Be different. Have an adventure.
Elemental: Let the force be with you
Essence: Only do what's necessary or essential
6) The Angel vs. The Devil or Temptress vs. Joker or The Royal vs. The Reject or Addict vs. Stranger
or... Lovers vs. Devil
Once our strong willed egos have manipulated control over things and created the illusion of permanence, we tend to hang on to those things for dear life, then... they get taken away. We cherish our permanent things, and can't live without them. We cling to them like lovers in a passionate embrace. This is where we develop the addictions and dependencies so many spiritual philosophies work at breaking. Our Binary Buddy has no such addictions to things like manifest existence, things, or life. So to be more in the negative, we must let go... detach. View addictions as The Devil and move away. Or, be like The Devil and pervert our minds away from those positive, conscious, materialistic things we cling to. All those things we see as "good" because of how they enhance and maintain our life and existence, must be trashed. Our Binary Buddy is a detached observer with no material possessions. So to be more negative, live in poverty. Clinging to the positive also fosters a sense of certainty - the equidistant relative of permanence. To be more in the negative, we need to embrace uncertainty and our uncertain future. Forget the past. We need to play in the future.
Visceral: Let go, and play
Fire: Have a bonfire of the vanities
7) The Saint vs. The Sadist or Idol vs. Heathen or The Virtuist vs. The Sinner or Idolater vs. Pagan
or... Chariot vs. Tower
The tangible things we cling to become idolized, sanctified and deified. We put them on an altar, inside a church, mosque or temple and worship them as the unchanging things and beliefs that will give us permanent life and happiness, then... an iconoclast comes along and topples everything like a crumbling tower. On the positive side, our body is our temple. We master our conscious, waking life of existence by mastering the opposites that affect us. We build the walls of our ego and enclose ourselves in the skin of body armor. But our Binary Buddy has no body, or skin, so to be more into the negative, those idolized fetishes and protective coverings need to go. Only by dissolving our skin can we connect to the negativity of the other side. So touch nothing with nothing. Have no body. Build no churches. Construct no altars. Meditate until all sense of existence and physical senses are gone. Reality is a dream. No residence. No body. No meaning. Stop making sense. Be illusory. Disconnect from reality. In the dark, we are all the same.
Sensorial: Disconnect from everything, connect to nothingness
Earth: Leave the reality of your body, and existence, behind
8) The Lumina vs. The Wraith or Zealot vs. Psychopomp or The Vivian vs. The Sickling or Fanatic vs. Cathartic
or... Strength vs. Star
Once the force of our will has created permanent idols we can cling to, the Pentacle Person develops bias and bigotry toward things outside their illuminated sphere, then... the lights go out. On the positive side, with the help of the aforementioned addictions, the enthusiasm of the Pentacle Person snowballs, or mushrooms. Lots of time and energy is put toward fanatical perceptions of lofty, goals that can be reached. Our Binary Buddy has no goals. On the negative side, our Binary Buddy is relaxed. On the negative side our energy goes with the flow, fluctuating this way and that with the random current. The lights are turned down low, or off, and darkness is our friend. Like its equidistant relative, where we closed our eyes. They are still closed. And we are now leaving our body. We are so relaxed we are but one step away from knowing actual death, which... would make us the most balanced we can be... that is... while still remaining alive. So... be a ghost. Purge all life fluids and die... metaphorically speaking!
Perceptual: See more by not looking. Narrow vision to nothing
Water: Wash away existence
9) The God vs. The Ghoul or Overlord vs. Mortician or The Sage vs. The Corpse or Windbag vs. Vestige
or... Hermit vs. Moon
The Pentacle Person lives on a hamster wheel. Goals are set. Goals are met. New goals are set. Knowledge is acquired. Encyclopedias are filled. Like a sphere becoming the beginning point of an endless continuation of manifest utterances, the Pentacle Person goes around and around in an endless attempt to maintain order out of chaos, then... we die. When we die, all that order returns to the chaos. Our Binary Buddy lives in the chaos. Like the randomness of its equidistant partner, to be more negative, we need to embrace the chaos. Learn to live with the chaos. Learn how to use the chaos. If death is our fate, learn the art of dying. The negative side is dark and silent. Enjoy the silence. Empty the mind.
Cerebral: Go crazy
Air: Go with the wind
In order for this chart to make any sense, we have to alter the appearance of the Major Trumps from that of tradition (see the essay The Spine of Tarot elsewhere on this site). That is why this approach to tarot is presented as an alternative. The fact that most people will more than likely refuse to make such alterations from that of tradition, means that the beauty of this approach will never be found. But... even without altering the form of tradition, the number of places where this pattern makes sense, makes traditional decks at least a bit useful in illustrating these concepts. For example, most traditionalists would probably agree that: The Magician is deliberate, with a calculating mind and The Wheel is random. The Emperor is stable and unchanging and Death is changing. The Lovers are comitted and certain and The Devil is uncertain. The Hermit is complete and ordered and The Moon is chaotic... or luny. Less precise: If we take The High Priestess as a Shekinah, she is clear, and if more people would illustrate Justice with her blindfold ON, she could represent ambiguity. The beauty of The Empress is nature tamed, while The Hanged Man is a wild beast. The Chariot's mastery of opposites establishes a sense of reality, while The Lightning Struck Tower reminds us of the illusory nature of our constructs of reality. Thus... the reality-bound Pentacle Person falls to the left side of this diagram, dealing with the superficially apparent unchanging, certain nature of matter, the tame, tangible nature of reality, the clear, consistent nature of energy and the calculated, ordered nature of totality... while their Binary Buddy falls to the right side of this diagram, reminding us of the random, chaotic nature of totality, the ambiguous, fluctuating nature of energy, the wild, illusory nature of reality, and the changing, uncertain nature of matter... as it deals with more archetypally conceptual notions like Frame, Flow, Form, Force and Function.
Nothing is certain, that's for sure (6). The only constant is change (4). Reality is a dream (7). See more by not looking (2). These oxymorons remind us of how the two worlds of Pentacle Person and Binary Buddy merge and blend together to create a hybrid perception of the universe, and our place in it, that is rooted in paradox (the "Godforce" of this particular approach to tarot and consciousness). So... even though this essay had intentions of being unbalanced, in order to make a point about another realm our Binary Buddy can show us, one look at this "map of consciousness" leads inevitably to thoughts of how these two worlds work together. What can I say... balance is my bias! (8).
So, to summarize... if we want to move away from our conscious, preconscious, waking, living, surviving self of tangible things that we cling to for life, we should 1) be more of a random fool, 2) be more spontaneous and ambiguous, 3) be sloppy and wild, 4) be open to change, 5) let go of control, 6) let go of cherished people places and things, 7) meditate, 8) relax, 9) be silent... empty our mind.
With knowledge of this dynamic in mind, we could now set about the task, familiar to so many spiritual philosophies, of making the Pentacle People we know feel inferior for missing this supposedly "superior" path. Thus, if we wanted to ridicule or pity the Pentacle Person for not "getting it" we would lament 1) how predictable and deliberate they are, like the willful minded Magician or Jinni, rather than random, like the mercurial Wheel of Fate or Jinx. We would wince at 2) how obvious and clear they are, like an inspiring Muse, rather than ambiguous and blind, like the mysterious High Priestess or Haunt... or Justice... if more people would illustrate Justice with her blindfold ON! We would pity them for 3) their pursuit of perfection and refinement, like the beautiful Empress or Beauty, rather than wild earthiness like the slovenly Hanged Man or Beast. We would laugh at 4) their attempts to define and determine the unchanging nature of things, like the constructive Emperor or Hero, rather than progressively instigating change, like destructive Death or Villain. We would cringe at 5) their controlled use of logic and reason, an adherence to rules, like the authoritative Hierophant, rather than being irrational and illogical without rules, like the uncontrolled, recalcitrant Witch. We would bemoan 6) their misguided thoughts of certainty, like marrying Lovers looking to the future, rather than embracing the uncertainty of the dubious Devil. We would groan at 7) pursuits of tangible success, like the victorious Chariot, rather than yielding to the illusory nature of the leveled ego of the fallen Tower. We would be shocked by 8) their unbridled enthusiasm, like the consistently energetic Lumina, suggesting instead a relaxed, fluctuating purge of energy, like the subdued Star. We would ridicule 9) their attempts to explain things in orderly ways, like the knowledgeable Hermit, rather than embracing the lunacy of chaos, like the empty night of the Moon.
Add these ideas to the ones mentioned in Verse 82, and the Pentacle Person should be well on their way to finding the other side of life, where their Binary Buddy may be found.
* Depending on how one views The High Priestess, she could represent the concepts of a Muse, and thereby remain on the positive side. Thus leaving the blindfold of Justice to make us wander or stop in our tracks.
** Temperance doesn't really fit with the ideas presented in The Numerical Tarot. Temperance fits better with the ideas presented by The Wizard and The Medium.
Quantitative vs. Qualitative
Now let's look to the Minor Suits, to see how we can further break down the differences between our Pentacle Person, locked into materialism and empiricism, and our Binary Buddy from the other side. In these comparisons, we will be contrasting between the suit of Addition/Diamond/Coin... (or, Pentacles)... and the suits of Multiplication/Heart/Cup, as that suit describes the Qualitative or Right Brained side our perceptions.
Above is a diagram to use in visualizing the difference between Quatitative Left-Brained thinking and Qualitative 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 (!).
Consult the essay A Binary Buddy to learn more about how and why our minds are indeed binary. Then, turn this diagram 90 degrees, so that the base of the pyramid is grounded and duplicate The Died on His Side mandala.
1) The Fast Beginning vs. The Nascent State
To begin with, a Pentacle Person begins, whereas... our Binary Buddy just is. A Pentacle Person breaks things down into beginning, middle and end, or birth, life and death. But for our Binary Buddy, there is no beginning, middle or end, only eternal presence, unity and infinite expanse. So, to be more qualitative, just be... here... now.
2) The Fluent Action vs. The Open Relationship
The Pentacle Person is ruled by time and motion. They move their physical existence from place to place, based on these measured notions. But for our Binary Buddy there is no time or motion, only relativistic relationships between destinations. The Pentacle Person walks a road of linear direction. Our Binary Buddy navigates a web of relative distances. So, to be more qualitative, understand the relative relationships of the web. No measuring. No sequence. Loose track of linear time.
3) The Refined Creation vs. The Perfect Bond
The Pentacle Person deals with actual, corporeal things that are created and can be bumped into. Things that can be touched are real. But for our Binary Buddy, reality is more about the bond that is made between the aforementioned relationships. Life is about the reality we create in our minds. So to be more qualitative, recognize the bond of connectedness between things which exists beneath the tangible surfaces of reality. Use the connections of a perfect bond to establish a firm foundation.
4) The Ameliorate Event vs. The Stable Foundation
The Pentacle Person has a proclivity to build upon the existence they have, and to try and make it bigger and better. The Pentacle Person builds, using the aforementioned things of reality. But our Binary Buddy will not allow us to build until we have established a firm and stable foundation. So to be more qualitative, acknowledge the foundation before building. Know the archetypal armature of the web before throwing the clay. Study the blank canvas before dipping the brush.
5) The Controlled Middle vs. The Settled Union
The Pentacle Person has to manipulate physical objects, or conscious minds, in order to negotiate life affirming contracts and maintain order. Like an alchemist mixing literal quantities, opposites are brought together about a crystalline middle. To the Pentacle Person, it's about mastering opposites. But our Binary Buddy is more like the philosophical alchemist, blending opposites into a wholistic, amorphous union. So to be more qualitative, stir opposites together into an integrated whole. Eliminate opposites. Be gray.
6) The Increasing Evolution vs. The Familiar Environment
The Pentacle Person tends to accumulate things, and depend upon them to provide certainty about the future. For many wealth equals health. But our Binary Buddy, is more interested in the aforementioned relationships and bonds, and the foundations they provide, making things more about the nurturing of what has been established. Wealth equals a supportive environment. The equidistant foundation supports and nurtures in proportion to its strength. So to be more qualitative establish a nurturing environment, get involved. Share.
7) The Credible Realization vs. The Pure Synthesis
The Pentacle Person focuses on the successful realization of manifestation. Meaning and purpose are dependent upon the success of planted seeds. Things that are realized add to a sense of reality. But our Binary Buddy comes from the other side - the side of fantasy. Like the bonds of its equidistant relative, our Binary Buddy is more about the synthesis of thought that accompanies tangible success... seeing the interconnectedness of things as a whole... imagining how things could fit as a unified entity. So to be more qualitative, be more imaginative. Live in a fantasy world of possible connections.
8) The Cumulative Discharge vs. The Broad Perspective
The Pentacle Person lives for the payoff of the aforementioned success of realizations. Like sexual orgasm, the charge that one gets from success is a measure of that measured process of success. Like its equidistant partner, this charge motivates ameliorate progress forward and upward. But, also like the equidistant partner, our Binary Buddy is more about the broadened perspective that accompanies this explosive radiating end. So to be more qualitative keep a broad perspective. A broad perspective aids in the finding and making of the aforementioned connections. So, acknowledge the space displaced.
9) The Affirmative End vs. The Ordered Infinity
The Pentacle Person is goal oriented. Like the aforementioned accumulative nature, and the aforementioned dependence upon success, they accumulate goals, and the conscious knowable knowledge that they represent. Each goal that is met becomes the starting point of a new climb to success. A finite end wraps things up in with neat little bow. But to our Binary Buddy these goals are not so much about the tangible success that leads to knowledge, but more about the wholistic ordering of infinity into patterns. So to be more qualitative study the patterns more than the things.
|As mentioned in the previous diagram, shown above, balance is my bias. So, even though this essay is supposed to be intentionally lopsided, in order to reveal to us the realm inhabited by our Binary Buddy, acknowledgement of opposites, and particularly their interdependence upon each other in the mapping of consciousness, is inevitable! Thus, in summing up the Quantitative Pentacle Person vs. the Qualitative Binary Buddy, we see in this diagram how being more of one makes us less of the other. For more on this idea, consult the essay The Accordionistic Dovetail Joint. Then... place the triangles in this diagram within the gray area seen in the map of consciousness presented in the essay Stuck in the Mudaphor or The Vortex of Knowing, and view them like vertebra in The Spine of Tarot!!
So, to summarize... if we want to move away from our conscious, preconscious, waking, living, surviving self of tangible things that make life real, we should 1) just be, 2) harmonize, 3) bond with nature, 4) know the lay of the land, 5) blend, 6) nurture, 7) imagine, 8) open up, 9) embrace orderly patterns.
If we want to ridicule or pity the Pentacle Person who doesn't "get it" we would cringe at their attempts to know how this all began, or how it will end. We would pity their linear thinking. We would laugh at their sense that anything is real. We would bemoan their materialistic grip on things rather than emotional bonds. As mentioned earlier in this essay, in illustrating these ideas, a traditional deck might fall short. But even in a deck like the Rider/Waite/Smith some of these ideas come across rather well. The 2 of Pentacles is about motion, while the 2 of Cups is about relative distance. The 3 of Pentacles is about sculpting a corporeal body (the walls of a church), while the 3 of Cups is about an invisible bond of love. The 6 of Pentacles shows material wealth being given, while the 6 of Cups shows ethereal or emotional wealth being given. The 7 of Pentacles is about the successful growth of a seed into a ripened plant, while the 7 of Cups is more about the invisible synthesis that imagined and visualized that success - the fantasized reality of the mind.
Add these ideas to the ones just covered with the Major Trumps, and the ones mentioned in Verse 82, and the Pentacle Person should be well on their way to finding the other side of life, where their Binary Buddy may be found.
The observant reader might have noticed how all the ideas in the last progression were all positive sounding concepts that may have even seemed to lead to a state of enlightenment... whereas, the progression that utilized positive and negative Major Trumps seemed to lead to a darker end that brought us as close to actual death as a still living entity could possibly get. This realization thus leads us to further examine the qualitative aspects of that darker path, as seen in the Minor Suit of Division/Spade/Sword.
For those who have studied the rest of this site, it is known that for every Major Trump there are two rows of Minor Suits that repeat the same ideas with this more specific Quantitative/Qualitative breakdown of ideas (see Evolution of a Deck Design: The Matrix elsewhere on this site). Thus, the suits of Subtraction/Club/Stave (or Wand), and Division/Spade/Sword, repeat the ideas found within the negative progression of Major Trumps (what would be equivalent to cards 10 through 18 in a more traditional deck like Rider/Waite/Smith). Thus, in order to examine the qualitative nature of this negative path it will be helpful to compare and contrast the positive ideas just presented in the suit of Multiplication/Heart/Cup (which lead to enlightenment), with the ideas held by the suit of Division/Spade/Sword and its path to something this study of consciousness calls "Endarkenment" (see the essay Be Gray Every Day elsewhere on this site for a more complete explanation of "Endarkenment" as well as Enlightenment and "Engrayment").
1) The Nascent State vs. The Dormant State
Enlightenment says be nascent... as in coming into being, full of potential. Endarkenment says to not be at all. Be quiet and dormant. Don't exist. Don't be. Don't think. Abstinence purifies the mind.
2) The Open Relationship vs. The Closed Relationship
Enlightenment says to be open to influences and observe the obvious. Endarkenment says to close the eyes and shut out the clutter of existence. See more by not looking.
3) The Perfect Bond vs. The Imperfect Bond
Enlightenment says bond with nature and existence. Endarkenment says to break that bond with existence, in order to not exist. The body is just an illusory shell. Sacrifice the body.
4) The Stable Foundation vs. The Unstable Foundation
Enlightenment says establish a foundation for existence to build. Endarkenment says be vulnerable, like a person who is asleep. Embrace endless changes. Be unattached and homeless.
5) The Settled Union vs. The Unsettled Union
Enlightenment says unify the parts with temperance* - i.e. alchemistic Coagula. Endarkenment says agitate the parts to disintegration - i.e. alchemistic Solve.
6) The Familiar Environment vs. The Unfamiliar Environment
Enlightenment says establish an augmenting rhythm of cycles that nurture each other. Endarkenment says detach, let go of the familiar, and embrace the uncertainty of the darkness ahead.
7) The Pure Synthesis vs. The Impure Synthesis
Enlightenment says connect to the light and see everything as one connected entity. Endarkenment says connect to the dark and see nothingness as one continuum of infinite connectedness... to nothing.
8) The Broad Perspective vs. The Narrow Perspective
Enlightenment says a broad perspective takes in more light, and becomes enlightened. Endarkenment says a narrow perspective is less influenced by existence and more focused on less and less. Purge existence. Purify the mind.
9) The Ordered Infinity vs. The Chaotic Infinity
Enlightenment says being one with the all-knowing of everything is divine. Endarkenment says having no mind is divine. A mind that is completely empty is divine. Don't fear the dark.
Of course, a Pentacle Person would commonly associate an empty mind with death - i.e. being braindead. And... in order to experience such a state to its fullest extent a living breathing person would indeed have to die. But... by practicing things like meditation and hypnosis we can approach this Divine state while remaining alive. In this way, lopsided thinking fanatics who vilify, ridicule or pity the ways of the Pentacle Person have something to offer in helping such a person destroy their ego, find their Binary Buddy, and thereby be introduced to their subconscious and unconscious mind.
* In this analysis, Temperance is moved to the positive side, as number 5.
Assuming the Best
By comparing the qualities of the suit of Addition/Diamond/Coin... or Pentacles, in both Positive and Negative ways, as well as Quantitative and Qualitative ways, we have covered a lot of ground... and in a somewhat brief and sketchy way. But... that's OK... because being brief and sketchy is good, as it is itself one of the many ways of thinking and approaching life that is foreign to The Pentacle Person! But... in being sketchy we have only scratched the surface of important qualities that are to be found in the subconscious, unconscious, or qualitative realm of our Binary Buddy. People who argue in favor of approaching life and tarot with a lopsided view toward this qualitative realm could undoubtedly add a lot more to this analysis. But that's not the point. The point of this essay was not to cover everything, but only to show how the construction of The Numerical Tarot addresses both the conscious, preconscious, subconscious and unconscious realms of existence, and non-existence, equally. The point was to show how every Pentacle-born action we commit has a corresponding Cup-born feeling or emotion that comes from the realm of the mysterious or qualitative realm of our subconscious and unconscious (see The Vortex of Knowing elsewhere on this site). Likewise, for every life - or ego preserving action and emotion, there is an opposite life - or ego ending action and emotion in the suits of Subtraction/Club/Stave... or Wands, and Division/Spade/Sword (see An Alchemistic Recipe elsewhere on this site).
In The Numerical Tarot, no card stands alone. Build an ego, or destroy and ego. Commit tangible, conscious acts upon reality, or contemplate feelings, emotions and patterns of fantasy. Break things down into beginning, middle and end, or unite them into a wholistic unity of bond, union and synthesis. The Numerical Tarot is a tool for knowing where we are when fluctuating and/or modulating between these positive and negative states, quantitative and qualitative perceptions, provocative and evocative approaches, attached and detached viewpoints or active and passive phases of development (see the essay Numbers in Space elsewhere on this site). I don't know of any other tarot deck that is laid out this way, and is thus capable of such a full and complete vocabulary for describing our cycles of life and death, existence and non-existence, or conscious and unconscious... and everything in between.
By mapping these various states, perceptions, approaches, viewpoints and phases of development with a tool like the Quintagrams (presented elsewhere on this site) we completely cover all of humanity in a single deck of cards that we can hold in our hands. For example: with this in mind, one might logically observe how - in The Numerical Tarot deck - the combination of ego destruction and qualitative qualities converge in the suit of Division/Spade/Sword. As negative concepts were already identified as closest to the concept of actual or metaphorical death, it is thus not surprising to realize that the Quintagram which partakes exclusively of the Negative/Divestive, Qualitative/Implicit, Expressive/Evocative, Exclusive/Detached, and Passive/Pensive - the 9 of Swords - would relate to concepts of emptiness, death and dying. Thus we see in this analysis how a map of consciousness that is built with opposites in mind can indeed tell us exactly where we are.
Once we know where we are on a map (or in the case of Quintagrams, a grid) of consciousness, we can decide whether to pursue balance or not (see The Vortex of Knowing elsewhere on this site). As stated at the beginning of this essay, it is not the goal of this study of tarot and consciousness to draw anyone out of their conscious mind and bombard them with ideas born exclusively from the subconscious and unconscious realm, while working under the assumption that that is what everyone who reads this essay needs. This study of tarot and consciousness decides instead to assumes the best of people, and assumes that once someone knows where they are on a map of consciousness they will move to whatever side is appropriate for any given situation. And then... if they desire the most transformative experience possible, they will balance out one experience with its opposite so that they don't get stuck thinking only one way, and subsequently talking down to others who, by comparison, they view as stuck in an opposite, inferior realm. Don't do that! Stay balanced! (see Stuck in the Mudaphor elsewhere on this site).
This essay was designed to feature the subconscious and unconscious realm and our theoretical "Binary Buddy" who knows all about everything, because of its bond, union and synthesis with the nothingness from which all manifestation emerges. If you find this realm intriguing, by all means explore it! There are many other essays around this site that have plenty to say about the subconscious and unconscious. Just don't let yourself be so taken by the power of those other ways that you become drunk on imagination, fantasy, and personal meaning to the point of forsaking and vilify the conscious life. This essay was purposefully unbalanced to make a point. And implicit in that point is how being unbalanced is not healthy. So I urge you to seek out the other essays on this site devoted more to a balanced perspective.
Any path we might describe with the numbers of numerology, and the theoretical model of existence being put forth everywhere on this site, works best when we consider the contribution of both positive and negative, quantitative and qualitative, or male and female, together in tandem. No card should EVER stand alone. Too many people approach tarot in a card by card way, without ever examining the wholistic nature of the archetypal armature beneath each image that gives each card its meaning. That's the way a Pentacle Person would approach tarot! So, if we are to learn from those who are lopsided toward the wholistic, qualitative view of things, we should take the time to learn the whole system being presented on this site. Only by examining the archetypal armature being presented everywhere on this site can one fully appreciate the transformative power of The Numerical Tarot, and be subsequently transformed.