In the essay The Pentacle Person, we explored what kinds of things a person locked into their Conscious, waking, logical, rational mind is missing, regarding other aspects of consciousness. In this essay, we will explore further, the many reasons for not being such a Pentacle Person. In the essay The Pentacle Person we also acknowledged a bias toward life and living, as we contrasted this bias against the bias other people have towards other forms of consciousness that they often come to view as superior to that of Conscious, waking, life. In the essay Dreams and Dreaming we also acknowledge a bias toward living over that of how dead we appear to become while sleeping and dreaming. In the essay Stop Being So Human, a bias toward life was also an issue. This bias is important, and will therefore be restated at the beginning of this essay as a review.
The Reality Bias
In the essay The Totality of Reality an idea is presented wherein we are meant to view consciousness as one continuous spectrum of reality, in different forms, or layers... or states of reveal... from a wholistic "uncarved block" of unity... through the binary steps of Quintagrams that represent the influence of opposites upon our psyche... to a segmented, or "carved block" of diversity. In this way reality is meant to be seen as both the tangible forms we bump into while awake, as well as the thoughts we conjure up while dreaming. In the essay Dreams and Dreaming, it was pointed out how states of consciousness that are nearest to the threshold of our MidConscious (the area between our PreConscious and SubConscious) have at least a partial awareness of each others influence upon each other, as we enter and leave our dreams and waking life. It was then implied that the extremes of Conscious and UnConscious are more likely to loose such awareness of each other, or... view each others state as completely separate worlds with separate realities, and not part of any shared spectrum. In this way, our common use of the word reality, as opposite from fantasy, dreams, imagination and spirituality, comes to represent another form of The Life Bias mentioned in other essays.
Lots and lots of people have a bias toward this common conception of tangible, conscious reality being a completely separate opposite to that of fantasy, because of how doing so helps us negotiate our waking life, and thereby protect and preserve life and living against all the "real" things we might bump into in life detracting ways. We tend to ignore our fantasies, dreams and imagination because of how disconnected from this tangible reality they appear to be, and how useless they therefore seem to be in choreographing these navigations through tangible reality. People who are painfully locked into this common view of reality are the ones that spiritual philosophies attempt to convert by convincing them that the reality of their manifest existence is an illusion, or in some cases... a mistake, or fall from grace, that must be redeemed by shedding or washing it away, like so much sinful filth, on our way back to a spiritual union with God. For reasons explained in the essay Consider the Source, I don't buy into this "shedding of filth" doctrine... but I do advocate the exploring of the SubConscious and UnConscious for how it can balance out a mind and make it aware of the full spectrum of consciousness that it shares with others.
I believe it is a good thing for anyone to explore their SubConscious and UnConscious realms. And I don't believe in the popular conception of reality as a separate world from that of dreams. But... because of The Life and/or Reality Bias, it is sometimes helpful to acknowledge how such conceptions of consciousness come to be, and how such views may limit our explorations into the SubConscious and UnConscious of consciousness. In both mentions of The Life Bias it is pointed out how our state of living prevents us from fully and completely "knowing" the UnConscious as well as we would if we were permanently UnConscious... or dead. Thus, by the sheer fact of being a living breathing thing, our excursions into the UnConscious are limited by our staying alive during the process. In this way, like it or not... we remain tethered to life, no matter how far we explore into our SubConscious or Unconscious. Like a kite wandering through the sky, but attached with a string to the ground, we are tethered to life. Like a deep sea diver exploring the depths of the oceans, with oxygen tube to the surface, we are tethered to life. Like an astronaut leaving the capsule and floating in space, we are tethered to life. Even those who practice Meditation with Astral Projection mention the existence of a silver thread that runs between our meditating Self and our astrally projected Self, thus making Astral Projection similar to the kite flying analogy.
|We are tethered to life... and death... to being awake... and alseep. Here is a detail taken from the Paradox in the Lotus mandala, seen in the essay Stop Being So Human, that might illustrate this condition. Can this tether be severed?
Everything we experience in our explorations, once considered... is considered... relative to the life and living of a conscious individual, or a conscious society of individuals doing the considering. Unless... of course... we are smart enough to Stop Being So Human!! In the essay Stop Being So Human we are instructed to not put so much value on life, because of how doing so can limit our experience of the whole spectrum of life and death. Thus... if we were to choose to stop being so human, our exploration of the UnConscious would resemble the movie character "The Incredible Mr. Limpet" who, in being granted the wish of being a fish, is able to explore the sea as a fish... leaving his human form behind. Another analogy might be Major Tom from the David Bowie song, who chooses to sever his connection to life on Earth and venture out into the void of outer space. Thus, the need to sever our tether to life, causes people "on the surface" or back at "mission control" to view people this detached from our socially constructed reality as absolutely "out of touch" with reality. In point of fact, these "out of touch" people
are still on the same spectrum of reality as those who are supposedly "in touch" with reality, but... because of our common conceptions of reality and being human... being less human tends to lead to a state of consciousness that Conscious waking humans perceive as out of touch with reality.
We are tethered to life, by refusing to die. But, for some, the tether we really ought to be concerned with is not the one we have to tangible reality and life, but the one we have to the intangible unity of Divinity that birthed us - the nothingness out of which our manifest state evolved. To many, all our worldly problems stem from the idea that our tether to forms of unifying, enlightening spirituality and Divinity have been severed. In other words... we fell from grace, and our bungee cord snapped!... leaving us stuck in this prison we call life. Hence, religion attempts to fill the need we have for re-linking us to that spiritual tether, so that we might spring back toward the Divine side of the consciousness spectrum. In pursuing this path, it is often felt that a sever of our tether to the Conscious side would assist us in moving further toward the UnConscious side. Thus... even those who acknowledge reality and consciousness as a spectrum, often choose a bias toward the spiritual side that creates a world in their head that is virtually separate from the Conscious side. They see reality and consciousness as a spectrum... they just don't want to have anything to do with the Conscious or PreConscious side... the side we commonly refer to as our tangible, socially constructed reality. Because the cold hard realities of life can be so cold and hard... the side with the cold hard realities threaten to crush the fragile beliefs of the opposite extreme. Thus, like someone who doesn't want to wake up, because they are having such a beautiful dream, some do everything they can to stay as exclusively into the fantasy, dream, imagination and spirituality side of consciousness as they can... and as a result end up making the other side an enemy. To them, the appropriate response to the threat of cold hard reality is to take a leap of faith and hope that the bungee cord that tethers us to cold hard reality is the one that snaps... leaving us stuck in the world of fantasy, dreams, imagination and spirituality (see the essay Stuck in the Mudaphor elsewhere on this site).
The unfortunate sever of our tether to the spiritual, imaginative, dream and fantasy side of life might be true for some... or even many... among those locked into perceptions of tangible Conscious reality. But... in reality... the potential to sever our tether runs both ways. Below is a chart to illustrate this dynamic of consciousness. The chart below shows how we have a tether to the UnConscious and SubConscious, and notions of fantasy that, if broken, could lead to a lack of imagination and creativity. It also shows how we have a tether to our Conscious and PreConscious mind and its notions of reality that, if broken, could lead to delusional, wishful thinking and/or paranoia. If we look at the chart presented at the very beginning of the essay The Vortex of Knowing, we can see how a mind that moves to either extreme will encounter questionable results. The Conscious side becomes stuck in reality only believing what it sense, and the UnConscious side gets stuck in fantasy only sensing beliefs. Thus, those in the world of tarot have a good argument, when trying to get Conscious rational-dominant people to let go of memorized facts, figures, names, dates and authored meanings of individual cards, and just imagine all the possibilities based on what is in front of them in the moment. But... likewise, those from the world of reality also have a good argument, when trying to get the UnConscious irrational-dominant people to let go of their pleasant dreams, fantasies and delusions and sober up!
Look Out for that Dream!
by Guy Palm
LOOK OUT !! ?
We can only sever our tether to life and living by dying. But when living breathing people attempt to come as close to such a state as they possibly can, a near sever of their tether to life and Conscious tangible reality can at times lead to things like delusional or paranoid thinking. That is... if they ever attempt to "bring to the surface" all the experiences they experience while detached from common, socially constructed reality. Because of The Life Bias, and the need to coordinate and negotiate manifest existence in life preserving ways... things brought back from explorations into the worlds of fantasy, dreams, imagination and spirituality tend to get scrutinized for how much sense they make to our human world of common socially constructed reality. And while delusional fantasies, imaginative dreams, paranoid hallucinations, and spiritual visions might entertain us as mythological stories and popular movies or be useful as metaphors and analogies... if our Conscious mind is not able to process them in ways that enhance our perceptions of common socially constructed reality they tend to get rejected as nonsense. Living waking humans mostly prefer things to make sense, so that we can assess their life enhancing or life detracting potential and either get into the path of them, or out of the way of them (see the essay Imagine a Reason to Believe elsewhere on this site).
|Can we really sever the tether we have to either form of consciousness? Some try. But should they? Many wise people have been quoted as finding the TRUTH somewhere in the middle. How do we get to the middle?
It is true that a lot of people's perceptions about things are biases according to the reality side of the reality/fantasy spectrum. In fact it is often difficult to find words within our language that don't express this bias. Even the words SubConscious and UnConscious imply an examination of consciousness with a bias toward Conscious perception as "normal" and these other forms as something "sub" normal. Same with the word irrational. Thus, it is this Conscious bias, and the often dismissive attitude to ideas brought back from the fantasy side of our fantasy/reality spectrum that most enthusiasts of tarot object to the most, because... not all explorations into fantasy, dreams, imagination and spirituality lead to delusional or paranoid thinking. The essays on this site devoted to a balanced perspective clearly advocate explorations into fantasy, dreams, imagination and spirituality... but, as a complement to rational reckoning... as different from making fantasy, dreams, imagination and spirituality the exclusive, lopsided habitat some people would prefer it to be. Thus, the problem with a sever of our tether to life and Conscious thought is in how it leads to lopsided thinking with no hope of such balance or temperance. In these instances, a sever of our tether to the Conscious mind can lead to extremes that are unhealthy... just as unhealthy as the alleged sever of our tether to fantasy, dreams, imagination and spirituality that many believe to be afflicting most rational, waking, Conscious people.
People tend to move to severed states in the same way our minds appear to sever from each other during waking and sleeping consciousness. Drifting off to sleep is usually somewhat gradual for most people. Then... at a certain point, we seem to loose all connection to the Conscious mind that is being left behind and fall into deep sleep. Waking up is also somewhat gradual for some. Then... at a certain point, we seem to loose all connection to the UnConscious dreamworld that is being left behind and are fully wide awake. We do the same thing with our reckoning and imagining minds. Back and forth we go. Sometimes we don't sever, other times we nearly sever. The letting go of the rational mind is like falling asleep. The sobering up from our beliefs and fantasies is like waking up. Getting stuck to either extreme is not healthy. Acknowledging the equally important contribution of each to the other is healthy.
We can only sever our tether to life by dying. But by attempting to come as close as we can to severing the tether to Conscious, tangible reality, we float free in the ever-changing chaos of our UnConscious. In floating free, and making free associations that are completely and permanently free from all scrutiny by the Conscious rational mind, we see and make all kinds of interesting connections, as this realm of consciousness reveals itself to be the non-linear, wholistic, web-like counterpart to the linear, analytical, sequential thinking we leave behind. To many, being introduced to this radically different form of consciousness is a liberating experience of newfound freedom. Because of this, many become all too ready, willing and eager to permanently sever any tether they might have that would ever spring them back to their old ways of Conscious, rational thinking. But... to sever our tether to rational thinking has consequences.
People who attempt to sever their tether to Conscious, rational reality will usually tend to float freely in one of two directions - either to what they like, or what they fear. In the Numerical Tarot deck, the upright position of each card in the suit of Division/Spade/Sword describes the various forms of paranoid, self-destructive feelings and emotions that we dredge up from the murky depths of our UnConscious. While the reversed position of each card in the suit of Multiplication/Heart/Cup describes the delusional, wishful thinking and self-indulgent feelings and emotions that tantalize us from the positive side of our UnConscious mind. For those who gravitate toward the lighter side, the apparent promise of wishes being granted, via the absolute freedom derived from our severed detachment from cold hard realities, makes excursions into our fantasy, dreams, imagination and spirituality downright intoxicating - just like those blissful dreams that we only reluctantly wake from... when we have to... in order to go to work... and deal with the tangible reality around us, in ways that put food in our bellies, so that we can live another day - i.e. The Life Bias at work.
This idea of lopsided thinking being intoxicating - especially to a mind in possession of a great need for escape from cold hard reality, was also addressed in the essay Imagine a Reason to Believe. It is the reason for the other essays on this site which advocate that we don't sever the tether we have to common tangible, conscious reality, but instead find ways to make fantasy and reality work together toward an optimal experience of knowing and meaning. Unfortunately, though, there are quite a few people in the world who reject this notion of optimal experience coming from balance, and instead feel that optimal experience can only come from the most severe form of severing our tether to rational reality, and the most adamant re-establishing of an exclusive, or at least dominant tether to fantasy, dreams, imagination and spirituality.
The problem, though, with severing our tether to rational reality, is when we attempt to re-establish that tether in a way that tries to bring back something from the world of fantasy and imagination, that does not make sense to the rational world of conscious tangible reality. Like a fragile creature from the depths of the ocean, that dies when it reaches the surface, many of our fantasies, dreams, imaginings and spiritual notions are not able to survive the scrutiny of cold hard reality and the light of day. In some cases, the fantastic, non-linear, wholistic, web-like visions of our SubConscious and UnConscious can only be seen and understood if those attempting to understand them are as drunk on fantasy, imagination, dream and spirituality as the person doing the presenting. Like drunks in a bar, who admit that ugly people begin to look better through the beer goggles of intoxication, while a sober person might wonder how they could not see the ugliness in front of them, some beliefs can only be transmitted as beliefs between people who are equally drunk on fantasy, imagination, dream and spirituality. Unfortunately... even then, we don't always agree with what is being suggested. And the reason we don't always agree is... because we never completely sever our tether to rational reality.
|Lifting the burden of proof makes anything possible
... until it isn't.
Many beliefs are not able to survive the scrutiny of cold hard reality. Sometimes, however, the fantasies of dreams, imagination and spirituality can survive, and can actually work well with the Conscious, rational ideas of reality, and as a result, change, enhance or advance the socially constructed reality of human life (hence, the quote from Albert Einstein presented in the essay Stuck in the Mudaphor: Imagination is more important than knowledge). But... other times, like the fragile creatures at the bottom of the ocean, these fantasies can only be appreciated, and only make sense, if we too sever our tether to reality and rationality and become as intoxicated... delusional or out of touch with reality as those presenting these fantasies for our consideration. In this way, attempts by spiritual philosophies to lure us toward ideas that don't make sense to common socially constructed reality resemble the ending of the movie "Cocoon" where a fantastic world of bliss is promised... but only if we sever our tether to our Earthly existence and the reality we know, and get on board the spaceship. This is how religions separate the believers from the non-believers. We can't just believe what makes sense... we have to sever the tether we have to common sense... and drift away from the comforts of rational reality... never to return to the Earthy scrutiny of manifest realities that might conflict with, and thereby destroy, the delicate fantasies that carry us away to our state of bliss. The problem, though, is how people who follow this path don't exactly drift away to their heavenly bliss... completely severed... never to return. The problem is... they return! Even Major Tom returned! He severed his connection to life - i.e. ground control - and then he returned. With what? And... with what?
The problem that so-call "non-believers" have with so-called "believers," and other spiritual philosophies that ask us to sever our tether to rational reality, and become as drunk on fantasy, dreams, imagination and spirituality as possible, is... the way in which believers never completely sever their own tether to reality. Like all of us, they may think they have completely severed their tether to rational reality. And with such a perspective will invite others to join them in their spiritual bliss. But the fact of the matter is... that most of these people maintain a gnawing desire, or craving, to return to the reality they have left behind, while at the same time, wanting their fantasies, dreams, imaginings and spiritual visions to be accepted into the world of rational thought as part of the socially constructed reality around us. As just mentioned, this is indeed, at times, completely possible. Other times, however, this causes problems when fantasies, dreams, imaginings and spiritual visions are not able to make sense when scrutinized by manifest beings attempting to coordinate and negotiate existence in life affirming ways that acknowledge cold hard realities of life and living in a world of tangible things. What follows is often a bitter battle between those who want our tether to remain attached to common socially constructed reality, vs. those who want to reverse that tether so that we will all follow them to the depths of the ocean that is their imagination, and in doing so, see the fragile creatures and fantastic connections they see. Upon seeing what these other people see, it is believed we will then "get" what they mean, and subsequently believe what they want us to believe... without ever having to deal with the cold hard realities of human existence in a tangible world left behind at the surface. But again... we do live in the world. Life remains our bias. So it is, that to many, asking for one sided acceptance of beliefs that only make sense from the perspective of one who is as detached from common socially constructed reality as they can be, is often less than satisfactory.
To many, this "reversal of tether" seems illogical. But, to people who feel that humankind is too dependent upon their Conscious, waking reality of tangible things and rational thoughts, and has a great need to be re-linked to the severed tether of fantasy, dreams, imagination and spirituality, doing so... or attempting to do so... makes a lot of sense. In fact... to those who make fantasies, dreams, imaginings and spiritual visions their lopsided mode of thinking, it is a way of life... leading them to eagerly devour any and all fantasies, dreams, imaginings and spiritual visions that cross their path. For others though, it is more than just a way of life... for some it becomes an absolute obsession, causing them to devour every fantasy, dream, imagining and spiritual vision out of an escapist need to satisfy wishful thinking, and an addiction to bliss in the face of cold hard realities. We all crave an escape from the cold hard realities of life now and then, but, clearly... some more than others... as seen in the essay Consider the Source, as well as the essay The Pentacle Person, where we encounter a person who is made to shift an addiction to reality over to that of fantasy... creating an equally unhealthy situation of obsession.
A complete reverse of tether may work for a minority of people, because the majority will always look out for them, to insure that a potentially life-threatening belief won't kill them... or others. But for the majority to make such a life-altering switch, would mean as much devastation to our socially constructed reality as is currently the state for our imaginative, UnConscious selves. This would more than likely lead to life-threatening encounters within the ensuing chaos of conflicting fantasies, delusions or paranoias, or... personal delusions and paranoias, versus the cold hard realities of life we are denying, ignoring or neglecting. Hence, the frequent objections people have to accepting fantasies, dreams and imagination as their only tether, or their even their dominant tether, and their preference to only exploring this other realm while tethered to common, socially constructed reality. Hence also, the essays on this site devoted to such tempered states.
Ideals and Ideas
When we sleep, we let go. When we wake up, we sober up. While awake, bits of dream influence wake. While asleep, bits of wake influence dream. As long as we are alive, we never completely sever the tether we have to either extreme of reality/consciousness... we only think that we do... or try to. If we never sober up, we succeed in closing out the half of reality that forever looms as a threat to the fragile nature of fantasies, dreams, imagination and spirituality. But... as previously mentioned... within this isolated realm, amid the total freedom of our mind to think about anything in any way it wants, some of us gravitate to a more pleasant or satisfactory version of free thinking associations, while others gravitate to a more unpleasant or less than satisfactory version of free thinking associations. Just as the rational mind we've left behind can at times be a bit too cynical or skeptical, our irrational mind, when left completely off its leash (so to speak) can at times be a bit too delusional or paranoid.
|The limitless range of nebulous ideals equals the content of our thoughts. The limited range of palpable ideas equals the context of our thoughts. Content + Context = Meaning. You can't say anything about anything without context. Likewise, without context, you can say anything about anything. If we stay in the realm of the UnConscious, we can say anything we want. If we yield to the realm of the Conscious mind, we can't say anything we want. Somewhere between we interpret The Truth. Some think that Truth is a spiritual concept. Some think that Truth is a scientific concept. I think it is a concept that only appears when the two triangles depicted in this Interpretation of Imagination diagram overlap, or when the two arcs of experience are united as a circle... a circle our minds use to orbit around a center we can never fully know.
It is, as most books on tarot suggest, a good thing to close out the rational mind when trying to figure out what the various symbols of a tarot card might mean in a reading - especially a psychotherapeutic reading. Our Binary Buddy IS our irrational imagination. We hand it symbolic images and ask it to speak to us. But who is "we" and who is "us" in that statement? The answer is... "We" are; those who make a conscious decision to physically manipulate tangible pieces of paper full of drawings. "Us" is; those who make a conscious decision to interpret meaning from a seemingly random arrangement of ambiguous images spread across a table. To "us" - i.e. our conscious minds looking at images on a table - the images are seemingly random and ambiguous. They seem to not make any sense at all... until... "we" let go of our rational mind, and allow our imagination - or Binary Buddy - to make its non-linear, wholistic, web-like suggestions. As those imaginary visions and irrational connections are made, they bubble up to the surface of Consciousness, through our SubConscious and PreConscious where our Conscious minds find them and use them - pulling them up out of the UnConscious like a fisherman yanking a fish out of the sea and into waiting hands that grasp.
But... here's an important distinction that many don't consider; each suggestion made by our Binary Buddy is a suggestion that is being considered by "us" with our rational conscious minds. In other words... even though we allow ourselves to become submerged into our SubConscious and UnConscious realms of imagination... making all kinds of free and flexible associations... there remains a remnant of our pragmatic self - however thinly stretched - that is listening to every wild and irrational suggestion made by our imagination as to what the seemingly random assortment of symbols might be saying to "us." As "we" - our Conscious minds - listen, "we" respond to ourself - our Binary Buddy - by saying to ourself; "No, that doesn't seem to fit me or this situation" or... "Yes, that seems to fit me or this situation perfectly!" We do this, because... not every connection we see is a perfectly meaningful one. Not every intuitive hunch pans out. Our imaginative, irrational Binary Buddy is capable of making infinite connections across a web of interconnectedness between all things. But not every connection is going to be a good and meaningful one. Thus... we become selective in choosing which connections actually make sense. It is the rational thought process of our analytical mind that segments, sorts and edits things in this way. The intelligence of our intuition and imagination will offer tantalizing possibilities... but the instincts and intellect of our life-biased minds don't agree, those suggestions are rejected. Thus, the trick, as mentioned in several other essays of this kind, is to balance the two. Whereas most books on tarot assume the average person to be neglecting their intuition, or not listening close enough... or at all... and might therefore advocate an imbalanced approach the other way in order to compensate, this study of tarot advocates listening to both our intuition as well as the instincts that edit what we find into answers that make sense to life and living. In other words... listen with both ears! Our UnConscious and SubConscious minds write, and our PreConscious and Conscious minds edit. As with a literal piece of writing that might suffer from gibberish and nonsense if not edited, the content sent to us from the depths of our UnConscious and SubConscious can also benefit from some editing. That is what we are doing when we say to ourselves "No, that doesn't seem to fit me or this situation" or... "yes, that seems to fit me or this situation perfectly!" This is interpretation.
|An act of reason is an act of treason!
"We" - our Life Biased selves - like things to make sense to "us" and "our" lives because... that is part and parcel of The Life Bias mentioned at the beginning of this essay. Thus... if we are doing a tarot reading, and trying to make sense of the apparent nonsense that we see in randomly selected images, we are actually committing an act of reason!! In order to remain exclusively in the realm of the irrational and not commit an act of reason, we would need to remain nonsensical, random and ambiguous in what is communicated to our rational mind, and only offer content that can be understood by those who are equally irrational, random and ambiguous. In fact, to not commit any act of reason, we wouldn't really want to interpret at all. In order to remain exclusively in the realm of the irrational, random and ambiguous, we would simply look at the images and let them affect our SubConscious and UnConscious mind in unknown ways that are never transmitted across the great divide of consciousness that separates the extremes of Conscious and UnConscious. "We" - the Conscious - would then act out these unknown impulses of influence upon "our" psyche in ways unknown to "us" - sometimes constructively, sometimes destructively... we would never know, because we would never ask. By completely and permanently closing out our rational mind, we would be like a feather in the wind... or a leaf falling randomly to the ground... or... as in the case of neurotic phobias and delusional fantasies - we would be like a plastic shopping bag getting stuck in the branches of a tree! Many might argue that psychotherapy is an attempt to release that poor pathetic bag from the branches of that tree, and know it for what it is, and how it affects our life. But to acknowledge such a bias toward life enhancement, and the rational understanding of the irrational impulses within us, is an act of treason to those who think that we don't need our rational minds at all, and that our rational mind only gets in the way.
Like the parameters covered in the essay The Pentacle Person, a completely irrational mind would live its life randomly, ambiguously, wildly, with ever-changing, uncontrolled uncertainty, in an illusory, fluctuating, chaotic reality. This does not seem to be the usual purpose that most quarents bring to a tarot reading. Most people seem to have a desire to make some sense out of their life, and thus, to make sense out of the images in the spread. They want stability, certainty and control. They want to tame their wild emotional mood swings. But if we truly want to lock out all rational thought, we can't even begin to think about being clear, consistent, ordered, tame, stable or certain about anything. Thus every response to the search for sense made by a quarent... or ourselves when doing readings for ourselves, should be "Don't know, hard to say, maybe this maybe that, could change, like a dream." Whenever someone... or "we" ask "what does that card mean" the only response should be "Don't know, hard to say, maybe this maybe that, could change, like a dream" and leave it at that. But... like the unwelcome return mentioned earlier in this essay, most people don't leave it at that. Most people don't find meaning by being exclusively irrational, random and ambiguous. Most people - without even realizing it - allow that remnant of their rational Conscious mind to listen in and have a say as to what it thinks is a fit and what doesn't fit - relative to the eternal perspective of life and living in a tangible world of things that we feel a need to mange in order to survive and be human. As a result, we mix influences. However much we might like to deny that we do, and however hard we might try to remain as irrational, random and ambiguous as possible... we mix. In mixing... our SubConscious and UnConscious mind provides an endless supply of content from our unlimited imagination, and our Conscious and PreConscious mind provides context, from the unavoidable existence of life and living in a tangible world. Content + Context = Meaning. Like the analogy given in the essay The Vortex of Knowing, it is only when we drop the needle of the record player (context) upon the groove of the record itself (content) that we get any music... or message of meaning. This is interpretation.
So... while shutting out our rational mind is good for gathering content from the infinite possibilities of our UnConscious, and imaginging nebulous ideals, content without context is meaningless... just as writing without editing can... at times... be considered gibberish. Hence those who try to sever their tether to the context of conventional reality, and The Life Bias, can... at times... without any regulatory guidance, become delusional or paranoid - believing anything and everything to be true, whether it be a pleasant fantasy or a horrifying hallucination. Then, by ignoring the cold hard realities of a tangible world full of things we can bump into in life affirming or life detracting ways, they put on a cape and jump off a building - splat!... or drown their baby in the bathtub. Being "out of touch" with common forms of socially constructed reality and tangible things can generate insights of genius... but only when the imaginings we imagine and the ideals we encounter are scrutinized by a scrutinizer. Hence my rewording of the quote attributed to Albert Einstein in the essay Stuck in the Mudaphor - that imagination is not more important than knowledge, but is instead every bit as important as knowledge.
There may be a lot of people out there who are horribly locked into their Conscious, rational mind and in need of being shown what and who they also are. But I don't believe that attempting to sever the tether we have to Conscious, rational forms of reality is the answer. People might think it is harmless, as long as the result is only blissful belief in benign, beautiful fantasies that please the psyche and make us feel good through healing and reassurance in the face of cold hard realities of life and living (see the essay Fluffy Bunny vs. Blind Oracle elsewhere on this site). But that is not the way things always go. What often results is delusional beliefs that stubbornly persist out of a fear about what will befall us if we let go. In this way, people who cling to beliefs are as guilty of not letting go as those rational minds that stand accused of not letting go enough to "just believe" in the first place!
by Guy Palm
Let GO of the rational.
Let GO of the irrational.
In fact... it might very well be those who argue with the most force toward a complete abandonment of rational thought who in fact have the strongest tendency toward rational thought, and by imagining the rest of the world to be the same as they are, proceed to lecture us all about the evils of rational thought, and what and how we ought to "just believe." In that way all the essays on this site that advocate a balanced perspective, over that of a lopsided perspective that is hell-bent upon the irrational, might be missing the point of what is actually needed in this world. Or... maybe not. This site does stand as an alternative to tradition. Thus it advocates that we should indeed loose the self in the random, ambiguous possibilities of illusory imagination and chaos. While it then also advocates that we come back to reality and let everyone around us scrutinize... or interpret, what was found, relative to the common sense thinking of life and living. Otherwise, this study would advocate that we remain wordless and silent in detached belief, and hope that people will intuitively "get" what is meant via irrational forms of communication that have no accompanying forms of rational explanation.
Fetching and Fishing
People who advocate strongly in favor of liberal doses of intuition and imagination, in order to figure out tarot card meanings in a spread, or even meanings of life, are taught... and teach others, to trust that intuition unconditionally. They do this by closing out the rational mind as much as they possibly can and taking the aforementioned leap of faith that they hope will snap that bungee cord and make them as severed from rational thought as can be. But, when their intuition speaks, to whom is it speaking? And is EVERYTHING it says a perfectly formed Truth?
It is a romantic, and extremely empowering notion to sell people... that their intuition could be so perfectly all-knowing, and flawlessly correct in every way. But, the fact of the matter is, that not every hunch our intuitions have pan out... when juxtaposed against the cold hard realities of Conscious waking existence in a tangible world of things we bump into in life affirming and life detracting ways. Statistically, intuition is not ALWAYS correct. Statistically... paranormal Psychic Knowing isn't even 100% correct! Yes... it is a good thing to let our imagination run free, like a dog off its leash, when attempting to imagine possible connections between the ambiguous language of symbols and the cold hard realities of life - i.e. the content of our imagination being added to the context of our life. But... like a dog off its leash, not everything that dog brings back to us is something we want or need! Let a dog off its leash, and see what kinds of stupid, disgusting or scary things it might dig up and bring back for our consideration!! Our imagination is a lot like that dog, fetching fantastic notions via the portal of our SubConscious and UnConscious intuitions, and bringing them back, into our PreConscious and Conscious minds for consideration. In the essay on Dreams and Dreaming, an analogy of fishing was used. With a fishing analogy, we see how some of the notions we draw up from the depths of our UnConscious and SubConscious either slip through our fingers like slippery fish, or are tossed back for being too insignificant, misshapen or otherwise not correct. Our Binary Buddy IS our SubConscious Intuition and UnConscious Intelligence, and when it speaks, the mind of our PreConscious Instincts and Conscious Intellect listens... and then acts. But, not everything it hears is considered correct and True. Unless...
Unless, we abandon The Life Bias. If we abandon The Life Bias, then ALL intuition is correct and True. Because... by abandoning The Life Bias, we let go of all attachment to life itself. By putting no value on life itself, all of our intuition is now able to be correct and True - even if it leads to deadly situations that our life biased self might consider objectionable, and therefore wrong or misguided. Because... to someone who has abandoned all value on life, there is no such thing as wrong, misguided or deadly, all there is is just one thing after another. This is the message of the Tarot Fool card, mentioned in the essay Stop Being So Human. The Fool tells us to close out our rational mind COMPLETELY... to such a degree that we don't edit anything of our intuition or imagination. If such freedom of thought and imagination causes us to walk right off a cliff, don't let the rational mind stop us! Like a game of "Chicken" don't blink! Go... right off that cliff... splat... or whatever else might happen... who knows... don't ask. Don't think about life and endings. Don't think about who might also be terminated by us falling on them, or the hardship of their families living on without them, or people who live on without us... just go wherever the imagination and intuition leads... because it's ALWAYS correct. Taken to its extreme, this would not be a metaphor, it would literally suggest that we literally walk straight into traffic, or jump off a building and try to fly... if we imagine we can, because... who knows, a miracle might be in store. If we limit our imagination by not doing whatever is says, we would never know. So walk right off that cliff. A Tarot Fool would not give it a second thought.
People of faith say "Jump, and a net will appear" meaning... metaphorically... that there are times when we should have blind faith, and trust that in the process of living, something will happen that will prevent us from falling to our death, or prevent catastrophe i.e. save our life. But people who promote such a philosophy are obviously still attached to the idea of protecting and preserving life. People who pursue faith because they think that a miracle might be in store are not getting it. To those who are truly "with it" and completely committed to the idea of faith, the "Jump and a net will appear" quote should be rephrased to say "Jump... and die, or maybe not, it doesn't matter. Maybe a net will appear, or maybe we'll fall... splat... dead on the ground, it shouldn't matter." Those who can't say that, or who don't believe in it, or wouldn't quote it to others as faith-based advice, do not understand the concept of faith. To have faith, and hope for a miracle is a contradiction in terms! To be absolutely accepting of faith, is to be absolutely accepting of any outcome - whether life affirming or life ending.
Thus, to really and truly achieve the empowering state of all-knowing correctness of intuition and imagination we have to abandon all attachment to life. That is rare. Most people, even the most delusional, who spend inordinate amounts of time in the world of fantasy, imagination, dreams and spirituality, prefer to live. But those who prefer to live are allowing their rational mind to edit the imagination of their Binary Buddy. Even if they take things right up the edge of that cliff... if they stop, when their imagination is still wondering what it would be like to continue, they are pulling back, and editing their imagination... which is not at all "Fool"-ish. Thus, it is that we who value life, and don't walk blindly off that cliff, end up mixing these sides of rational and irrational thought. Even those who claim that they don't mix these sides, or try their hardest - right up to the possibility of death - to deny rationality and the editing of imagination... even they mix these sides. Thus, the only question is... to what degree, or ratio, we mix... and how close that mixture gets us to a balanced middle ground where the Truth may be found.
|The Truth lies somewhere in the middle.
But whether willing to walk off a cliff to our death in pursuit of fantasy, dream, imagination or spirituality, or just wanting to push as far into our SubConscious and UnConscious as we can, to bring back what we find to our PreConscious and Conscious minds to consider, I say Yes! let imagination off its leash, and see what if fetches. Or... like the kite analogy, let out as much string as possible before reeling it back in. Or... like the deep sea analogy, go as deep as possible without drowning. Or... like the beer goggle analogy, get as metaphorically drunk as necessary to see whatever another metaphorically drunk person is seeing. But then... unless the goal is writing a fantasy fiction novel, or a silly cartoon strip, or a wacky children's book, or a ridiculous sit-com T.V. show, or some such other entertainment purpose... sober up! Because... the Truth lies somewhere in the middle.