David LIntner -
Altruism is nothing more than a measure of how broadly one defines oneself. As long as there are those who exist outside that definition, my journey is not finished. It is, sometimes, a perplexing trip.
One the one hand, an individual’s life exists for that one alone. The body is designed to propagate itself, to learn, and to survive as long as it can. I have seen many people who do not have that sense of self, not because they have reached a high level of spiritual development, but because they do not believe they have personal value.
Christianity is a root cause of that lack of self worth, because it teaches, as its central doctrine, that the individual is flawed, and unworthy. The reasoning goes something like this: God causes himself to be born, so he can sacrifice himself, to himself, to make up for his original design flaw. And we are made to believe its our fault!
If you do not honor yourself, how can you honor another? If you do not respect yourself, how can you respect another?
As social animals, however, we are enmeshed with others who exist for the same reason. And the more of us there are, the more we have to compete for the stuff of survival. It is the way of the natural order, from galaxies devouring one another in cosmic gravity dances, to the battle between the creosote bush and other desert plants for scarce water resources.
One yogi (I don’t remember who) said something like, “Everything is food.”
The other side of the coin, during this perplexing trip, is the possibility of recognizing that its purpose is to grow up and out, so that I do not perceive the trip as being about me alone, but about us. “Us” is just a big word for “me.”
Every one of the seventy-eight Tarot cards speaks volumes about the human condition and about the human spirit. Among them, the twenty-two Major Arcana cards are especially eloquent on the subject of our spiritual journey. The following, then, are a few such insights that are suggested by one Tarot card in particular, the Fool.
The twenty-two Major Arcana cards in the Tarot deck are quite eloquent on the subject of our spiritual journey, and a particularly interesting aspect of these cards is the fact that duality is a recurrent theme throughout them. For example, the Magician and the High Priestess (cards 1 and 2 in the Major Arcana) form a dualistic pair, representing (among other things) activity and passivity, respectively. Consideration of these two cards in this light suggests some soulful insights, which we will explore here.
Duality is a recurrent theme throughout the Tarot’s twenty-two Major Arcana cards, which emphasizes the fact that understanding how to balance and integrate the complementary energies symbolized by these cards is an essential part of our spiritual journey. For example, the Empress and the Emperor form a dualistic pair, representing (among other things) the archetypal mother and the archetypal father.
However, it also lies within the power and responsibility of those who are being taught (and who are symbolized by the initiates on this card) to ensure that they are enlightened by tradition and religion, rather than enslaved or subjugated by them, since spiritual growth requires more than blind faith and unquestioning acceptance.
Lover's Card: On one level, this card is about love and romance, but there is much more to it than that...On a deeper level, this card stresses the importance of choosing love itself.
...dealing compassionately with our own inner beast, helps us become
more like the lady in the Strength card and less like the lion,
and as a result, we also learn how to calm the
fierce aspects of other people with love and kindness.